Bombay, Bombay, India
December 31
Icy Highs is the writerly alter ego of Tharun James Jimani, author of 90s pop culture novel, 'Cough Syrup Surrealism' (Fingerprint! Publishing, 2013). He has lived in Chennai, Glasgow, Dusseldorf, London and Singapore over the last twelve years, and is- in Animal Planet parlance- a 'serial immigrant', and averse to nesting. He writes to keep the moss from gathering.


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NOVEMBER 26, 2012 12:40AM

Of mother, and other women

Rate: 7 Flag

I’m not great at keeping in touch. This is not a new thing, or a trait I picked up in my later years, but my parents are convinced that said character flaw reared its ugly head around the time I made  friends with Fatboy. This is patently untrue. Fatboy and I just happened to become friends roughly around the same time as when I ran out of things to talk about with my family. I let him take the fall for it, of course, in the same way we’ve both pointed fingers at each other every time one of us was caught in possession of pot or porn or –on one deplorable occasion- a Pussycat Dolls CD. He still refutes the Pussycat pop allegation. I will plead innocent till death on that count.


Having established my indifference to the occasional phone call or email, I’d like to tell you a little story of how the best intentions sometimes blow up in your face. And spit on your grave while doing the Gangnam Style. I was in Kodaikanal over the Diwali holidays, and slightly more in sync with the Oneness of the universe and the sentience of the collective human experience and all that other hippie bullshit you buy into when you’re on a diet of magic mushrooms and Kingfishers. Having risen earlier than the sun on one of those days, I decided to give the Ol’ Maternal a call. You know, just because.

“Hi Ma,” I say, “how are you?”

“Older,” she says, “roughly about a year older as of yesterday.”

Fuck. 20 seconds. That’s how long it takes to realize why social telephony is not a good idea, especially if you’re not the type to remember birthdays and anniversaries and names of the fast expanding brood of the Jimani clan.

“Happy birthday Ma,” I say.

 “I didn’t forget,” I assure her stony silence.

“Everybody called but you, you know,” she says, “even Fatboy.”


“Yeah but talk is cheap, right Ma?”, I say, “you’ll never guess what I got you.”

Now tendency to one-up each other notwithstanding, Fatboy will always be my go-to man in times of trouble- and me, his- no matter what. So it was that a half hour of recriminatory stop-start conversation later, I found myself calling The Obese One himself for counsel.  

“That was low man, calling my Mom,” I say, “I’m impressed.”

“I thought you might appreciate it,” he says, “even set up an iReminder and all.”

“Fuck you Fatass, you fucking Apple fanboy fuck,” I say, “sorry.”

“Pleasure. How’d it go?”

“Not too bad, I  guess. I’m royally screwed,” I say.

“What’s up? Jesus, you’ve got to add Sam on Facebook. Girl’s all grown up.”

“Skinny Sam? Really? Fuck Sam, Fatass. Fuck you, you fucking Facebooking fuck. Hear me out, I’m fucked.”

“Do tell.”

“So Mom was all pissed I forgot her birthday, right? Stop laughing, you bastard. So anyway, I ended up telling her I’ve written this kick-ass thank you note and dedicated my novel to her.”

“’Snot so bad.”

“What? Dude, you don’t understand. This is my one and possibly only novel. It’s all I’ve got.”


“So I also told my ex I’d dedicate it to her.”

“Well, it is pretty much about her. I don’t see a moral dilemma. Do the right thing.”

“But my Mom’s not sounded this happy in years, man.”

“Wait a second. This is not about your Mom. You’re not that nice. What’s going on?”

“I may have…also given my girlfriend the impression the book’s dedicated to her.”

“Seriously, what is with you and dedicating everything to everybody? You’ve only been seeing her a couple of months.”

“I was weak, ok? It was the only way she’d let me… enter through the gift shop.”



“Sorry ex-girlfriend, whose life you plagiarized. Sorry Mothership, with the womb and all.”

“It’s the right thing to do, right?”

“Your Dad would be so proud.”





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Funny as always. Good luck with that dedication. It could end up being longer than the book.
You are the perfect antidote to boredom! I say dedicate the book to Fatboy.
The dedication to Mom is in your back pocket in case the current girlfriend leaves before the publisher's final typeset.
Hi JL- Cheers, I'm leaning toward diagrammatic representation. Maybe a venn diagram-me, other people and whatever intersects the two.

Hey Phyllis- I might do it just to watch him cry.

Yo Stim- It's all about priorities, as my Dad would say. You've clearly got yours spot on!

Hello Daisyjane- 'Men'. Yes, no?
icy, why'n't you come on over here and show me which, yes, no, eh?


ps - no offense, but its true - grown-ups remember their mother's birthdays. and they dont rely on some woman somewhere to buy her a card bc their own busy lives preclude such activity. thats my tiny lecture of the day, made only bc you are swell enough to be worth a tiny lecture. now put that date in your calendar, and then put a date a week ahead to buy and send a card. for your dad too, while you're at it. thats my recommendation. and, fatboy definitely deserves a punch in the shoulder when you see him.
thou art much wise, daisyjane; all good advice. think i'll get cracking on the fatboy bit first!
It would make a fabulous pickup line
"Hello, ever had a book dedicated to you?"
Opens to the door to numerous topics. I would love it.
pickup line, eh? now why didn't i think of that?