Sunday, November 30, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
I'm not sure what it is. And I cannot seem to make out my mood . I'm not even under one of those cribby, whiny spells. I think I've resigned to fate or something. Whoa!!thats scary...but what ever. But yes I think I'm kinda waiting for a lot of things to happen. This is a funny phase you know- this 22-25 age, where you're done or atleast almost done with education. You've got a job, but still finding your waters on the job. And you know you've got to be patient. Just stay still for a while and only then the sea won't swallow you. The fact is you know at 24 you are not really "settled" in your job. But hell you can't be settled at 24.Then you be bloody buried by 32!
Then its the love life. At this age you probably have a girl friend /boy friend whom you really love or something. But whether marriage will be a necessary fall out of that, you can never say. You're in the waiting there as well. Insecurites hover around. May be this relationship has none of the sparkle left from the college days when it first begun. May be profession takes a priority. May be distance takes a toll. May be he/she is just not the one. what do you do? Wait! I don't mean to sound like a fatalist. But really there's nothing much you could do...And if you are my pathetic single bloke, then you register on one of these matrimonial sites, and wait for Cupid's arrow to strike your heart. Its pretty much like that...Not like in college when you've got deadlines and proper yard sticks. And could smoke up or get so drunk and think it solved every possible issue that required to be addressed. At 24 you know that its not true and its terrible to get to work with a hang over. Plus there's this voice of responsibility that kinda never shuts up. So you begin doing silly things like binge on food or clothes or something.
You've got your dreams and they get bigger by the day. Well they're meant to. But you cannot go all out for them. You don't have the darned dough for it!! What do you! Bulls eye! Wait. It reminds me of those finger on lips (that sounds corny for some reason now!) sessions in primary school, when we were asked to just shut up for a few minutes. I remember even then I used to get uneasy. Silence is just not my cuppa tea, you see. And so even now, I feel like a jack in the box waiting for life to start.
Or I'm not sure if this period of inertia is like a period of thanksgiving for all that you got until now, and in preparation for the rickety rockety ride that follows. Its a cranky phase you know, like one of those arbit stops the train makes in the middle of nowhere because its not got the go signal. And I'm getting impatient and fat, munching on all those fillers!
Friday, October 17, 2008
When I began to write this I thought I've lost obsessions, but no,i guess its not that way...I still have em, (haah!!i'm still alive) just they are not like- right-there-in-the-face-type obsessions. They are just those deep seated obsessions which may not do the vanishing act just like that.
Bharatanatyam is my first. And I can say it sans all the murkiness I may associate with the rest. I've learnt the dance form for a long time now, and though I have not done it too many times, the stage and spotlights are something which could be my second and third obsessions. No matter how boring or drab I might sound, Bharatanatyam has taught me how to present myself publicly, its taught me some grit to survive in the midst of a life that went terribly out of track some months ago, its taught me hard work. I don't proclaim to do justice to fact that I've got things going with this form of dance, but it still is my life. I'd love to get into that kalakshetra saree and wear my kaajal and bindi and chalangai and commit myself to it. May be I would have done it if certain things were another way. But somewhere along the way formal education took a toll on my passion. I'm also the epitome of this attempt to be so many things at the same time, that leaves me in such incredulous situations.Siiiiiiiiiigghh!
Academics is my second. At 45 I'd love to be an academician who's going to her post doctoral fellowship thesis on something to do with law, women, religion, economics and the communist theory. How I'm going to link em all up, I have no clue now. Forty five is a long way to go. I have time I guess.In the process, I'd love to be an inspirer. Someone at whom atleast one person will point her fingers at and say- "wish I could be like her".
My third would be sugar. Yea. You read me right. Sugar it is! Candy, mithai, ice cream, dessert, pastries - you get the drift. I'm dead sure I'm going to die of renal failure. But hell!I'm going to die anyway. So I have no qualms. I love it and will stay this way.
Vishaka Hari is my fourth. She is a performer par excellence and man!!is she good!She is basically into musical discourses on Hindu mythology. One need not be religious to listen to her. Its like a story telling, and how alive she brings the story. The thing with her musical renditions is that the package deal as such is just perfect. Her make-up, costume, music, expressions. She is an inspirer and a great one at that. I won't waste her with my words. She fabulous and will stay that way!
My fifth obsession is my past. The more I run away from it, the faster it gets to me. I don't mean to sound like someone with a crazy past or anything. Mine's been pretty normal. Usual. Nothing extraordinary. But many times I'm always caught in this effort of being different from what I was.I'm not trying to sound like one of those ideal characters from a self help book. But either I don't like what I've done or how I've been. Sometimes, I feel like I'm running away from myself. Yea I know I sound like i need a shrink right away. May be I do, cos there are days when I drive myself nuts. So, yea...thats been five I guess.
I'm supposed to tag five people. But I wont do it. Simply cos, most ppl have already done this tag, plus I'm not really in the mood for tagging. But if someone reading this actually feels like, tag along. And lemme know. Will be a pleasure.
Someone's jealous of my joy.
A well said joke,
A bout of stinging sarcasm,
A subtle, secret exchange.
I must stand stoic.
I must stand stoic.
I have had some good times,
But that attracted prying eyes,
I'm too scared to smile any more,
Someone's jealous of my joy.
And though the good times are back,
I know the graph by now,
And not stupid enough to make believe,
That those eyes have stopped to follow me.
And though I wait for my phone to ring,
I wait for those late night calls,
I know the fairy will cease to sing,
And then I will fall.
But I must stand stoic.
I must stand stoic.
I'm too scared to smile any more,
Someone's jealous of my joy.
Friday, October 10, 2008
When I saw this on Merc's blog, my brain which has already been woking overtime since this morning was sort of sneering at the other part of my brain which keeps hushing it.
Active Brain: See you fool!!wake up! Everyone's brains are meant to work. Stop campaigning for the lazy brain syndrome.
Lazy Brain: Oh ok...good for you. You found another idiot like you. Enjoy!!!
So basically, this is an attempt to put me under the magnifying glass, in communication with the 'me' that I was some six years ago.
Am sure you are wondering who exactly I am with the kind of time and inclination as this to give free advice and that too to a stranger.You might not know me now, but you shall definitely recognise me one day, and that day you'll give me a hug because you will know that it has been stupid to disregard my words of wisdom.
You must first learn that dreams will be dreams, and will stay that way. So don't imagine yourself arguing before the full judge bench of the Supreme Court, you aren't even going to argue before a 1/100th bench. What you are infact going to do, is sign up for the most boring job in the world which neither measures up to your pocket nor your intellect. But since you have a great deal of dedication in you, you will still see traces of the trait half a decade later, that will suddenly fire up and catapult you into an orbit and will leave you there until you maintain some momentum.
You should also know that clarity in decision making is supremely and positively more important than the decision. Life is not always about giving it the best shot, its also about directing your efforts only into necessary channels and not into some moronic men who like the black hole will fleece you of all your energy and vitality, and will leave you with the value of a game ball in a spell of examinations. You will also learn the everyone has the fundamental right to be mean, snide and horrid to you. And you have the same right too. If you in the garb of your value system decide not to exercise it, the law of waivers will prevail.
You will also learn to be alone, hated and unwanted.If none of these words feature in your dictionary now, make sure to leave some space for them, cos otherwise in the process of gaining their territory they will forcefully evict peace, joy and smile, without leaving any scope for right or remedy. You will have mastered the art of walking past a person giving him/her the impression that you never noticed, when actually you'd have even done a better job than a super powerful microscope. You will also have gone to a restaurant all by yourself and watched a movie alone. May be in another few years you'd even walk into a pub and sip your drink alone. I'm not saying it's a bad life coming your way, I'm saying its going to be terrible.
You will also learn that your temper does you no bloody good at all. If you dislike X there are other ways of showing him that, rather than transforming your vocal cords into a blaring loud speaker at the very sight of which people shut their ears anyway.
In the coming years, one day you will suddenly wake up to the fact you are single, and have no life! You will then realise that finding love is hard for you beacuse in your own analysis, you are not the average girl. You will eventually become so paranoid that you will begin to wonder if ever you will find 'the' man. You will also learn that even in love there is always selfishness. You are a baby now, and though it might be hard to digest you must know that 'you' are never priority for anyone else, even if you are dying or almost dead, and have no sins in your account tally.
You will also learn that you will never be thin or less fat than what you are now. You will be so sure of dying of renal failure or a chocked artery with all that Ghee from the sweets you ate. But hell thats the only thing which will make you happy without any immediate threats or risks or dangers such as the feeling of being taken for granted and being walked upon like a door mat. So you will rate food as the greatest investment with least risk and great returns!
Somethings, particularly some people will never change and you will learn the art of keeping them out of your way. You will have also frozen your heart so hard, that you will find ample justification in doing that.
But in all this disarray, you will still be in the wait. After all, optimism is the only thing that keeps you from getting suicidal. You will still have dreams. You will still make plans to chase them, and atleast try to execute those plans. And just in case all the above has scared you to death, let me give you the last piece of bad news - you will still be alive!
Love and best wishes,
(Edita cos thanks to technology, you are denied the right to use ur whole name here...n krishnan cos u realise it makes up for the incomplete first part)Well thats you...with a sense of humour so good that no one can ever get you :P
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Well yesterday and today, really makes me so happy to be here in Chennai, though ideally I would have liked to round off today with a kutcheri by the Priya Sister's. Notwithstanding that, the last two days were very fulfilling.
If you have followed my writing so far, you must know, I have an adept interest in intently overhearing conversations that do not fit me in the loop. Hence, in the exercise of my most effecient skill, I learnt that Kaali Bhari, in west mambalam had a great Durga Pooja going. No no, I am not bengali (though a very dear friend of mine thinks I speak Bengalised Tamil... :P) but I still decide to make it there. When I entered the temple precincts, the first thought that came to my mind was an understanding of the reason behind why photography is banned in many temples. The beauty of the Lord is so immense that one would never want to even take her eyes off for a moment, and to capture it in a still does no justice to the eyes or the beauty. We were there for the Aarthi. I've not seen anything of the like before, and was therefore, was even more in awe. I've seen devotees in ISCKON dance in surrender before Krishna, but there everyone is dancing to the beats of the Dholak, its a different kind. Here the priest broke in to a little dance as he offered fruit and flowers and camphor. It was a gentle dance, where I felt he really was enjoying his job. There were two percussion instruments, the names of which I do not know. One could have been a dholak and the other a big dholak. The third was a metallic instrument, somewhat like a gong. so as they played the beats, he sways - this way and that- like a leaf in a gentle breeze with the offering in his hand, and I am so sure that the Goddess would have been compelled in that atmosphere to grant any wish that the priest had in mind. At that moment I thought I felt bliss, and any more words that I write will really be empty.
If I felt part 1 of bliss yesterday, today was part 2. I think I have not felt this elated in a loooooonnnnng time. I wore my chalangai after 6 long years, and man! let me tell you, those years were really unfulfilling. The jingling of the bells is really my favourite sound in the whole world! Bharatanatyam has meant a world to me, and is very very dear. I only hope I get back on stage to do a few performances. We also did an evening temple visit to Agasthiar temple behind pondy bazzar in T.Nagar where the puja style was back to the usual tam-brahm, and special pujas were done for Goddess Saraswathi. This is the reason I love this city. None of my needs ever feel incomplete.
Truthfully, I am not competent enough to sustain an argument on the presence or absence of God. Neither is it my endeavour. I simply accept some things because I love it, irrespective of whether logic and reasoning can be awarded to it. Colour and culture will always remain my most favourite facets of life. It is a world by itself, and that's where I have my space!
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Today has been a ridiculous day for the following ten reasons:(don't blame me for this text book style. I've just been reading too much of it lately)
1. My granny and me did not say a word to each other, had our meals independently although we were not in a fight. This would have otherwise fallen under the head of 'cold war'. But since there was no 'war' per se, I'd just say, things were cold.
2. Speaking of the cold, the rhino virus seems to have tracked me down, just when I thought I had outwitted it and escaped. My nose seems to vie for the spot of water body with largest number of tributories.
3. I learnt a bit about mergers and amalgamations. Apparently the terms mean the same under the Companies act 1956, but the Income Tax Act, just got smarter! Its distinguishes the two.
4. In a long time now, I stopped checking my phone every ten seconds to see if there was a missed call or message. I've improved from what I was- there was a time when calls even from HSBC bank call centre were welcome. That provided the only proof that my cell phone performed the basic funtion of ringing!
5. I have not given my Activa a bath. Its something I've been procrastinating for days! Thank God automobiles don't suffer from body odour!
6. I had tomato flavoured top ramen with olives. The combination is not bad. But I did not find a fork, and had to adjust with a spoon. I learnt that using my fingers would have been better.
7. I can't decide if right now, I'm in a good mood or bad. Trust me thats how jobless I tend to become, even with nearly 2500 pages of heavy duty reading to do, before my upcoming exams!
8. I'm bored as hell of my clothes, half of which might dupe the census survey board to classify me in the BPL range, the other half which have become the bone of bearing the brunt of my hatred towards tailors in Chennai, and the third half(ya ya...I know, this is not a math lesson!) which makes me miss my tailor back home!!
9. I think I killed a lizard while sweeping my home today. I did not do it on purpose. I'm thankful, that the lizard is such an underrated reptile. Imagine if I had killed a crocodile instead....
10. I've been thinking of buying a camera. Extremely inspired by this. But I figured, I'll restrict myself to writing things which make no sense. There is no point offending reality. It never gets offended( and they call me thick skinned!).
Friday, September 26, 2008
Sometimes I wonder if I have two brains rolled into one, cos even when I've been through a night of guilt for giving such an unproductive day at work, my brain is parallelly at work on the next day passionately thinking up ideas on my next blog. Its another thing that ever since I've started this I seem to have an obsession, and sometimes I feel I'm kind of making up for all that writing I missed out on doing, when I was in a state of ignorantia blogosphere. Plus there are some really nice people like merci who prod me on to do what I most love doing, and therefore it seems like the whole world around me is conspiring to make me write.(you know where I copied that from!)
Sometime back a friend of mine told me she was going on a date with her you know whom( somehow, right now I think the word boy friend is inappropriate). But that only added velocity to the orbit on which I have been circumambulating lately. Its been on my mind for quite a while now as to how exactly it is that I've managed to stay single so long. I don't believe that one should stay young forever. Cos face it- we get old!!! Hell we do, every minute! And there is really nothing wrong or bad about having grey hair as a fall out of the years spent on this planet. Damn! there better be proof that I survived here this long and if the grey wisps and adding pounds is the only certificate, I really don't mind it! Plus I think the olny thing I don't rebel against, is nature. Amen!!
O.k so after that slight digression, I'm back on my orbit. Its rather funny how I've stayed this way right through college - five long years of it, and one year of being an employed youth, thus adding to the gross domestic product of this country. Its not that I've never had a 'thing' for anyone! Its just that things usually fizzle out in a couple of months for various reasons, none of which are as interesting as Agatha Christie's murder plot. So I'm not going to delve into such lifeless topics. Also its for certain that I'm in no great grand desperation to be hooked on or something. But its just when I look at most people around my age, many of whose relationships have culminated in commitment or marriage or atleast someone with whom atleast they can spend a rainy saturday afternoon, unlike me, who gains such immense pleasure just watching it pour down from my window and get all poetic and all. I wonder really what it is with me and myself? I wonder if I've missed out on anything, and then when someone tells me she's not a sizzling brownie person because she's never liked chocolate, and I know for sure its just her weight cares about more than what she really really likes, I can tell that I have a better quality of life!For sure!
But seriously speaking, may be its just that as usual I set high standards, that are so high after all! Or may be its just luck that number 1 proves more lucky for me than two. Sometimes I wonder if everything is 'normal' about me. But yea, I know it is. But if normal is 'average' then I'm not sure of my answer. Right now, I think of what someone who possibly reads this would say about me. Like I said in my last post, I hate it when people think its their fundamental right to judge me.(Hell!!its mine!...nah...not really!) Well if you really are thinking something about me, you can say it. Freedom of expression is a fundamental right as well and there's no denying it!
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
This has been running in my mind so much that I realised I needed to vent it out of my system. I don't know if I should publish this, cos I've got quite critiqued for being so public about my private life, by a couple of good friends, plus may be even you will understand just in case you get to lay your eyes on this post. They say its a free world and all. But damn it!I cant say one thing without being judged and dissected and analysed. Sometimes I feel like I've been perpetually strapped to the brain mapper or something.
For one thing, in my opinion I'm a relatively law abiding member of society, which means I don't do radical things like cut my hair short and colour it red . Neither do I do something like give up my super secure job just to sit home and write a book. I also am not 32 and rich and single and a powerful corporate counsel in love with a man 6 years younger than me. I don't walk around being atheist or agnostic or anything. Ya, I still believe that God will poke my eyes at night if I do something wrong. I still have not taken a drag from a ciggi or a puffed from a joint. I'm not "cool" if any of the above falls under the definition. Damn it!!Its long since I even had a beverage more interesting that the tea from the stupid stainless steel glass at work(here they believe at my grade, I dont even deserve a china cup and saucer).
I live a non-obtrusive boring life, with my greatest time pass being intently overhearing the banter on the table across from mine. Be it at work, where some of the guys here discuss their cholestrol levels and if they did their morning walk. Or another person who is competing with a female colleague in acquiring jewellery in dowry for his daughter. The fights between them usually relate to who needs to save more because she is Tam-bram and has 2 daughters or because he is Golti with a need to fulfill his daughters dream of going to "foreign country". Sometimes I hear some stupid conversation at a coffee shop or a restaurant which usually leaves me wondering whether I sound as silly or ever sounded as silly.
I am still grappling with completing my education. I'm not saying that one needs to be an expert juggler or anything. But I admit it really requires a substantial amont of motivation to look at more print once you get home from office, where you've already read enough monotonous print. I may also be a bit wierd in a way. To chase Bharatanatyam though I lack in totality the grace or the body for it. But since my brain does not get the point, it's intent on chasing its dream and I plithely oblige. I can't handle another one of those battles within my head. So sometimes its just better to shut up and do what your brain insists on doing.
Looking at myself, I don't even wear fun clothes. Here where I work, people think western formal is as good as being 'indecent' or 'vulgar'. Those words have oiginated from 3 generations before me and I can almost hear the words as I type them, hissing, echoing in my ears in heavily 'tamilian' accented voices. I'm not even the type to carefully match jewellery to my clothes. I know that makes me sound more boring than Eve- the female robot in Walle, but what to do? Thats how terrible my graph of evolution looks like.
I'm not a blogger who has some 112 comments..leave alone a 112 even 12 comments on my post! I don't think I ever do anything which ever attracts attention, except talking aloud to myself ocassionally, at which people around pucker up their faces as if I've landed here straight from Pluto or something!!!But still no matter what I do, I have eyes and ears and sometimes even hands and feet set on me, all ready to devour me. I know I've made myself sound so vulnerable. But I swear- no exagerration here.
I also believe in the right to privacy being the most fundamental right. By that I definitely mean able to publicly display affection without those gaping, gawking eyes on me. I mean being able to write about anything I please without being evaluated on my standards of adherence to morality or principles or such idealistic things, which sometimes makes people think of me as the diametric opposite of what I truly am - a pretty nice girl who is just so human after all, yet being discussed by fellow humans as if I am a specimen of research and analysis.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Though I know how bad at that I am,
Just you and me and a sweet lil prance,
Its still my dream, my man.
Sometimes, when my world comes crashing down,
When I think I have nowhere else to go,
Its so badly then that I want you around,
To be the sea, into which my tears flow.
When the weather's nice, I think of you,
I long to walk holding hands,
Beside the sea a pretty blue,
Along the golden sands.
When my mood lifts I want to hear,
I want to see,
You, my darling, my dear.
But I wonder if you think of me,
I wonder if you remember,
Or I'm just a tiny drop in the sea,
That is my gravest fear.
Tosses and turns in the boat,
And still I sing my song,
But you struggle to stay afloat,
And then I am wrong!
I don't know how far we've come,
Or how much we have to go,
But tosses and turns in the boat,
And you struggle to stay afloat.
I stick my hand out,
I think I can pull you up,
But thats where you choose to stay,
Thats how you go away.
But I still long for a song,
I want to hold hands and dance,
I still want a walk in the rain,
But for you, it's all a strain.
So I watch from the boat as you sink,
As you disappear between the waves,
That's the end, you choose to give,
For all those memorable days.
Friday, September 19, 2008
1.What have you realized recently?
That no shampoo be it Dove or Loreal or whatever else really anti frizzes my hair or caresses my lovely curls, it just makes things worse and may be I’ll start graying fast…Oh my God!!!panic mode- I’m switching to sheekakai.
2.Have you given your first kiss away?
That sounds like the old newspapers I ‘give away’ to the Kabaddiwalah…
3.If you were to be stranded on a deserted island, who are the 11 blog buddies you would take?
First of all I don’t get the logic of this question in as much as, how can I be stranded on a deserted island and take 11 blog buddies.
But to keep the spirit of answering this, I am myself quite new to blogging world…got some of the ones I like on my blog roll:
Raghav of random musings for his immaculate travelogue style(may be we’ll buy the island and develop tourism and give him the contract for writing the brochures!!!)
Sarma of the den of drums and dreams for many many reasons…one being that he might need to find the time and inspiration to write (which he’s almost given up) and which he’ll find in plenty on the deserted island ;-)
Harry of harry’s ocean that lovely romantic poetry that he writes. And May be because he is the only ‘romantic fool’ apart from Merci and me.
Merci for her advertiser’s ideas..(remember I’m going to buy the island?)
But I also got a couple of friends…with whom I’d like to be stranded on a deserted island.(God!!! that sentence sounds so wrong!!!!)
4. Where is the place you want to go the most?
Varanasi I think…open a dance school there, purchase a sweet stall, teach at BHU and settle down!!!
5. If you have one dream to come true, what would it be?
Perform to a packed audience at the Nataraja temple in Chidambaram. The day I do that, I swear, I’ll be ready to leave this world!
6. Do you believe in seeing the rainbow after the rain?
Literally yes, that’s what my physics teacher taught me. I never bothered questioning it. But figuratively, I’m not sure. I think I’ve stood soaking in the rain too much. I kinda enjoy it. Even the mess that the rain leaves. May be I’ll love the rainbow when it comes too…But I’ll still love the rain. A hot cuppa something, mirchi bajjis, my lilac umbrella large enough for 2 to huddle…Damn!!!I love the rains!
7. What are you afraid of losing the most now?
It will always be the ability to inspire and be inspired!
8. If you win $1 million, what would you do?
I’d love to spend a bit of it on food. But the issue is I never never lose the weight I gain. So may be I’ll buy an Oil field!
9. If you meet someone that you love, would you confess to him/her?
I cant first love then meet. I need to meet and then love. And by then I guess it will be more than obvious!
10. List out 3 good points about the person who tagged you.
I don’t know her personally and all, but
· Fabulous writer
· I feel she never hesitates in saying, rather writing what she thinks…(Sweetie, I love that about you)
· Kinda generous with her nice commentsJ
11. What are the requirements that you wish from your other half?
Aha!!! This could be an essay question for a hundred marks.
Love me, and be very very very expressive about it. Understand the riddles in my sentences, the anger beneath my calm voice, the humour in my placid sentences. Should understand that he means a world to me. Should not let his ego come in the way of us and should never ever let go of me….
Hmmm….after all it’s a wish!!! And most times I say ‘I wish’ it means its close to impossible!
12. What type of people do you hate the most?
Love this one: the ones that lack modesty, that lack the guts to be forthright and the knack to be so!, specially the ones that stay away from sugar because they will get fat and instead say they hate sweets!!!
13. What is the one thing you can’t live without?
Love!!!I’ll say it till my dying breath!
14. If you have faults, would you rather the people around you point out to you or would you rather they keep quiet?
'If' I have faults??Does some actually believe that I'm a perfect 100? Nay...Am not such a sport. Am not so brave about criticism. But if its well said, its well taken!
15. Are you a shopaholic or not?
I don’t think I’m a shopaholic and all. You know, that word kinda disturbs me…reminds of alcoholic!! But ya I love to shop and I say it’s therapeutic!
16. Find a word to describe the person who tagged you.
Merci : the Merciful!!!duh no!! one word is too less…she is quite a sweet thing actually.
17. If you have a chance, which part of your character you would like to change?
I could do with being a bit more of a social animal…I’m so picky about who I like…that’s half the problem.
18. What’s the last shocking thing you’ve seen or heard?
Shocked? May be God sent me down with a shot of anesthesia that will last me a life time!!!
19. Would you rather have love but no money or money but no love?
Love, any day!!!the lonliness kills me!Thats the one thing that makes waking up worth it!
Ok now that I’m done blowing my trumpet, I’m tagging:
den of drums and dreams…write please!write!
Sunday, September 14, 2008
First of all I'd like to tell you, vodafone does not as promised, follow you everywhere you go. Because it does not even follow me from my home to the conference room at my work place, (which is in the heart of the capital city of Tamil Nadu, leave alone the home of some monkey in a Godforsaken tropical rainforest in Zaire) where if in my blasted luck I should get a phone call on my cell phone, that I choose to answer, I have two options:
1. yell into the phone, which will in fact defeat the purpose of Graham Bell's invention, and will instead make me audible to the person who has called without the aid of the modern day invention.
2. make me the author of Meghadhootam (part 2) that will necessitate sending a message through the blowing winds and the passing clouds to the person trying to reach me frantically to ask if i want an add on credit card from citibank.
Secondly, Dove range of hair care products, which I purchased with a greater amount of expectation than I'd probably have from my prospective partner, does not result in my hair feeling so beautiful, that I want to keep touching it. The question remains as to whether my hair is a challenge to Dove or Dove is a challenge to my hair or whether both are so unfit that my hair could serve as an alternative to scotch brite.(I need to yet find an alternative use to Dove shampoo. That makes my hair feel more useful than the Rs150+Rs150 - shampoo+ conditioner of darling dearest Dove. Or whether that is just a lack of my creativity, I cannot tell.)
Thirdly let me tell you Bournvita never gave me the 'tan or man ki shakti' or Boost was never ever the 'secret of my energy' , that kept me awake during the exams. Usually, it was the fear, that a 'best friend' would get more marks than me, that kept me awake. As I grew older it was the caffiene content in coffee or tea that kept me awake to complete the most boring 'types of winding up of companies' that constituted my Corporate law syllabus.
I'm not trying to prove that advertisements are a farce and should be banned as contributing to misleading majority population or something as fanciful, that would make the conservative school elect me as their next leader. The only thing I'm trying to tell you is that how often I've been so let down by these advertisements, like the ulta perk, i purchased with so much expectation and then cursed myself for breaching my diet for something as bad tasting as that. The list can go on.
But come on!!!I did not take the effort of writing this for this stupid purpose. The reason i'm writing is that just yesterday, I actually was benefitted from, I forget the name of that guy, you know, the one who dances around on the Dominos advertisement - Thirty minutes, nahi tho freeeeeeeeeeeee!!!! I don't live on a staple diet of pizzas. But hunger, and laziness to cook up a meal, and we resorted to the phone number of Dominos pizza. We placed our order at 9.12p.m. simple - 2 medium margharita pizzas with olives on top. I'm not sure if the guys actually went to Italy to get the olives or to switzerland to get the cheese or whereever else to get the flour for the base, because when the Pizza came at 10.18p.m. we were more than ready to exercise our fundamental right. Believe me, I have greater difficulty in remembering that the freedom of movement is a fundamental right as per Article 18 (thats the wrong Article? 15? 14?)of the Constitution of India, than remembering the - 30 minutes, nahi tho free rule.
We had called and reinforced our right. But for those of you who like me do not know, there is an indemnity clause which restricts liability to Rs.300. Anyway we ended up paying only Rs.100 for a 400 Rs. bill, and the net profit of Rs.300 atleast covers up the loss I incurred in the purchase of Dove's Extra Moisturising hair care products which did not moisturise at all.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Then it was a cry,
I strained to hear,
In the noise, my oh my!!
I knew this girl before,
I knew I’d heard this voice,
I’d felt these sobs before,
In the blaring noise.
She bled and wept,
Injured in a war,
And all the pain she kept,
Bottled in a jar.
I saw her teary eyes,
Beauty of a sort,
The light – it slowly dies,
Bringing with it, the dark.
I know, I knew this girl,
I knew from long before,
I knew I’d seen her swirl,
I’d met her at the shore.
Time has passed since then,
A while has galloped by,
I don’t know where she went,
Or what makes her cry.
I knew her so well once,
Laughed with her a lot,
But now I feel a dunce,
I feel I know her not.
I watch as she bleeds and weeps,
I watch her as she melts,
Onto my cheek a tear creeps,
She has me in her spell…
A lot of change had come,
I could see it her eyes,
What has she become?
So much of her had died.
The war still haunts her bad,
She looks weary than ever before,
The war has left her sad,
She is ebbing down below.
The wounds are still untended,
Despite the flying time,
The holes are still unmended,
And no one gives a dime!
But she has run away,
She has fled her past,
All that disarray,
Might never, never last.
But the chase never does end,
She will be chased again,
How much will she bend?
Soon she will be slain.
I can see how hard she breathes,
I can feel the pain she feels,
I see the scene she sees,
I see she needs to break free.
And hence I met her now,
Now, after these long lost years,
And though I don't know how,
I will rid her of the tears.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
One among those near permanent features is the conspicuous and almost indispensable role the Edhir-aathu maami (literally:Opposite house aunty)plays in our day to day life. Lets see how far we go:
When suddenly the head of my family is intent on scoring some brownie points so he is assured a free pass to heaven, and wishes to be present at some far off temple with the rest of the family before even the Lord wakes up, the poor Edhir Aathu maami:
a. Takes the milk from the paal kaaran(milk man) and generously accommodates it in her fridge, and returns it with a well concealed frown, when we return and wake her up from her afternoon slumber.
b. Picks up the flowers left to hang pathetically on the door handle (believe me even criminals convicted to death get a better hanging than the way my flower lady leaves the flowers to hang) and sprinkles some water to save its last remaining breaths, before it can attain salvation at the feet or the head of the Lord. (sure she thinks that she will also gain some brownie points)
c. Opens the house when the maid servant comes to do the work, and passes on only 1/1000th the instructions my Mom/Granny said to pass on to the maid.
d. Keeps a watchful eye on the house during the period of our absence, lest she misses the opportunity of grabbing some succulent piece of gossip that she can pass on at the ritualistic evening gathering for the gossipers and gossip mongers of the flat.
She becomes the official treasurer of the spare set of keys, which come in handy when I forgetfully shut the door in a hurry, with the keys inside. Trust me, she avoids a catastrophe, in so much as I am spared a hard spanking for firstly being so useless and incapable and culminate in what a hapless wife I will be one day, how ineligible I am for marriage etc etc.
She is compelled to assume the role of a guinea pig to all the horrible and not so horrible recipes my granny reads in Mangayarmalar/ watches in Saapida Vangal on Sun T.V. Mind you the torture does not end there. She is further constrained to admire my granny’s culinary skills and marvel about how the previous generation makes a far better cook that hers and about how the next generation will as usual make useless wives/mothers.(like that is the only purpose of birth!!)
And oh! the days when the milk splits on the gas stove and my Granny is done cursing the milk man or the frequent electricity cuts, the Edhir aathu maami becomes the resource for an urgent cuppa coffee for an uninvited guest.
Poor her, she should also listen to the ranting of my granny’s recent USA visit. Of course she will use the opportunity to boast about how well her son is doing at his job in California or how her daughter got a scholarship at the University of Buffalo.
Her portfolio is also requires her to salute my granny’s bargaining skills at Pondybazaar where she picked up some plastic tub for half the price at which it is sold at Saravana stores or become the target subject of envy of my granny’s immaculate taste in sarees and jewellery.
The edhir aathu maami is a companion on lonely mornings, rival when it comes to trading insider family information, guard on long holidays, guardian during the brief absence of mom, shoulder, pillar pedestal et al. And mind you its not always victimisation, we happen to be someone’s edhir aathu maami as well.
Monday, September 1, 2008
As I walked out of my office elevator this morning, Ms.Gossip Gossip (Ya I'm right!!!thats her first name and last!It pretty much defines her.) had something to say. Poor thing , the few seconds of silence in the travel from the ground to the third floor, and I felt she would just explode. Even I have felt like that many times before because:
a. someone decided to impregnate the little atmosphere in there with the scent of jasmine flowers.
b. the few times when my sixth sense functioned, I had a bad bad feeling that the lift was going to defy gravity and stand levitating in mid air. And I'm stuck all by myself, in the damp, dark space!!!(I'm hoping that sounded scary enough...atleast thats usually enough to spook me out!!!)
c. I'm stranded with dear darling E.D.(executive director- for the benefit of those who think it stands for eggs and donkeys or something) and even the molecules in the air have defied nature and crystalised as a mark of ahem...respect!!!Duh!!!Not really.As a matter of practise, I guess.
But not because I had to share a piece of the most consequential information of the day. Ofcourse Ms. G.G. was vying for spot number one among her fellow contestants. So as if her brains would just liquify under pressure, she spurted out: "Unnaku theriyuma???Saravana Stores lai inniki karthaala fire!!!"Aaaahh! What a succulent piece of crap! For the benefit of those ignorant souls who do not know about the phenomenon called Saravana Stores, kindly permit me a slight detour:
Saravana Stores is a retail scale of what would put even Harrods to utter shame. Its where man turns into mass. Where shopping becomes as fundamental to life as breathing. Where degeneration has just begun. Selling hair pins to hammers; saris to sanitary ware; bedding to beet root!!! this place is worth a visit.
Anyway, getting back, Ms.GG went on about how she saw a black cloud of flames (believe me even the guy who spotted the ice berg that wrecked the Titanic would have sounded less horrified) just as she was boiling the milk to make coffee for her husband. I'm sure she was like: "Damn the coffee!!! Look at the spiralling sensation. And Oh my God!!! I actually witnessed it. So what if i could see the twin towers collapse only on T.V. ?I can see the live version of Saravana Stores flare up!!" Not funny? I agree. So I become the first audience to the Arson event (well thats GG's version), in my own little backyard!!! Mr Psychiatrist, I've got you business.
Then came the rest of the tribe in the office who were decked and dazzling today, as if there were a competition of who was wearing the most amount of gold. You know what, anyone wants to make a loot or something, I'll tell you a secret. Just drop me an email and I'll tell you when you could ideally plan to rob the women folk at my work place. But one slight hitch. The designs are horrendous!!!You'll get the jewellery, but the worst!!! So if you are planning to give any of the stolen stuff to your girl friend/ wife/ mother, be prepared for a double bashing. For stealing and that too poor taste.(anyway we'll share the booty. At least that would save me of looking at my boss' face evry morning) They were shimmering as if today was the only day Gold was permitted, and as if there were going to be a law that had the effect of declaring that possessing gold is like possessing dope. Dear Mr. Psychiatrist, some more on the way!!!
The next one takes the cake. I finally make it to get the exmination form of a course I'm doing. needless to say, its kinda a Government of India enterprise- the Institute of Company Secretaries of India - SIRC chapter. Wow!!!that sounds like a hot guy. But wait and watch. I thank my stars at having reached in time. MISCONCEPTION. The board reads 5.45 p.m. as closing time. I'm there at 5.10. But
' Don't you know? The cash counter shuts at 5.15.'
Even then I got 5 minutes before its supposed to shut!
The guy screeches: "Girl!!!You teaching me rules? eh?"
"No Sir. Come on How can I? I'm a sweet girl! I'm not here to teach you rules. Just to get the godamn examination form."
"Don't you have change? What? You think I run a bank here? Too rich to give me change?"
I fish out all the permutations and combinations to sum up to the cost of the form. God!!!Next in line was another scandalised kid. And the meteor shower started again. I wonder what really drives these people. Dear Mr Psychiatrist, time for you to take over.
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Lurking in the dark corners,
Escaped from the captive den,
Peeping out at every passer.
Who do I get this time?
Who shall be my prey?
Look at them all standing in line,
Ah yes today is my day!
I shiver, I shudder,
I tremble with fear,
To see the lurking danger,
To see it there again.
There she is,
The worthless bitch,
There she is again,
Just where I left her last,
Just where she was slain.
Not moved an inch,
The miserable trout,
Still hurt and sore as then,
Still bleeding, still sad,
Just as she was then!
I see it come yet again,
I am its staple prey,
I see the evil in the eyes,
Just as I saw that day.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
I am not a politically intelligent creature. I do not understand the difference between being leftist or liberal. I do not care if the government is being run by one joker or another. But I am an educated, responsible citizen of this country. More over I am a human being whose, all 5 senses funtion to near perfection.Which is precisely why I am affected if Bombay's local trains explode, or the religious seperatists are having a free for all party in Gujrat or Orissa, or if the Tsunami struck Nagapattinam, or if Bihar is sinking in the floods, or if another army man laid his life down for a country of a billion people who might not even know of how painful his death was to a family member. I might sound emotional or touchy or sentimental. But hell I will!!! because thats the only thing that differentiates man from machine. I will shed a tear, because no computer can fight the war, no technology could control the tsunami, nothing could avert the serial bomb blasts. After all its a soldier fighting at the war front, and he's made of flesh and bone!
As I watched the television yesterday, I could not help but scoff at the head lines. The Tata Nano project threatened in Bengal, nearly half of Bihar seemed to be sinking, the Hindus and Christians in communal violence in Orissa, the cease fire violation yet again at the Wagah border, terrorist infiltration in the country and amidst all this chaos was a celebration. Really, I would have been a part of the party if it was for any purpose slightly more constructive than what I was witness to.
Personally, I have nothing against Mr.Chiranjeevi, and have nothing to do with his value system or his profession. But since his 'Prajarajya' is incidentally claimed to be associated with the common man, and I am nothing but common, in every sense of the word, I happen to be enraged. First the crowd had gathered there as if they were celebrating the independence of India from inequity and inequality; from dischord and disharmony. I cringe when I imagine the scale of expenses on security arrangements for the launch of his party in Tirupati. I can picturise the pandemonium amongst the devotees in the religious power house that Tirupati is. This security should have been posted at the Mumbai local rail stations, it should have been conducting rescue operations in Bihar, it should have saved the burning woman. Oh my dear Lord!!!It should have been anywhere else but here.
The news yesterday reminded me of the nursery rhyme:
London Bridge is falling down!!falling down, falling down!!
London Bridge is falling down,
My fair lady!!!
But who cared if it was falling down or sideward or rising? All that the political leaders, at least a large majority of them ( a title conferred upon them by some of our own tribe who seem to have forgetten to bring their brain out of the mother's womb and simply bow like buffaloes, not to mean any offense to the unobtrusive bovine) care about is their growing bellies of wealth and muscles of power, none of which goes into social welfare. I don't intend to be a pessimist, but to believe that our politicians are honest or humble is like choosing to be blind. So who cared if a woman went up on flames or that half a hundred people had drowned in the flood? Who cared if a sincere soldier died at war ? (as if the 18 gun salute is all he deserves) Who cared if this country or humanity was simply going to the dogs?(i think they'd do a better job of governance than the human race, with a few exceptions.) Was that necessary- Prajarajya? And I must add that the count down was definitely more euphoric than the launch of the Apollo 11!
I think more political parties in this country should be banned. I think that if the eligibility into an MBA course involves so much hard work, the criteria to judge who leads this country must be at the very least as stringent, if not more. What I saw yesterday was not just an eye-sore, it was like gangareen, and is spreading fast. And what is pathetic is that so much support is bolstered for a government who certainly more capable of sparking a communal riot than reduce inflation. Mr. Chiranjeevi, I do not intend to write you off, but what you did yesterday was no different than a movie clip. It does not reassure the men at battle that we know how precious their lives are. A fight scene may earn you billions Sir, but please don't forget its not stunt men who are standing at our border line!
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Alone, lonely and falling apart.
The bricks were coming crashing down,
I was feeling like a clown!
I look around, round and round,
And everyone seem to have found,
A hand to hold on their walk,
In the light, through the dark.
I move on with dipping spirits,
Everyone is at their wits
I can hear them laugh and howl,
I was feeling like a clown.
I stop to seek directions,
And my oh my!!! the expressions,
The looks on their face,
As if I were a disgrace.
I was lost, and knew not where to go,
My face hung even more low,
I was ready to be buried down,
I was feeling like a clown.
I stop my walk,
And hear me talk,
The million voices in my head,
Wonder what they said!
But they scoffed and jeered,
And giggled and peered,
Like a King who wore a crown,
And As if I were a clown.
As they all run past,
Fast and fast,
In a hurry towards no where,
I stand and stare,
At how who fares,
In the running race.
Each one wears a fancy frown,
Alone and down, like a clown!!!
I wonder where the held hand went,
I wonder what all this meant,
I wonder where the road would lead,
I wonder who sowed this sinful seed,
I wonder what I’m meant to do,
I wonder, I wonder who,
Sent us down,
Just to end up being a clown!!!
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Well, all that is besides the point. The primary issue of importance is that my birthday did have a surprise element, remember? (if there are any readers at all) But for those who compete with me in extending imagination, I did not turn 26 or 28 on my 24th birthday. I just turned 24. Neither did 50 people wish me. Out the five usual wishes I get, one forgot! She said she was 'lost'. And I'm not, because I still keep track of the 5 measly wishes. I'm telling you it was not such a surprise of a surprise, but a surprise nonetheless.
So Priya and me make it to dinner. At Bella Ciao. Right next to where I work, she had made it sound like the best Italian Restraunt ever. But they served Brocolli on the pizza. Who does? Well they do, and if you want to try it please go there. There is only one thing that is nice about that place, it's got a cute roof top - terrace setting where even the most unromantic couple can get into the swing. But actually that did not matter to me, because I was devoid of a romantic element, or rather even if there was one, was just missing him terribly!!!
Thats when my birthday cake came. Its the cutest birthday cake I've ever got. Will upload the picture soon, if there are any readers of my blog at all. For now I'll make do with describing it. Twas a cute little cake, just enough for Priya, me and two other nice people. Chocolate, with the prettiest pink icing I've ever ever seen. It had 2 candles stuck on it. Really it was like welcoming a two year baby girl into her third year. Thanks Priya!!!that was just so sweet of you.
And who knows me better than her, she sang me happy bithday, as she caught pics of me cutting the cake. Poor her, and ridiculous me. I don't know if its shameful to admit that my circle of friends has not undergone any change what so ever since I left college. (I think I'm growing old, contrary to my grandmother who is certain about having stayed stuck at 72 for the last seven years although atleast one of her children have turned 60 in the last 3 years. ) My solitude seemed to evince sympathy from the couple who occupied the table near us. It would be very nasty on my part if I said they were drooling at the cake. They were nice people. They actually sang as I cut the cake. And therefore I had no issues sharing my cake with them.
I think I stand corrected, and if there is anyone at all reading my blog, you know what, surprises need not necessarily come from people you know. Ah wow!!!what a preacher. I think I should write a book in competition to Kahlil Gibran's Prophet.(what d'ya say?)
Thursday, August 21, 2008
An obvious fall out of my sad saga of singlehood (not sure if its so sad, but I like alliterations....so) was the tragic triumph of the arranged marriage institution. Coming to think of it now, it reminds me of an ambulance for the following reasons:
1. it is a rescue vehicle for the singletons who like me have failed to incidentally saunter upon their love.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Suddenly my life till now seems like insignificant baggage, though I have lived close to a quarter of a century. I stand and look at it as a man with excess baggage would, critically analysing what he needs, what he wants and what he should leave behind.
With the passing of this year I leave behind many things, people and intangibles – mainly a wide spectrum of emotions. I leave behind those whom I would have loved to hold on to – wonderful people who I was probably destined to be associated with only until then. I leave behind a trail of moments that gave me immense pleasure, and those that simply wrecked me. I leave behind essentials which probably are never meant to be mine. I don’t exactly know, whether it is appropriate to say that I leave these all behind, or if simply I have lost it all. I always take pleasure in the fact I fight till the end, and therefore I can say with a certain amount of confidence that I have not been careless or reckless. There have been those situations in which extrinsic factors contributed to the brutal change in the direction I had chosen to follow. I leave behind that direction as well.
But the last year has been my debutant year of financial independence and of professional identity. It was a year in which the fundamental right to the freedom of movement was acquired by me in letter and spirit. Incidentally, it also gave me my first flight journey. It has been the year that suddenly made me more of an adult than I was at 21 or 22 or 23. It gave me a special designation, a responsibility and a different playground. It was in this year that something really dawned on me. I came to understand what I stood for, or rather what I would stand for. My exposure to many things came this year, and one of that was Vishaka Hari. What a performer!!! What also I carry ahead are a few people I met and who have stuck on. What I specially love to carry are those who have been with me over the years, and continue to be with me.
I don’t know if I am particularly looking forward to tomorrow. I am not even expecting a surprise. In fact I don’t think I know of any one who would care to plan one for me. I don’t even know if that would be a thumb’s down for me. In fact I don’t even know if that matters.
I don’t know what to expect the coming year. But I sure have a list of things that I want. For one thing, I want proof that nice things happen to nice people, and not the opposite, because all of the last year I only saw the nice things happen to the mean people. And all my ‘nicety’ had the last laugh!! Last year also saw what I call the phenomenon of ‘lateral expansion’, thanks to the adipose tissue enlargement. I have been meaning to work on that for a long time. Honest to God, I have. But when sugar and candy beckon so lovingly, when it’s the perfect solution for a bad mood swing or the perfect medicine for a broken heart(?), there’s no way I can turn down such a juicy offer.
I stand yet again at a new thresh hold, with a lot of inspiration and aspiration. I think I’m ready to face the winds yet again. I don’t mean to be cynical, as I’m often misunderstood to be. I’ve unpacked and repacked, and I’m set to go.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Certain things and places are dearest to me and as an ode to all of them, here goes:
The railway station:
Being at a train station always gives me the jitters. I had to worry about whether my I was carrying my ticket, whether it was booked for the right day and date, whether I had reached the station at the right time. I verified by pulling my ticket out a million times and then put it back only to check for it again, as if mysteriously, it will disappear into platform ‘twelve and three quarters’ or a stray magic wand would have changed the date and time printed on the face of it. I also nurse fears about whether I had packed the necessary things, my books especially, if I was going on study leave and whether I will be able to enter the train with all my things, though my luggage was never out of the lines of control. And last, but not the least thanks to the sleazy men that only God knows why He really created, whether I will be able to board the train with most of dignity in place.
This was a place that brought me contrasting emotions depending upon my purpose of being there. As I was leaving for home, it was a special feeling, I looked forward to going home, where I would be the celebrated iconic figure. Self praise is one thing, but when I hear my mother bragging about the university rank I recently secured, or the moot my team recently won or the internship I had secured with a law firm, it made me feel like God Himself. Those are the times when I choose to completely concur with the theory of Aham Brahmaasmi (I am the Brahman). Not to mention the times when I return to Pune, so alone at the station, so unwelcome in the city, so uncared for, yet where I will survive and be King!
The auto wallahs deserve a special auto ratna award. They will, except for an errant few, run on the standard route and will charge the appropriate sum, unlike most of their brethren in Madras, where like a parallel to the world wrestling federation runs the biggest farce in terms of auto fares!!!
Kamala Nehru Park
This place has a fond space in my heart, as being the park where most of my attempts to shape up took place. I have run, jogged, walked and stretched in the precincts of this spacious garden, and watched the retired couples brace their lives post sixty with such hearty enthusiasm. The naariyal pani (tender coconut) seller outside became the significant provider of the only healthy food I consumed. Then were the numerous ‘chat’ shops a friend I always munched over, the kachchi dabeli stall which sold the second best kachchi dabeli in the city and the sweet little Dattatreya Temple, whose presiding deity became the answerer of most of my prayers for good marks, winning moots and ultimately having secured a good job. Then was the mithai dukaan around the corner…Am racking my brains to remember the name…was a R.M. Ghadke and sons if I remember right that sold Pedas and displayed them so well that I was mostly drooling at the pedas and most often than not gave into my desire and nullified the effect of my exercise. Soon, I discovered a little lane that turned in left so that I could avoid the fatal attraction.
Walks in lanes of Prabhat Road
I have a theory I often share. If you are bored, there are few things you can do: go for a movie/ go shopping/ eat out. But when you are bored and penniless, there is even less that you can do, and one of that is just what Kanksha and I did. We almost had the map of the bylanes of Prabhat Road by the back of our hands, walking round and round and round discussing everything under the sun. And if it had rained the trees formed a wet, green canopy above us, and the damp roads and the humid weather!!! Ah that was life….
Kaka Halwai and Chitale Bandhu Mithai Wale
Well, two sweet shops that rule the world!!! Kaka Halwai was the greatest factor for my never losing weight, and Chitale Bandhu was the reason my parents looked most forward to my home coming visits, when I would never fail to carry their favourite Bhakarwadi. If you, dear reader don’t know what I’m talking about, I would suggest that you make a visit to the city solely for the purpose, as no amount of my explanation will do the sweet-tangy-salty savoury any justice.
The numerous Rasvanthi Grahs
It essentially means juice centres and in the context of Pune, refers to the umpteen sugar cane juice centres in the city, which will amaze you with the absence of a single fly. A tall glass is simply divine, and for those who have the taste, a dash of lime and ginger provides a variant from the standard. Priced nominally at 5 Rs.- 6 Rs for a glass, and offering health and taste simultaneously, it is adequate reason why a true nationalist should start an “anti foreign cola” campaign. That brings me to:
Of course, the city of Pune has all the features of a modern city, with shopping malls mushrooming all over. But to pamper the true shopper in you, visit Lakshmi Road. The variety of trinkets, earrings, hair clips, bands, bangles, hand bags, chappals…You can go there almost every day, and yet not be bored and get lost in the lanes of where I discovered paradise. The splash of colour in the bed spreads and curtains on display is a sure shot cure to a bad mood swing. There is also a shop which name I don’t remember…which sells the world’s best plastics, tubs, buckets - all shapes and sizes. That’s where Kanksha and I spotted the enchanting- white with black flowered dinner set. God!!! We would have both agreed to get married to any donkey, if the dinner set came as a gift or dowry!!
The Rainy Mornings:
When class is at 7.15 a.m. and its been pouring without a break for the last 4 days, when the roads are water logged, and the leaves of the trees are dripping, when the umbrella is not sufficient shelter and when the thought of water now makes you sick, we still needed to get to class at 7.15. A cuppa chai at the canteen after the first class, or the tapri wallah over a warm smoke and conversation for my friends, and over simply conversation for me, was what woke us up after the first lecture, through which most of us continued our sleep.
The Zillion quaint eateries:
Actually, I would have to dedicate entire chapters to the zillion quaint eateries we ate at. But for the sake of brevity:
Vohuman Café(spelling mistake?)
The world’s best cheese omlet. I only managed to eat there a couple of times, because the guilt of being a Brahmin and consuming an egg created waves of high frequency disturbances in my brain. So the refrain became better that the indulge.
The Nameless Kachchi Dabeli Wallah on the corner turning of J.M.Road
Now this has a story as well. It goes that I had the debit card of a bank which only had two A.T.Ms in the entire city of Pune. The nearest was about two kilometres from my hostel. So if I ever needed money, Kanksha and I would embark on a project- to walk and walk back. Why we walked and decided not to take a bus or auto is a question I would answer in Kansha’s voice: because walking rids thighs of cellulite!! But as we talked and walked, the combination of our hunger and the inviting aroma, would beckons us to enjoy the Dabeli there. Sigh!!!memories….
Fantasy was the owls flocked. And the nocturnal binge in strawberry thick shake was the factor that egged on the non-alcohol-drinkers to be awake at those ungodly hours. This place is shut tight in the day time, as the owner believes in catering to the niche population of owls that did not have sclerotic vision.
The biggest attraction at Koregaon Park, apart from the park and Osho’s ashram German Bakery is a way of communicating to the vegetarians of the world that the cause of vegetarianism is totally worth and completely rewarding. The desserts here are worth a life time and you could also chance upon a hot doped greek lost in the figments of his imagination.
The place where I was exposed to the world’s best paranthas, the world’s best rajma chawal and the world’s best dal maakhni. And if I forget the Shahi Lassi I can well be convicted for a crime that may be even the President would never grant clemency for. The large glass is a challenge and a bigger one for me than resisting the melting butter on my hot Parantha that Kanksha always eyed disapprovingly.
Kanksha called it Poppinos and that makes it sound more appetising than its real name. the place where I had juice of the combination of apple, guava and banana, not to forget the Naachos with cream cheese…. Am sure hungry….
Again an olden-golden bakery that sold cream rolls and other snacks that are worth a life time. The biscuits were a marvel too. Biscuits remind me of:
Shrewsbury at Kayani
Seems to be handed down to Pune from the Colonial era, the Shrewsbury biscuits are actually worth a special birth. The shop will shut at the stroke of eight.(or six?) and even if you go down on your knees pleading, there will be no mercy. I told you, it’s worth another janma.
Am sure you must be wondering why every soul in that city of bliss is not over weight. Well that’s a question even I have pondered over, rather pointlessly. Pune is like a game of trasure hunt with little secrets waiting to be discovered. A city of convenience, of absolutely no pretensions. More so a city where life is at its best or can I say best ‘est’?
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Thanks to the end of my dependency, I have blessed myself with something that in effect is more detrimental, than developmental. I even feel a pang of guilt about referring to it as a necessary evil, because it in fact is not so necessary after all. Well all this build up is not to unravel some 9th wonder of the world. Nine, being the choice because that would make it more wondrous than the 8th , which is in effect is superlative to the 7th. To break the suspense, the object of all this melodrama is my newly acquired vahana, Sanskrit for vehicle. Duh!!! The build up was not worth it. Was it? And to top the disappointment let me clarify that I’m not even referring to a snazzy Lexus or a breathtaking 400c.c bike. Beginnings are humble they say, and mine completely adheres to the law (for once!), but that does not have any effect in terms of camouflaging my pride. Well if my sweet Ganheshji could so proudly flaunt his little mouse, I think nothing in the world can snatch me of my right in being pompous about my Black(and ttchch..slightly dented already!!!) Honda activa.
Well, now that the protagonist of my story has been successfully launched, I can move on to how I nearly I ran, or rather rode into a whizzing auto. And you, dear reader, must appreciate my humility in admitting that the fault was completely mine. But behind this averted catastrophe is a story of the past.
The past – when I was still a pedestrian, who had to wait at the zebra crossings to cross the road, the one who had to often slip into the role of a self assumed traffic police to make it alive to the other side of the road. The times when I could stop open mouthed and wide eyed at a woman with appalling make – up or stare fondly at the doggie at the window of a plush car, or gape at the sky wondering if it would rain today, or indulge in a conversation with my alter ego, or stop and stare at the display window of a shop that had branches almost in every city, was in the least a special attraction, yet for no reason excited me to know that it was going to come up in my neighbourhood, or to stand and smell the scent of the roses in the garlands in the flower market, or to swear loudly in English that was never understood by some vagabond who passed a remark that I assumed had to be lewd or just to watch the faces of the other pedestrians and commuters twitch with expression as they engaged in a conversation either with themselves or with the invisible person over the wires or the wireless blue tooth(wonder what made it a tooth and that too blue!!) of the cell phone. Walking gave me a part of the day with myself. To come to terms with my day that was closing in. It allowed me to look around and absorb a part of the world I lived in.
I still have not outgrown that habit, which is the reason for the possible collision. A house had been decked with lighting- a decorated drive way- a playing band. A wedding? An engagement? A party? What was it? I had to know, and in all my inquisitivity about what was happening or going to happen in the life a stranger, I was blissfully unaware of the auto honking at me, trying to distract me from my distraction. And so it had happened.
But this does not mean that all is lost. I enjoy scooting around the city on two wheels. I love the wind on my skin. I love the symbol affixed on my vehicle that announces that I’m a lawyer. I love being able to reach my work place without incurring the wrath and curse of the auto wallahs. There are many things I love, yet many others I’ve lost.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
There are some people I cannot bear to see go. I cannot just stand there and wave a cheery good bye and hug and kiss in the modern style, whilst advising the other to ‘take care’. It was something that had become more habitual than meaningful. Many times the people who tell you that, will definitely not be the ones around you when you really need the ‘care’. Yet, the ‘muaah’ ‘muaahs’ on either side of the cheek bear a close semblance to motherly love, care and compassion.
Having said that I should admit that I am one of the worst ‘bye’ say‘ers’ in the whole world. For I don’t exactly implement the hug and kiss gesture, but will stand there and look and if you would care to notice, you would notice my battle with my tears. I am a law graduate, and have been tutored to learn the skills of separating ‘law’ from ‘fact’. Still, when it comes to the ‘goodbye’ word, I feel like a scrambled egg, the white and the yellow, all mixed up. Someone sang that ‘goodbye’s the hardest word to say’ and if he came alive before me even once I would definitely hug him and kiss him and tell him that he could not have been more correct.
I hate to go, and to let go. Given the opportunity I would really love to keep the favourite people of my life, around me in close proximity and accessibility. But since that is hardly plausible, I am repeatedly forced like today to pack my loved one(mind you I have no issue in using the word, although it sounds a tad mushy) into an auto and then run back home into the bathroom letting myself loose, now that there is no obstacle in the way of my emotion. For a long time after they have left I will brood, an occasional tear welling up in the corner of my eye, wishing that the two days could have been slightly longer.
If this is the outcome of a temporary good bye, one can easily fathom the ‘goodbyes’ of finality. When I know there is never going to be a next time. I vouch for the fact that those are the worst, and when it has been accelerated by facts and circumstances that are simply beyond one’s control, it will have the same effect as a death by slow poisoning. (Indeed I have never experienced it to draw the parallel, but what do they call it? Literary license?) If it were in my control, I am sure I would definitely nail the person, without hurting him at all, of course, to the spot he currently occupied so as to prevent his going. But these are only wishes I can dream of, being sure without an aorta of doubt that it will never come true.
So I have had my little ‘dramas’ at places of all sorts, which I shall not publicly announce in my own self interest. Notably, I have been involved in these performances ever since I was a child, and age has not exactly contributed in simplifying things for me. The people I have met, liked and loved (and I don’t mean it in strictly the romantic sense) most often know how much they’ve meant for me. I do not however know if they understand the pain I’ve associated with the word. I relive the little moments I have spent with them. It will be always be a fresh bunch of flowers. To all of them with whom I am in touch and out of, for reasons we know and don’t, all I can say is a hearty ‘miss you’. And I mean it!
Thursday, July 10, 2008
In the name of convenience or whatever it is, people have begun to assess a thing’s value in terms of the number of varied uses it can be put to. One such ordinary example is the mobile phone which is even more versatile than Kamalahasan in Dasavatharam, performing ten different roles. It doubles up as a watch, calendar, calculator, alarm, radio, camera, computer, MP3 player, torch light, route indicator, play mate, and in the ultimate analysis even becomes the soul mate to the lonely loner, who apart from his cell phone is quite alone indeed. Phew!!! Who said Babel inspired Kamalahasan? I have sufficient reason to think the cell phone did.
And it was precisely this modern day addiction that became my strongest rival each morning. Graham Bell might probably think he would have made a greater contribution to man kind by not inventing the telephone, and I tend to agree with him. Well after a great deal of playing and replaying the ring tones on my handset, I selected the least annoying one, lest I wake up with a frown each morning. Left to me, I’d say that one should wake up, and not be woken up.
This morning was no different. The alarm went off as usual at 6.30, and I turned it off. Just last night I had told myself that I should wake up and go for a walk in the morning. My body gets almost no exercise, given the work pressure at office. I rarely even stand up from my seat to get a good stretch. So this was a routine promise I made every night. The promise was to myself- by me to myself. The two are the same, aren’t they? Me and myself. Well prima facie yes, but evidently not.
And that was what made this morning out of the ordinary. I commanded myself. “Wake up!” I was almost screaming within, emanating a higher frequency than even the milk cooker which threatened to drive me deaf each day with its high pitch whistle, and which I believe was the sole cause for my grand mother’s deafness. Well I was ordering myself, chiding myself, then coaxing, then pleading, then threatening and went through a metamorphosis of emotions before I simply drew the rug over me ears, buried my head deeper into my pillow, and slept.
What strikes me is that I am unable to implement a command that comes from within. I usually have issues in complying with directions from my parents. “ Oil your hair”, “avoid junk food”, “study hard”, “wake up early in the morning and study”, “drink a glass of milk each night before you sleep”. These statements irritated me, when they came as instructions from an external source. But this was no different. I had definitely wanted to wake up. I had definitely wanted to lose weight. I had genuinely wanted to try to cut my phone bill. But the ultimate outcome of wanting it from within, pitted against instructions I got seemed no different. I did not satisfy either.
I have a strong belief in the concept of ‘will’. I think it can achieve even the impossible. I thought that ‘will’ controlled the outcome of most of my actions and efforts. But it dawns upon me that even ‘will’ is controlled by some other force, which in my ignorance I am incapable of perceiving.
My thoughts went on a little bit more. When even my own will does not influence my own actions, how easily I had expected it to control another’s actions. How stupidly I assume the whole world should play by my rules, live by my standards, meet my expectations. I am not even my own master. I am a slave to something or someone I am not even aware of.
Questions, they rise and fall,
They zip past, they crawl,
They fly, they float,
They sizzle, they soak.
Suddenly light, then for days at end
I live in a blackening den,
I surface for a momentary breath,
And then make my home the sea’s depth,
I know not truth from false,
I know not the devils dance,
I know not the angels sweet face,
I know nothing, I am dazed.
Sunday, July 6, 2008
I wondered what her worry could be. The signal had turned green for both of us, and it was time for us to move. But I still wondered what the tears could have been for. To me it felt like she was losing a part of herself with each precious drop…how much more of her had gone?
I checked my own phone for the time. With the coming of the mobile phone I never felt the necessity to wear a wrist watch. Back home my grandmother had always looked at my bare hands each day as I left for work, staring rather disapprovingly. I did manage to purchase a pair of gold bangles as a respectable investment, but never got around to adorning myself with it. The time was closing in on seven, the sun almost down leaving the city like a pre-heated oven. I was in no particular rush, as I did not think I had to put in effort to push the globe by a few inches. Things had been rushing past me, faster than the seemingly slow traffic driven by impatient drivers. Everyone seemed to be in a great hurry, as if they had Cindrella’s dead line to meet. I could not fathom what they were racing towards. My own life was racing past me. It was eight months since I had joined my first job, my prize possession. I had acquired it of my own. And I had relished every moment since I walked into the impressive building on Nungambakkam High Road. But the days rolled into weeks, then months and now my day had become rather mundane. I even took the same route home everyday.
The day had been tiring and as I neared home I had to sing aloud to keep myself awake. Soon night would fall, followed by the rising sun. It amazed me as to how without an effort, the entire globe went a full circle.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Truthfully, I’d have been happier off with just pen and paper. Mind you I have accepted change enough to think that feather and ink are too complicated a way of writing (not to mention my acquired fear of birds and feathers).
When irony strikes, it strikes in a way that makes things all the more ironical. I bought a laptop in November 2007, and did a great job of maintaining it without even a fingerprint until recently. One fine day, I read an old friends blog, and decided that even I had amazing talent which I should not waste. And so I decide to utilise my talent at the cost of using my laptop, which is going to depreciate in value anyway. I did enough research to get an internet connection. I finally got one based on cable. I wish to believe I am possessed with all the information I ought to have. After all the right to information has become a fundamental right, and one to which I dedicate most of my working time. And so I asked the fellows marketing it a million questions about the product they were selling, though I really did not understand much of the speed details they were giving me. 256kbps sounded like a good figure, and more fun than a 1000kbps…ummm..that would become 1 mb right? See I am improving…And they gave me answers politely enough not to scoff at the time capsule in which I was stuck.
Despite my clear instructions explaining to them that they should not come to do any installation work during the convenient hours of the day, in order to avoid my grand mothers growing inquisitivity about what really the internet is,(she kinda thinks its like alcohol- its immoral whether you do it before 18 or after) they still landed up exactly when I told them not to. But they managed to do the work under her prying eyes. Poor thing she must have thought it as bad as bringing an egg into a good Brahmin household, but see technology seems to have had its effect on even her.
We then set to the task of finally having the internet on my laptop. I’m sure even she (my laptop) feels like a complete woman now, make up et all. Must have felt so barren without the world wide web accessible to her. Everyone speaks about downloading movies and videos and games and music. Ha!!! guess what my first download was? Not such a tough question after all. It was a phokat anti virus package, and that’s what gave me the inspiration to write this, even though I don’t know how to type, without searching for the keys( so the inspiration must have been considerable). Which moron said that money was of great value? He should have met me. He would be amazed at how I manage to be inspired by the worthless…ahem…I stand corrected…Priceless, it is. But ah!!! the download complete window on my screen, felt like it was extending its hands out to give me a trophy in appreciation. I had done it!!!