March 31, 2005
If you can put down all your worldly troubles in a 100 words, life is being good to you. Have faith and live another day!
March 30, 2005
Pink footprints of various sizes lead
up to the bathroom door
Where they give way to magenta puddles
on the milk-white floor
I smile at the laughter outside, but shudder
at the cries of “encore”
Armed with a mop, a bucket, and phenyl
I play Holi once more!
The colour refuses to get out of my cuticles and ears, both of which are sore with endless washing (Lady Macbeth-ishtyle)
Call me Pinkspill.
The film deals with homosexuality without being either in-your-face or squeamish. The audience rarely burst into uncomfortable laughter, which is a great achievement for any director. Most dramatic moments were underplayed, and no characters suffered from exaggerated heroism. I’ve been told I seem to like all the movies I watch, but I’m beginning to feel that most of them are made with some kind of vision, which one should respect and appreciate, especially if Mallika Sherawat and Emraan Hashmi have nothing to do with the movie.
I came back to office to complete work, and took off an hour later with the boss and a couple of others to see yet another movie. (If you want to work in my office, mail me at name(dot)surname(at)organization.com) This one was “Chai Paani”. Amazing attention to detail in this one, not to mention the Delhi setting that made me nostalgic (Yeh jo bandhan hai who kabhi toot nahin sakta…)
Zafar Karachiwaala looked hassled throughout, just as he was supposed to. However, the suit of righteousness did not fit him too well. Konkona established her acting prowess in the first two scenes, playing two diametrically opposite characters beautifully. However, both were such mind-numbingly regressive portraits of womanhood that I felt like throwing my chappals at the screen! The movie was structured quite well, but that’s about it. And oh, Gaurav Kapoor acts with his eyes, something I haven’t seen for some time now. (I remember when my schoolmates swooned over him the day he came to host a music competition. He was three feet taller than the Principal.)
There was also a chocolate pastry eaten, about which I feel so guilty that I don’t want to talk about it.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is just another day at work for yours truly.
Note to God: Thanks for a great boss!
March 28, 2005
On an unrelated note, Happy Birday to my crazy best friend, and may she and I see each other through our funerals. (Sheesh!)
Note to SB: I spelt disappointed right without the spellchecker. I’m learning!
March 27, 2005
I feel old and stern and quite outdated this weekend. It is the first time I’m feeling this way.
I’ve played party pooper and made a few friends dislike me this weekend, and I hope they will see it was for their own good.
I’ve also lost faith in the good sense of some people I looked up to, and will have to realign my relationship with them.
I’ve learned that there is something like too much enjoyment, and carpe diem is a weekend philosophy not applicable to entire lifetimes. I’m looking for a weekday philosophy now.In hindsight, all this makes a lot of sense. It was the weekend of death and resurrection. How nicely Holi snuggled itself between Good Friday and Easter. And then they say there is no single God!
March 25, 2005
That questions the distempered part;
Beneath the bleeding hands we feel
The sharp compassion of the healer's art
Resolving the enigma of the fever chart.
Our only health is the disease
If we obey the dying nurse
Whose constant care is not to please
But to remind us of our, and Adam's curse,
And that, to be restored, our sickness must grow worse.
The whole earth is our hospital
Endowed by the ruined millionaire,
Wherein, if we do well, we shall
Die of the absolute paternal care
That will not leave us, but prevents us everywhere.
The chill ascends from feet to knees,
The fever sings in mental wires.
If to be warmed, then I must freeze
And quake in frigid purgatorial fires
Of which the flame is roses, and the smoke is briars.
The dripping blood our only drink,
The bloody flesh our only food:
In spite of which we like to think
That we are sound, substantial flesh and blood-
Again, in spite of that, we call this Friday good.
(The only lines from Eliot’s Four Quartets that I ever understood)
March 23, 2005
I got out of the car, and walked towards Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri. I was wearing a red top and a red-and-white striped skirt. The bottoms of my ear lobes were red from pinching, because I’d been trying to simulate the horrifying moment of unbearable pain for many hours now.
I’d been to Zaveri often, but never on a grim mission. My mom held my hand, and enquired where the ear-piercing uncle sat. Uncle was a fair, portly old man who was an ear-piercing veteran and had pierced the ears of the vain ape from whom my great-great-grandmother had descended.
Everything is busy and solemn in a big shop when you go to get yourself executed. The golden light falling on golden ornaments all turned into molten yellow for my tear-laden eyes.
Uncle was located. His hands quivered. He would retire any day now, and we were lucky to have him pierce my ears, my mom said. He never smiled, that uncle. He inspected my earlobes, and pulled out a tube of ointment, with three tiny golden orbs at its opening. Preparations for a three-eared girl?
He turned my face aside, and told me he’d mark my ears with a pen, so that he got the earring in the right place. That makes sense, I thought. The pen hurt a bit. The nib must have been sharp. And then the other ear was marked symmetrically.
Now for the real thing. I bit my lip and tears flowed freely in anticipation. Done already, he said. I touched my ear. A golden rod passed through each earlobe. I wailed in a mixture relief and anger at the betrayal.
My mother beamed. One major maternal milestone crossed! She bought me a big fat colouring book from a Janpath bookstore as a reward for being so brave (yeah right!). It was called “My Busy Book” and it had a pink cover. I was happy, and soon stopped breathing in desperate, sobbing gulps.
I have wasted so much of my life in being afraid of small things.
March 22, 2005
Now usually, I do not get any mail. When mails from Manmohan Singh or Dawood Ibrahim arrive, someone is usually sitting at my door waiting to deliver it when I deign to come home. So I was alarmed. Either the government or the underworld must be short of cash.
Today I decided to visit the post office and collect the letter. The watchman told me where the post office was. The office boy told me where the post office was. These happened to be two separate locations in the city, so I sought the help of a motorcycle-waala friend to go post office hunting. We found a post office hiding behind a mail van after having gone around a market complex in circles six times (one more round and motorcycle friend and I would be in eternal trouble!) The post office was half the size of the van, and the two nice people on the other side of the sarkari desk told me that my post office was in the village near XYZ temple.
So off we went 4 kilometers in the other direction. The village has three temples: ABC, PQR, and XYZ. All of them being 25 metres away form each other, most villagers do not know which is which. After asking half the men, women, and children of the village, we located the correct temple. However there was no post office. Not even a man sitting on the road at a desk with a red and white flag, which should have been the proportionate size of a village post office.
My friend called out to a kid sitting in a first floor room in a nearby building. “Where is the post office?” The kid pointed into a lane too narrow for even a bike. We walked up to the “post office”, which was marked by an unofficial looking hand-painted sign that our first floor guide must have painted hinself. My friend looked aghast, and I felt like an evil criminal for all the dust and the sunshine the poor chap had to consume to get me here.
I pulled apart the curtain in the doorway to see two beds, a kitchen and three children in the “post office”. A woman walked up to me and sharply asked why I was there. I explained, and she shook her head at my tardiness in arriving to collect my mail. I craned my neck to see a small desk in a corner stacked with 5 envelopes, a file, and 100 official notices like the one I had received. Apparently, nobody is ever home in my village!
She ruffled through her documents, and said the letter had probably been sent back. I spotted a postcard in light blue ink and knew who the culprit was! Joker!!!!! Home address????
My friend did a good job of resisting the urge to murder me. I focussed on the beautiful picture of Thekaddy Lake and tried to drive murderous thoughts out of my head too.
Anyone who has my home address, please do not write to me there. That’s only for the government and the underworld.
March 20, 2005
I was a “paying guest” at a departmental excursion this weekend. We (12 friends plus the rest of the Graphics Design team of my organization) left office at 10pm, having taken the last two rows of seats in the bus. We sang songs till about 12:30, when we stopped for tea. I fell asleep off and on after that, waking up once to see that we were on a road where apparently only bullock carts had ever been, once to help my friends with the line following “Aakash ka soonapan, mere tanha man mein/Paayal chhankaati tum, Aa jao jeevan mein…”, once to see a blob of fog stuck in a valley at 5:am, and then I finally woke up at sunrise, to see palm trees all around.
The Ghats did not impress me much, except as poor cousins of my beloved Himalayas. However, the moody landscape constantly switched between palm fronds and hillocks, which was quite entertaining.
Malvan is about 400 kilometers from Pune, and was probably discovered during an emergency aeroplane landing, since it is bang in the middle of nowhere.
We reached out resort with highly compromised spinal cords, and bathed and breakfasted while plotting to boycott the expedition to the Sindhudurg fort. Grumblings about our unwillingness to mix with the rest of the crowd forced us to fall in line, and off we went. The fort is on a small island, and we went by motorboat. Sitting Swades style, we were privileged to hear a colleague play the Swades song on the flute. Life does imitate art, and if you have doubts, wait for Papun Dada’s pictures, which will prove it for once and for all.
The fort itself was an imposing structure, most of it having been blown to bits by angry Britishers, who obviously had many axes to grind, but at those temperatures and humidity levels, they could have done it just because England was losing to India at cricket. The fort is now punctuated by kokam sharbat stalls that have radios announcing the Indo-Pak match scores. They did good business thanks to hot, thirsty and score-starved graphic designers from Pune. The flautist played songs from Roja in the temple, and the music still echoes in my mind and heart. A flute is a tear-extractor, and that’s that. And Rahman is God.
We came back to the resort for lunch, after which a gallant stone-thrower brought down raw mangoes for us to eat. Yum Yum! I sat on the swing with a four-year old Marathi speaking firebrand after lunch, and without a word, we managed to come to an agreement whereby I was to discreetly propel the swing into motion while she pretended to push it hard and got thrills out of moving that huge contraption with a huge woman sitting on it! Lots of laughter later, she left, and I kept swinging till I was giddy.
After that, a friend and I decided to go walking and explore the area.The narrow lanes were lined with cottages. Mango and coconut trees were everywhere. My friend is the sweetest girl alive and she asked in her sweetest voice if one of the cottage owners could tell us where we could get coconut water, but he gruffly said “not here, and nowhere else”. All this happened in Marathi, of which I know nothing. It’s surprising how there was no coconut water for sale anywhere! In hindsight, that’s perhaps because each house had its own supply and tourists came once in ten years.
Everyone rides bicycles in Malvan, and ladies’ bikes are the vehicle of choice for many men. I wanted to ride a cycle, but when Ajoba (Grandpa) would not let us have a naariyal, who would let us have a cycle?
Then a cycle rental shop happened. It had one rickety ladies’ bike, not at all suited for a rickety rider like me, who has not ridden a cycle for many years now. However, a nice little girl let me use her Ladybird, and off we went! It is so amazing to be able to drive anything! And I did not fall! I am so proud of myself!
We returned the bicycles (One rupee rent for the rickety one, some sweets for the nice girl) and ran back to the resort, where grumbling people were waiting for us to board the bus to the beach. Cashew fruit smells like the worst stuff on earth. You need to wash your hands even if everybody else misses the sunset.
It was a beautiful, isolated little beach (Papun Dada will oblige with photos shortly). We frolicked (strange word) in the water and watched the sun go down. The water was clean in a way that my jeans are never going to be again. Between the five women who shared Room 3, we brought ten tonnes of sand back to the resort.
After some singing and guitar-playing, the gang had dinner, about which I will not talk. Malvani vegetarian cuisine is about as exciting as eating a sponge. After dinner, we went for a walk, and then to bed. A single bed split vertically into half does not make for good sleep, and I could hear my vertebrae typing their resignation letters all night.
I woke up the next morning and was ready by eight, which was the scheduled time of departure. As if!!!!! Kingfisher beer ensured that we could not leave before 10:30. Some of us went for a walk in the meantime, and we saw pineapples growing with red spiky things around them!
We set off on what turned out to be a 15-hour journey home (I think we spent more time on the bus than off it). We stopped at a temple, which we ignored in favour of the beautiful beach. More stops for lunch and dinner, and constant singing on the bus. I reached home half-dead at 2:30, and woke up this morning at 6:30 to fill water in various buckets and have a bath before the water supply was turned off.
It was a great way to spend the weekend, and I am glad I went. No droughts or quarries about that.
March 18, 2005
As we discusses yesterday Plan time and location for Bus as follow
1) Bus will be here by 9.00 pm at office.
So who ever want come from office they should be here by 9.00
so we can move 9.15 pm to 9.30 pm from here.
2) Those who doesn't want to come back again to Office
those people can join from swarget corner (near Petrol Pump Detail map for location attach )
bus will be here by 9.45 and will not wait for more than 15 min.( coz Parking problem)
You should be here by 9.30. We will start out tour by 10.00 pm
Out Journey is 9 to 10 hours And we want to reach by 6.30 to 7.00
If we reach there on time So we can have sufficient time to spend there .....and enjoy
We will be back to Pune on Sunday by 10.00 pm (will try to reach before mention)
So everyone should get proper rest and be fresh for Next day.
Please update your Resident Cantact noumber / Cell No. and Your choice for Bus Stop on mention below path
any droughts or quarry please contact me
March 16, 2005
That, for all they care, I can go to hell,
But on earth indifference is the least
We have to dread from man or beast.
How should we like it were stars to burn
With a passion for us we could not return?
If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me.
Admirer as I think I am
Of stars that do not give a damn,
I cannot, now I see them, say
I missed one terribly all day.
Were all stars to disappear or die,
I should learn to look at an empty sky
And feel its total dark sublime,
Though this might take me a little time.
Although the 400 people in my office have their personal music databases, which we all tend with more loving care than our hair, work, or relationships, sometimes a song that I’m looking for is simply not there. I give up after extensive searching, and then one fine day the chap sitting next to me casually mentions that he has this song and have I heard it, and I’m like “Dude??????? I’ve been looking for it for like, only six months! Will you send me the link already?” (That was the most teenager-ly I've gotten this week.)
So he sends me the song and I go crazy listening to it again and again and again! It’s this one from Rules:
Kabhi phool dena manaane ke liye
Kabhi door rehna sataane ke liye
Aur kabhi kabhi khamosh baithe
Baahon ke sahaare
Phir raaton ko chaand khilaana
Waise pyar ke naam yeh to yaaron sab hua hai
Ab yeh pyaar bhi ho jaye bas itni dua hai
After listening to it five times in the last half hour, I’ve finally got over the urge to dance in my chair, thereby preventing corporate havoc and further earthquakes.
Happy Thursday people!
March 15, 2005
- Teach Spiderman a thing or two, by donating two strands of gray hair.
- Throw Spiderman out of the window (later modified to tearing him apart limb from limb), and go back and explain to boss why things did not work out.
I dunno which course of action Exile finally took, but the newspaper did not have the mangled remains of Spiderman on any page this morning (unless you count the arachnid I squashed with it in my living room).
If things did work out after all, I am the happiest person, because Exile will bring me books on his next visit. (And now that it is here in writing, I can confront him if he forgets.)
If things did not work out, Exile must be making an explanation to his boss this very minute, while a business idea brews in my head.
Who wants to gang up and manufacture “Fic-Knics”? That’s short for fictitious knickers, or false stories cooked up to cover your ass.
If you’re interested, we already have a client. Shakti Kapoor.
March 14, 2005
I finally managed to watch “The Aviator” yesterday. After informing my boss that there was nothing to do in office, and that I needed some distraction after the life-threatening earthquake, I slid out at five.
There is something awkward about walking up to the ticket window and asking for one ticket. Moviegoing seems to be, by default, a community activity. I agree with this statement to a certain extent.
To me, the idea of watching a movie or a TV show all alone in a room is not very appealing. I don’t ask for a Greek amphitheatre with thousands of people sitting all around the stage watching a performance, but perhaps that’s where we get our need for watching performances in a group. Canned laughter and corny emotional music cannot make up for the laughs and tears that are evoked in people when they witness an act together.
The flipside is that you are most likely to end up surrounded by people whose sensibilities are not quite as refined as you would like them to be. They will miss all the subtle jokes, and will laugh uncomfortably during the serious scenes, and will receive calls from their dead ancestors at crucial moments. This is irritating while watching a play, but the super-dolby-trolby sound of the cinema hall good-naturedly accommodates all these fools.
Watching with people, however, does not mean bringing a set of people with you to watch a movie. People can come from their homes/offices with other people and make a nuisance of themselves in the seats around you. If you’re seriously there for the movie, you do not need someone to turn around and talk to, or to offer popcorn every two minutes.
With people who earn barely enough to make rent purchasing home theatre systems on easy instalments, the concept of the audience is sure to change dramatically soon. More and more people will watch movies in the confines of acoustically redesigned rooms in their homes. The cinema hall will become the exclusive domain of lovers looking for a dark corner, idlers looking for air-conditioned reclining beds, and teenagers with nothing better to do.
I don’t see the merit of the situation.
March 13, 2005
On March 14 many years ago, when my room used to be plastered with his posters, my mother had surprised me with a chocolate cake that read “Happy Birthday Aamir”. She had also surprised the pastry shop guy. She reported this conversation:
Him: “Ma’am, what do you want written on it?”
Her: “Happy Birthday Aamir”
Him: “Aamir Khan?”
Him: “You know Aamir Khan?”
Her: “Yes. Of course.”
Him (eyeballs popping): “He’s celebrating his birthday with you?”
Him (Falling over the counter): “How do you know him? Are you related to him?”
Her: “I am the mother of a teenage daughter.”
Him (grinning): “You want candles?”
Anyone who thinks this story is pathetic is hereby requested to go drown his/her heartless self in the nearest well. Anyone who says “Aww” will be shot dead.
And Ma, I love you.
And oh, Happy Birthday Aamir, even though you're such a jerk.
March 11, 2005
March 10, 2005
March 08, 2005
This Be the Verse
They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.
But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another's throats.
Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don't have any kids yourself.
Those sufficiently intrigued could temporarily lose their respiratory power by clicking here.
March 07, 2005
Such is the situation of our protagonist today. She had vowed to herself that this day would never come. She thought she had made all arrangements to avoid it. But cruel Fate had other plans. And now her swivel chair is poised on the brink of existence, and she has to decide. (Instead of deciding, she is blogging, but if you are reading this, you probably do the same.)
Would a man ever be faced with such a dilemma? Probably not. It is a woman’s curse.
Should she climb down six storeys, walk home, climb up six storeys, rescue her lovingly washed white clothes from the impending rain, climb down six storeys, walk back to work, and climb up six storeys?
Happy Women’s Day.
More power to us, especially the Electricity Board variety.
March 06, 2005
(Note: My friend, who has come to know me quite well over the last three months, asked me during truth or dare: “Despite you being Miss Universe and all, is there ANY guy, living or dead, married or single, who you wish were yours?” I could not answer for five minutes, because I saw all historical Miss Universes committing hara-kiri at this statement.)
Back to the motorbike ride: although I was shivering in a borrowed sweatshirt, and my teeth were chattering uncontrollably, I had the time of my life. I was hoping to catch the sunrise on the highway on our way back, but the lazy West did not seem to want to co-operate.
However, there being a God up above and all, one chap’s bike ran out of petrol and we had to stop. The only petrol pump on the way did not have petrol. Petrol transfer from another bike happened to involve a wet bottle, and the bike did not fancy the adulteration.
So my friend and I, the pillion riders on the other two bikes, took turns holding the guy’s hand and pulling him along with our bikes. What a change from my first bike ride three months ago, when I was holding on to all non-rotating parts of the machinery despite assurances that my friend had been riding for nine years and had not yet lost a passenger to death or suchlike.
Although my shoulder kept making vague threats of slipping out of its designated joint, I held on to the poor chap’s hand because I had made the guy eat a spoon of coffee during Truth or Dare. Crawling along at 10kph cracking jokes, we saw a hint of red on the horizon. It was 6:30 and very light blue all around when I got home.
I heard an unfamiliar sound earlier this morning. Unrestrained laughter. Mine.
Teeny Prayer: Dear God. True to your love for variety, you have created many kinds of madness. Please do not let mine be the kind that sees omens and prophecies in lyrics of songs that play about me. What will my tombstone say? “Inkspill: Overinterpreter of Melodies”????
March 04, 2005
Hawaon mein yeh kaisi hai sadaa
Koi to hai
Jo hai yeh keh raha
Ke raah mein
Woh mode aa gaya
Ke jiske aage hai zameen na aasmaan
Dhundlaa gaye hain sitaare
Phoolon ko neend aa gayi
Ghumsum se hum sochte hain
Baatein adhoori kayi
Hui na poori kyun koi bhi daastaan
Kise khabar, kise pataa
(Javed Akhtar, in Bada Din)
March 03, 2005
It was a golden day in the History of Friendship when the Sis bumped into him online, and I am so happy I did not fight with her for the laptop that day!
Three reasons why you want to be friends with this chap:
1. He is seriously funny. And all kinds of interesting things happen to him.
2. He sends you more gifts than an airbus can carry.
3. He sees a lot of sense in calling you up long distance and raving about a fancy cellphone for forty minutes.
I am dedicating his favorite poem to him, which he’s been carrying around in his pocket for years. The poem makes a lot of sense to me, and makes him my idol:
The Show Goes On
As I stumble through this life
Help me create more laughter than tears.
Never let me become so indifferent that I will fail
to see the wonder in the eyes of a child.
Never let me forget that my total effort is to cheer people
make them forget, at least momentarily,
the unpleasantness in their lives.
And in my final moment,
may I hear You whisper:
"When you made My people smile, you made Me smile."
Have a Happy Happy Birthday and May All Your Wishes Come True!!!!
March 02, 2005
Those who build their houses on sand have no business ranting when their homes collapse.
When God gives you a hint take it. If you don’t, then when God gives you a kick, take it.
The blog will be back when I have funny stories to tell.
Maanga hua kuchh tum de na sake
Jo tumne diya woh sehne do
Ya dil ki suno duniyawaalon
Ya mujhko abhi chup rehne do