June 30, 2005

Baavra Mann

Baavra mann dekhne chala ik sapna
Baavre se mann ki dekho baavri hain baatein
Baavri si dhadkanein hain, baavri hain saansein
Baavra mann dekhne chala ik sapna

- OST, Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi

June 27, 2005

Birthday Greetings!

This blog is celebrating the birthday of Inky's Godpapa(ya) today. May he always write wonderful poetry, and inspire her to write too.

Happy Birthday Godpapa! I would not dare to write you a birthday poem, so I asked Philip Larkin to help. Here is one of his poems that I want to dedicate to you:

New Eyes Each Year

New eyes each year
Find old books here,
And new books,too,
Old eyes renew;
So youth and age
Like ink and page
In this house join,
Minting new coin.

Your child Inky

June 26, 2005

Laddoo Singh

Laddoo Singh has left the following message on my Orkut page:

Laddoo: i like to make stranger friends that why i m addii like to make stranger friends that why i adding u.......chalo aap aapne baare me kuchh batao

He could not have hoped to make a "stranger friend" than me in this lifetime!

Common sense (File Not Found In My Hard Drive) tells me that these messages come in because the first question Orkut asks you is your "relationship status". And if you are single, you can't blame Laddoo for trying his luck.

So I've changed my "relationship status" to "committed". The word, used in a sentence, can be understood thus:
"I have committed a grave error by registering on Orkut as single."

There is really very little choice Orkut offers in the relationship status drop down list. There should have been a text box in the form. (evil laughter)

June 25, 2005

Weather Report

Have finally figured out what the problem is with Delhi weather these days.
The atmosphere has turned into a giant rasgulla.
The air is always heavy with moisture, and leaks sticky liquid all over you if you brush past it. Even if you don’t move, it will smother you to death.

- This weather report is dedicated to the 1000 rasgullas I have eaten in my six weeks of jaundice. Now I am a human rasgulla trapped in a rasgulla.

Aside to The Heretic: I tried sleeping off the dementia. As you can see, it did not work.

June 24, 2005


How do the creepiest of the creeps who I was once forced to be acquainted with track me down and insist on talking to me?

I am sure I interacted with decent/interesting/sane people too, and those people never talk unless they are spoken to.

Horror of horrors! Am I their “creepiest of creeps?”

June 22, 2005


For reasons too complicated to get into here, I walked into my room a couple of nights ago to see my dear sister watching Kkkkusum on Sony TV without switching on the sound. I did what anyone who has a younger sister would do in the same sleepy circumstance: I watched it with her.

Suddenly, there was a fashion show happening in the serial, with the much-married male lead sitting and watching people walk the ramp in a pub-type-thingy. It was a show with a difference, and as the screen in the background proclaimed in huge letters, it was a jewelry exhibition sponsored by a major jeweler.

TV soaps can be as brazen as they like about product placements, because viewers would need deaddiction therapy to peel their eyes off the screen, even if the producers swapped all the actresses playing the female roles during the commercial breaks (now why doesn’t someone use that evil idea?)

About the jewelry show: it featured – hold your breath – men wearing dhotis and stoles showing off elaborate necklaces (Nizam-of-Hyderabad-meets-Mrs-Chopra-of-Krrrol-Bagh designs). One of these chaps was Shayan Munshi, last seen (by me) in “Jhankaar Beats”.

For the life of me, I cannot imagine what the writers were thinking. What kind of people want to see dhoti-clad half-dead guys wearing obscenely showy women’s jewelry? If there is someone out there with a Ramleela-fetish, I’d love to make friends with the specimen.

Note: I just bought a mouse and connected it to my IBM Thinkpad. Now the stupid red dot on the keyboard does not approve of my promiscuity, and refuses to perform its mousely function. Dad will kill me if I cannot placate stupid thing. Anyone with suggestions please leave a message. Thanks. You shall be rewarded with a video recording of all fifteen thousand episodes of Kkusum. Without the sound.

June 20, 2005

Random Ranting

Since last morning, I’m feeling like Dementors have sucked my soul out of me. It is the joint result of the adorable Delhi heat and my overconfident forays into the human world before my jaundice is completely cured. I am feeling like pulp that needs to be out in the fridge right away. Power cuts don’t help. And I can’t even bear to think that I am cribbing when people are out on the road working in this heat. Please God: Showers of blessings we need.

At the library yesterday, the woman sitting opposite me was reading a guide to icing cakes for children’s parties, the art of lace-making, a tome on interior design, and a fashion magazine. She seemed to be a well-groomed young lass. The only reason someone would be reading this combo that I can think of is “the accelerated domestication project” that strikes many people at the “marriageable age”. When she left, the man on the next table pulled up the cake icing book and was leafing through it. Nice! I am sure he was going to head straight home and make red-yellow cakes for his kids. And the chap on the other side was actually reading a book titled “New Feminism”. Whoa! That was a first. His cellphone kept buzzing and distracting him from his masochistic pursuits. Now you are thinking that I was obviously too busy looking around to peer into my own book, and that I am a superbitch for criticizing everyone. Of course you are right.

I hate Chennai for sucking in people like a vortex. I could throw things at that steaming hot idli cooker of a city right now except it is too far and my throwing arm is not up to it yet.

Ok. I am done ranting. Back to work.

June 17, 2005

Cover Story

At the library today, I was reading a book whose cover was falling off. It had interesting text like “On the contrary, women never theorize, or indeed look at men.” And interesting student scribblings in the margin like “That’s coz men are typical and so boring.” Yes. This is part of my continuing education.

This post, however, is about the book’s tattered cover, which unearthed a painful tragic childhood memory. It was the third standard, the year I became the universally loathed usurper by defeating the pretty and popular girl who stood first in class an awful lot. My teacher, at least, was a kind soul who loved me like her own child. Or so I thought.

One day I went up to her to get my homework checked. She noticed that my notebook had no cover. A notebook without a cover was guilty of indecent exposure in my convent school. The teacher asked why my notebook was, well, unclothed. I replied that since my Dad was out of town, he could not replace the old cover, which had given way a couple of days ago. This was a true story, for the record.

The teacher did something I could never have imagined. She laughed out loud, waved my naked notebook in front of the class and said, “look everyone, here is a girl who cannot cover her own notebook.”

The devils I used to study with laughed like hyenas. I was too shocked to be embarrassed. I knew that half of these morons had trouble tying their shoelaces, and each one of them had her notebooks covered by Daddy or Mummy, but they had the nerve to join the teacher in laughing at me.

That day, I started covering my books myself. All my fourth standard books had higgledy piggledy covers carefully snipped and fitted by yours truly. In a year or two, I learnt many covering techniques and the covers became neat and elegant, and much better than Dad’s!

Some years later, we were visiting family friends. The son was two years ahead of me, and I saw his dad covering his Class Nine notebooks! I heard the class of eight-year-old devils laughing in my head.

I’ve seen people laugh at others so many times now: and known that they are guilty of the same crime. I cannot bear to do that. If you tell me a joke and I don’t laugh, that’s probably the reason why. Either that, or you’re a guy, and consequently so typical and boring.

June 11, 2005

O Gori Gori

Up to a couple of years ago, fairness cream adverts used to focus on one single topic: only fair girls get married, so if you are planning to marry in the next fifteen years you'd better embalm your black self in our cream and get a chance at fulfilling your sole mission in life.

Then, somewhere along the line, someone probably thought he or she was being very progressive and changed the message of the fairness cream ads. Now we had a girl whose dad could not afford his favorite cup of coffee on his pension, and his daughter was too dark to earn enough money to purchase coffee. To my math-challenged brain, the cost of her lifetime supply of Fair and Lovely would be about the same as Dad's coffee budget, but then fairness offers her a chance to become an air-hostess, because 3000 metres above sea level, you had better know how to fly, or be a mannequin, to get a job.

And then they got even more progressive! Mandira Noodlestrap Bedi inspired the fair and lovely cricket commentator advert, and don't we all know how important it is to look good to understand the nuances of cricket and to communicate clearly and entertainingly at 3000 words per minute??

Another commercial shows a woman who becomes successful as a lawyer by using fairness cream! His Honour is surely not an honourable man if all the law he practices is the law he gets from Keats: "Beauty is Truth, Truth Beauty/That is all ye know on earth..." Keats would have died even younger if he saw that commercial.

Shifting the context from marriage to work is about the single most regressive step fairness cream advertising could have taken. However ridiculous the fascination for fair skin, it is understandable in the eugenic context of the arranged marriage. It is in no way acceptable, but it can be tolerated as a sad fact of life in a shallow world. However, a person's appearance determining success at work is highly offensive. It reduces the female professional to Workday Barbie, and encourages women to spend more thought on their make-up than on their resumes.

Can we please get back to the "look fair and get married" insanity? I'm missing the transformed brides and gullible dudes who will soon seek divorce in court, and will fall in love with their fair and lovely lawyers in the process?

June 10, 2005

Sarat Chandra 2.0

Adapting a story like Parineeta must have been no mean task for Vidhu Vinod Chopra. Mercifully, he is has been better equipped by God to deal with mad fancies than our friend Sanjay Devdas Bhansali.
Saif Ali Khan is a gamble that pays off. Vidya Balan is the best Vidhu Vinod Chopra woman after Manisha Koirala: she is a polished diamond, while Koirala was delicate lace. The curtain raiser on TV showed director Pradeep Sarkar holding up a poster of Vidya Balan and yelling at his crew: “This is the face that is going to sell the movie. Focus on this. #$%& everything else.” Good advice.
People don’t try to speak Hindi with Bangla shades, for which I am eternally grateful to them.
Hats off to the cast and crew for walking the fine line between art and artifice. Wonder why they had to retain the Rekha song, and not re-shoot it with someone else the moment they saw the rushes.
See the film. NOW!

June 08, 2005

God Sees Me

In my nice convent school, where I studied because Mom wanted her kids to wear white uniforms to school (no thanks, Mom), we had a special examination prayer.

The Principal used to ask us to close our eyes and repeat "God sees me". It was the anti-cheating mantra that was supposed to ensure that we wear moral blinkers for the three hours we were regurgitating information on paper.

I hated the nauseous, semi-dead feeling that examinations induced in me. Following the Principal's lead, I would shut my eyes and recite:
"God. Sieze me."

June 07, 2005

Nehru Park

This morning, Dad, Sis and I went to Nehru Park for a walk. Situated near Chankayapuri, this park has been a favorite haunt for my family for over 20 years. When we were little, Mom and Dad used to carry us and a basket of stuff to this park for a picnic. They used to go on bicycles before Dad bought a car.

Soon, we were able to contribute by packing the basket ourselves. One old double bedcover, some newspaper, plates, spoons and tissues, and whatever food Mom had prepared for the picnic. We had out favourite shady trees under which we would sit, and the edge of the little lake offered a good place to walk. There was a cluster of Champa trees that offered a miniature climbing challenge, and some fifteen-foot-high hillocks tempted us to roll down their grassy slopes.

After lunch and a nap, we played the official family game, where each member was given a bedcover ride one by one. You could sit merrily on the bedcover while the three others pulled at one side of the bedcover and dragged you down a slope. The bedcover developed un-washable grass stains, but who cares?

We laughed and ran and skipped and fought and yelled and napped and grew up in Nehru Park. I wonder of families go for impromptu picnics these days. We still do. They are so much more fun than a trip to the mall.

June 05, 2005

How To Post In Five Easy Steps

1. At the age of three, demand a baby sister.
2. At the age of four, receive the delivery.
3. Let something interesting happen.
4. Leave sister around computer.
5. Hyperlink to her blog.

Have been on a happiness vacation.
And oh, it's raining!