July 31, 2005

PJ Rani

The following gibberish is the product of a rapidly deteriorating mind, which inhabits the top floor of Inky Tower.

Q. What was the world's first advertisement?
A. "An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Issued in public interest by Seyton tailors and drapers"

Q. Who is the patron saint of software professionals?
A. Version Mary.

Ok. Kill me.


Went to the Gurgaon malls after ages today. One would expect that with malls opening in every locality these days, the craze for the twin monsters at Gurgaon would have abated, but that is certainly not the case.
There are certain inexplicable phenomena that are peculiar to Punju-Land:
1. Aunties in synthetic salwaar kameezes with painted faces and dyed hair (and gold edged purses and sunglasses) exploring malls with mega-bags: The only time one can wear synthetic clothing in this city is December-January, and then it needs to be covered with five layers of woolens. Believe me these are not superwomen who don’t sweat. They just ensure that perfume alleys in malls make you dizzy when you pass through.
2. New brides with fifty kilos of painted plastic around their wrists (the ghastly “chooda” that helps satellites locate where newly married Punjabi women are) sifting through clothes. Now, if I remember all the Punjabi brides have encountered in the last ten years, the only reason they got married in the first place was the shopping for clothes/make-up/more clothes/shoes/bags/did I mention clothes a wedding gives them an opportunity to shop for. Then why are they raiding the shelves again before their mehndi is gone completely? Is there scope to start a deaddiction programme for these hapless specimens? I’m going into business! Would like to partner with a divorce lawyer, because those soon-to-be-out-of-love husbands look like they could do with some help too!
3. Smaaart women with newborns, husbands, and ayahs in tow. Husband carrying baby. Ayah carrying shopping. Woman carrying truckloads of attitude and diamond-studded cellphone. Way to go baby! Enjoy your new light-weight chooda-less arms, before you slip them into synthetic suits!

July 29, 2005

July 27, 2005


Is the idea of studying "Masculinity" as an academic subject completely preposterous to you?

July 25, 2005

Vacation Diary

Sniffing raindrops
and musty books
An afternoon with Gringoire

July 20, 2005


Idle thought: We tag each other and make them write about books and music and likes and dislikes. Why don’t we tag people and make them go for vacations? That way, the fun never stops!

I’m going to start a vacation meme when I’m back!

July 18, 2005

Ups and Downs

was too busy looking down all this while and never realized that there is an up and when I finally did look up there WAS an up and now I am caught between the joy of knowing that the up is looking down at me with kindness and the shock of knowing that I am not as high up as I thought I was

July 17, 2005


I am not doing an MBA at Harvard.

I am not marrying an Uzbek or an Indian or anyone.

Colours gets an award for the coolest comment ever!

July 14, 2005


Today I went to a VIP bags showroom, and looked for travel bags. Two bags that can carry 25 kilograms each. They looked so big on the outside. And had so little space on the inside. In two months, I am expected to pack my world into two (heavy) bags and leave for a land far far away to do something I’m no longer used to. Something that will cost me more than I will be able to repay in many years to come. I’ve been trying to come to terms with this fact with varying degrees of success for many months now, but the bags really scared me today.

I wish I had not promised someone that I would not worry about this.

Am talking to my DMAIC friend as I type this. DMAIC stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control: the five step approach to improving the efficiency of processes (Six Sigma gyan). But with her, it refers to Don’t Marry An Indian Chap, a mistake she has made and is determined to stop me from making. Apparently Indian Chaps are all chauvinistic pigs, and will squash my individuality. They will expect me to be the perfect homemaker and the perfect professional at the same time. And their parents will suck my blood.

So I will pack my two VIP bags and go far far away and marry an illegal Uzbek immigrant and set up a dhaba in Notting Hill. Anyone who reads this blog gets a 10 percent discount.

July 12, 2005


This is a rant against PDA: not the handheld kind, but the hand-holding kind. Sis, who belongs to the next generation, tells me that PDA stands for Public Display of Affection.
I’ve seen countless arguments in favor of PDA, which convince me that it is perfectly okay for people to cozy up (note the archaic use of language) in front of all and sundry. I’m not supposed to object in my silent and invisible way to the sight of love-lorn (“love” being highly doubtful in some cases) couples lolling on sofas in a coffee parlour or suchlike in the middle of the day.
However. I object. Very muchly. When I “don’t” go to Lodhi Garden except for an occasional morning walk, I am respecting the privacy of people who cannot find a place to be alone together in this city. But when I am walking into a coffee shop at four in the evening with someone who is strictly a friend, I do not want to see people making out. And don’t ask me to ignore them because I cannot. And don’t ask me not to notice their uncouth behaviour towards the rest of the world.
Hypocritically enough, this does not bother me in a non-Indian context. But in a country where the girl’s neighbor’s sister-in-law is sure to see this scene, and the girl and the boy are sure to break up after they have realized that their families will never accept them, and the girl’s prospective groom’s uncle will make enquiries about the girls “crackter” in the neighborhood, PDA seems like carelessly imported goods.
On the other hand, maybe I should scout for an old age home for myself.
If anyone who reads this disagrees with me, just leave a smiley. Indulge a lunatic. If, by any chance, you agree, do leave a comment and surprise me.
Joker Anna: You can leave hugs. That kind of PDA is totally acceptable!

July 11, 2005


It has rained a little and the clothesline is a necklace strung with shimmeing droplets. I am smiling because I know that when I step out and flick my forefinger against the clothesline, the droplets will all fall to the ground at the same time, and will create - for a moment - a curtain of diamonds.

And who knows, tomorrow it might just rain again!

July 09, 2005

Made Up

I must have brushed past a woman who was wearing many different kinds of make-up. Suddenly, I was led by my nose back into my schooldays, to the highlight of every year in terms of the number of free periods it generated: the Annual Day.

The school believed in mass participation, and so even if you had no special talent, you were thrust on stage as part of a group of 200 hoarse voices welcoming “our parents dear” in ridiculous color-coordinated frocks. And lots of make-up.

Annual Day was the only time I smelled make-up. Tonnes of compact, lipstick, rouge and what-have-you. Generously applied by teachers over the faces of girls whose mothers had paid for the three-inch thick layer of goo on their darlings’ faces.

I don’t know if it is my imagination, or make-up really does smell stronger after it’s been on for a while. Prize distribution used to be last event of the programme, often a good three hours after the welcome song. The “parents dear” would be dozing off in the chairs in the auditorium, while the poor “prize winners” would be pushed into an empty classroom and made to sit quietly for the entire duration of the programme.

As luck would have it (yes, luck alone), I was always there in that room. All prize winners were supposed to wear the school uniform and the school blazer. I did not own a blazer for many years, and so I borrowed it from my best friend, who was taller, and the blazer sat awkwardly on my shoulders (as did the prize in my hand, in hindsight).

Despite our everyday clothes, we were all three inches deep in make-up. By the time we were herded to the backstage door and made to queue up in the open air on the chilly December night, the smell of make-up had overpowered my being. I was in a most unpleasant haze that made me forget everything. We had been made to practice bowing once facing the chief guest and once facing the audience, and then making a dignified dash for the wings. I don’t think I ever got it right. All because of the make-up smell.

And then I was there next year, winning a prize for Moral Science if nothing else. (Digression: I can totally picture a news item dated 2050: Ino Awl, the genius who proved Einstein’s theory of relativity wrong, discovered the cure for AIDS and prevented World War 3, was found hanging from the fan in his lab yesterday. A suicide note said that he killed himself when he realized that no cure would ever be found for those who had won too many prizes for Moral Science.)

The smell of make-up carries too much baggage for me. I detest it.

July 07, 2005

Book Meme

Deepak passed me the book meme, so here goes:

Volume of Books owned:
200? I don’t buy too many. One fine day I realized that between my two grandfathers, my ancestors had collected almost everything I’d ever want to read. That takes a lot of burden off my head!

Books I recently brought:
- The Lovely Bones: Alice Seabold. Don’t waste your money. Write to me if you want it.
- Reading Lolita in Tehran: Azar Nafisi. A real eye-opener. Great read for students of literature.
- Alice in Wonderland/Through The Looking Glass: Lewis Carroll. No essplanations required there!

Last book I read:
A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth. At page 135498763, I almost gave up, but I emerged triumphant. Whoever compared it to Middlemarch was an idiot. It is a draaaaaaaaaaag interspersed with moments of brilliance that are too few and far between.

One book that I couldn't finish:
There are too many and just thinking about them is making me depressed, so I pass this question please.

Five books I cherish:
- Les Miserables – Victor Hugo. You read this one novel and you have read all novels you ever need to read! Wish I could read the French original.
- Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathan Swift. High on sarcasm, low on preaching. Swift went mad towards the end of his life. So will I.
- Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray. Evil man, Remorseless sarcasm.
- Tom Jones – Henry Fielding. Mad man. Mad book.
- Howards End – Most wonderful portraits of women by a man. Next to madmen, gay men write the best books. (This meme is not being a nice politically correct meme at all! Bad Meme!)

Who can I pass this on to? I'll bug chugs , and Rash , and Joker this time.

July 05, 2005


It is not about reading a manual, donning diving gear, holding your breath, jumping in, and lashing about wildly in a self-defeating attempt to stop yourself from drowning.
It is about sitting on a rock, absorbed in a book, accidentally falling into the water, and discovering that you are a mermaid.

July 04, 2005


Standing in my first floor balcony, I can see the top of the Champa tree that grows next to my building. The dark green tufts of leaves are studded with bunches of sweet smelling white flowers. Neat little white flowers with yellow hearts. It's like the earth is holding up a giant bouquet to woo anyone who would care to step into the balcony.

That's what people must mean when they talk about Universal Love.

July 01, 2005

Sarkar: Bekaar


Bahut achchi thi. Camera aur light sahi jagah par rakhe the. Ramu bhaiyya ne apni buddhi galat jagah rakh di bas.


Bahut zor ka tha bhai sahib. Sachmuch. Khopdi phat gayi meri to. Abhi doctor se stich karva ke aa rahi hoon. Aur Abhishek ko baar baar Govinda kyun yaad aa raha tha?


MMS matlab Multiple Mangal Sutra. Sab ladies log ne do-do mangalsutra pehne the. Hopefully do alag-alag pati ke liye nahin. Sabne aadi-tedhi bindi bhi lagayi thi. Aur woh Kajol ji behen…. Line maar rahi thi solid. Lahaulvilakuwat. Ek aur behenji theen. Boli to kuchh nahin, par unke face pe likha tha: “main weight gain kiye bina Shefali Chhaya banna chahti hoon.” Supriya Pathak to bahut royi bhai sahib. Kya bataun. Katrina Kaif bhi thi, agar kisi ko pasand ho to.


Sabhi bahut achchi acting kar rahe the. Mujhe lagta hai Ramu bhaiyya sahi bole: Amitabh ka ladka Amitabh se achha hai. Bhagwaan kare ladka khoob tarakki kare. Aur jo KK bhaiyya hain kya kaatilaana acting karte hain maloom? Woh to baap-bete dono ke baap hain. Ramu bhaiyya ne agar ek kahaani likh di hoti in teenon becharon ke liye to kya unki amma ki gaiyya mar jaati?


Aisi hi ghatiya movies ke liye piracy waale samaaj seva karte hain. Hamare saath jo gaye the, unki kursi mein kaante ugne lage, to hum log movie khatam hone se dus minute pehle hi bhaag liye. Kisi ne poori dekhi ho to bataana bhai sahib. Shayad end mein hi kuchh dekhne laayak raha ho. Koi item number ya kuchh? Waise kam kapdon waali behenji bhi is picture ko nahin bacha sakti.