Thursday, December 28, 2006

An Ode to Coffee*

O noble cup of velvet brew!
We thank each passing day for you,
If not for you our days would be
sad, and spent in drinking tea!

Thou art the friend of workers free,
who have no time for frippery
like dainty sips from china cups
with buttered scones and silly sops.

It's-drink-and-get-to-work with you,
as should be with the perfect brew.
With sleeves rolled up on muscled arms,
no fop can claim to know your charms.

no pish-tosh posing, pinkies raised
and just for that, the lord be praised!
No “Twist of lemon? Sugar? Two?”
You are a self-respecting brew!

From roasted beans you are conceived,
not fragile, shriveled up old leaves
the difference is for all to see,

there is no robustness in tea!

To Chamomile, the odes they sing,
Lapsang Souchong and Darjeeling,
Earl grey, Assam and what have you,
I'll stick to my caffeine, thank you!

They call it ‘liquid gold‘ sometimes

for ignorance is not a crime
Forgive them! For they know not what,
they miss, reaching for a tea pot.

What philistines they are who say,
that the cup that cheers is full of tea.
Tea, that so insipid broth!
that does not banish venal sloth.

Tea does not bubble busily
but steeps for all eternity,
And when it’s done what do you get?
Flavoured water, lukewarm yet!

The scent of coffee reaches out,
it’s tendrils from the bubbling spout
And wafts through home and hearth to bring
warmth, and make the taste-buds sing

O font of joy! O blessed bean!
O catalyst to dopamine!
No day shall pass when I shall not,
gaze fondly at that bubbling pot.

I pour myself a mug of you,
O coffee, truly wondrous brew!
Tea cannot stand up next to thee,
O steaming mug of black coffee!

*I’m (semi) unemployed. I will write odes to coffee.**
**Or whatever else I jolly well please.

Friday, December 15, 2006

One down...

So, while it's not exactly Romeo and Juliet, here's how far we've gotten.

1) Lasted longer than all ones boyfriends* (save one) - check!
2) Listened** when one needed to talk/rant/foam in the mouth/spew nonsense - check!
3) Showed one sides of one which one did not know existed (icky and otherwise) - check!
4) Been there in good times and bad - check!
5) Got one to meet new people (some of whom one actually liked) - check!

As far as intent goes, one did not start this blog with any plan of action in place (saves one all the guilt of not having stuck to it you see), one is pleased to note that this is still the case.

You 'n me blog, it's been good...well, mostly.

P.S. As for blog-turning-one-posts, this one's got all bases covered.

* By which we mean the boyfriends just turned into ex-boyfriends. They didn't die or anything. We are NOT crazy, psychopathic boyfriend-killers, no, really.

** Or at least, did the blog equivalent of listening (which is basically resigning yourself to your fate because you don't have a choice. OR a voice. Ha! Power!).

Monday, December 04, 2006

Macbeth (I think)

"Hmmm..." I say to myself, as I watch this new (if slightly lopsided) version of Shakespeare's Macbeth. "Hmmm!" I say again, as I try to hold back my left eyebrow from running into my hairline. It is something I will say to myself many, many times more, in the next two hours. In various inflections.

There's the regular I'm-not-quite-sure-what-to-make-of-this 'hmmm', the mildly inquiring did-anyone-else-see-that 'hmmm?', the what-on-earth-did-he-see-in-it 'hmmm?' and last but not the least, the you've-got-to-be-kidding-me! 'hmmm!!' (Although technically, this is more of a "Whaa..? Hunh?? But,!" and not a 'hmmm' per se, but never mind).

Thing is, Ace production's Macbeth, attempts (for no apparent reason) to draw parallels between Tantra and the plays underlying motifs of the supernatural.

This leads to some rather disturbing results, starting with the very first scene, where the Weird Sisters are doing their whole fire-burn-and-cauldron-bubble-act, only - since Mr. Padamsee has decided that there are parallels between Tantra and Macbeth, they must jolly well be drawn - there is some very disconcerting Tantrik chanting happening in the background.

These Tantrik accents run throughout the play, popping up in the most unexpected places; in Lushin's costume (red and black with ragged sleeves. Tantrik couture anyone?) and in a love-scene between Macbeth and his queen, where they hold each other and sway in half-circles (this is what Sting is such a big fan of?? I don't get it...I just don't get it!).

The actors do a decent enough job, although Lushin Dubey steals the show. She makes a believable (if a little over the top) Lady Macbeth despite the Tantrik trappings of the production. A commendable feat, if you ask us.

It is a sad thing though, that she is the only actor who maintains a consistent accent throughout. Not entirely clipped-Oxford, but somewhere comfortably between that, and the Indian-English we've all grown up with. The rest of the cast pretty much slip-slide through Yank, Brit and (disturbingly enough) Aishwarya Rai* accents.

This is a play that can be watched, provided you have watched many, many other productions of Macbeth. Watch it for the interestingly choreographed scene with the Weird Sisters, for the ghost of Banquo, who appears repeatedly on a bloodied screen (very Ramsay Brothers) and for Lushin's Lady Macbeth.

Most significantly, watch it if you're looking for small doses.

* Which is apparently the accent you develop when you've spent only your whole goddamn life in Bombay, been crowned Miss World and acted** in a couple of English movies.

** By which (in this case) I mean, stood in front of a camera and wondered why the hell the darn thing keeps looking at you...almost as if it's expecting you to do something. Stupid camera...!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Casino Royale...

...or, My what pretty blue eyes you have Mr. Craig!

First, so while he'
s just not as smooth as him, or as twinkly-eyed as him, he does have a certain, something, no? We don't know whether it's because of the startling blueness of those eyes (such pretty eyes!), or that just-skimming-gravel voice saying, well...anything at all really, but the hormones, they have approved and once they do, there is nothing for the brain to do but play along.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a new James Bond!

Blonde, blue-eyed and guaranteed to make you want to shove Eva Green out of the shower (out fragile creature!) and sit with your head on Daniel Craig's nice smelling**, broad and ever-so-capable shoulders.

Go watch it.*

*That is, if you can stomach some amount of on-screen violence. I know I spent a lot of the 2 1/2 hours a) cringing in my seat every time some mean bastard battered some other not-so-mean-bastard with less batter(y?)-power, and b) restraining myself from yelling out at the screen, "BoysboysBOYS!! Stop with all the mindless chasing each other up and down construction sites! You're going to hurt yourself (but did they listen? of course not. And *continued*
chasing each other up and down girders like particularly nimble-footed mountain goats)!"

**Alright, so I don't know if he smells nice or not, but would it kill you to leave my dreams alone?

Friday, November 24, 2006

Trading Places*

My darling daughter,

Today, you turn thirteen.

I thought long and hard about what to get you for this birthday, this birthday which marks your first step into adolescence. The date itself means little; your rapidly expanding mind and your changing body tell me that you are now on your way to womanhood. Still, a birthday is a birthday and birthdays mean gifts.

So what does one gift a butterfly half out of a cocoon?

Butterflies are beautiful but delicate, prone to getting their wings caught and torn, as they flit from flower to flower. And my beautiful, delicate daughter, I would not want you to be hurt in any way.

So I give you, the gift of caution.

You are now at an age where your mind is full of questions. I will try to answer them as best I can.

You ask me why it is I worry so much about you. When I know that you are now a whole thirteen years old and can look after yourself.

I worry, sweetheart, because I know that you don't. I know that you always see the good in people, their honest hearts, their pure souls, and I almost don't want to tell you the truth and have you lose your faith.

You ask me why caution has to mean hiding your face, your clothes, your body, your identity.

(For a thirteen-year-old, you ask some tricky questions!)

To begin with, I would prefer it if we called it 'protecting' rather than 'hiding'. You hide when you are afraid of something. You protect when you are afraid for.

This will protect you.

There are people in this world who are terrified of change. They have lived their whole lives in a certain way and anything (even if it is a good thing) even slightly removed from this way frightens them terribly. They fear that in this new world, where things are different from how they were in their time, they will have no place. This is not true - for a new place is very different from no place, I think you will agree - but it is very difficult to change minds which are set in stone.

Fear makes people do terrible things, child. This will protect you from the repercussions of that fear.

You ask me how things will ever change if we never even attempt to change them.

(my little revolutionary, my changer of the world. I see so much of my younger self in you!)

I tell you that I want things to change as well, but change takes effort and time and patience.

(and blood and sweat and tears but I want none of those to be yours!)

But mother, won't I feel stifled? What if it's really hot outside?

My child, It might be hot occasionally, it might be uncomfortable but if you look at it as a shield, or an invisibility cloak, well, that changes things doesn't it? Can you see how it will be? You can walk around the city all day, anywhere you please and no-one need know it's you! Can you imagine the freedom? You get to decide who you want to meet, have conversation with, befriend. Also, now that you're on your way to becoming a woman, why it works as well as Athena's shield against all that unwelcome attention!

How long have you worn one, mother?
Why, all my life, child! Ever since I turned thirteen, exactly the age you are now.

"So...I can be just like you?", you ask me with a smile on your face.

"Yes, sweetheart, you can be just like me", I reply as I hand you your gift of caution, your shield of black silk, with a small lacework window to the world.

* is a writing exercise** on Caferati (where I have, till date *never* been able to figure out, whether or not I am a member (sorry, Peter!). I take 'technologically-challenged' to new heights, as you can see).

** And I don't think I've managed to do what the exercise intended either, but whoever said this blog was supposed to be a showcase of fine writing? Wasn't me!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Frankly, Scarlett...

Blog-people, my darlings, my absolutely adorable munchkins!

I have decided to take your advice. And take a chill pill, (or a whole handful of them, what the hey!) and *breathe* a little. And in order to so? I will NOT be going in to work today (Ooo! I *love* being defiant! Take that S & B*!). Because today (so far) is turning out to be too pretty (It's cloudy! And there might be rain!) a day to spend cooped up in a cubicle.

Look at me not giving a damn!

Rhett Butler would've been proud.

* Names have NOT been changed because I couldn't possibly care less** now.

** OMG this is getting addictive! Soon I will not care about anything! "Brushing my teeth? Showering? Who needs 'em!", is what I will say. And alternately, I will also say, "Sheron ke muh kisne dhoye hain!***".

*** You don't go around brushing lions' teeth (unless you're ummm...not very bright).

Friday, November 17, 2006

You know you're really stressed out* when... get to the counter**, tell the guy to go easy on the sugar, pay, pick up your change, and then forget to pick up the damned coffee.

*Which brings me to the question that is baffling the pants off me - WHY am I stressing myself out over a job I no longer have? It's bizarre, BIZARRE I tell you!

That conscience, you know, she can be SUCH a pain.

**The Fresh & Honest stall at Churchgate station which, despite it's very corny name, has some really good coffee***.

*** And no, they haven't paid me to say that...sadly.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Madraka vs. Mishra

In all those years and years spent with the family, we often wondered, HOW is it that none of these people look remotely like us? WHY are we the only ones who ever come home drunk? WHY does no-one else in this family say, "Pass the beef please, and the extra-garlicky sauce while you're at it."?

Turns out, we're actually Madraka*.

Thank you, Jai.

*Madraka women, to be precise.

Friday, November 10, 2006

A Special Place in Hell...

That Jethmalani fellow, is one smart - if completely morally reprehensible - bastard cookie.

In his client's defense, Mr. Jethmalani has stated that Jessica Lall was shot NOT because she refused to serve alcohol, but because she refused to have sex with a random stranger.

And that, according to Mr. Jethmalani, is surely good enough reason to get shot in the head?

And while you're busy being flabbergasted at this pathetic excuse for a defense, notice how he cunningly slips in a 'tall Sikh gentleman (indeed)', - whom no-one seems to have seen or heard of until today - who turns out, luckily for Manu Sharma, to be the killer.

It's a good thing I'm not the judge - I'd hang both the scum-bags.

Of Ancestors and America

He was a sprightly old thing, my grandfather. Waking up at the crack of dawn, rushing through his morning rituals; the datun, the bath with cold water - and never mind that we were bang in the middle of a hill-station-winter - and the prayers.

The prayers were, to us, the funniest part of the process. We'd actually shake each other awake with urgent whispers,"Wake up! Nanaji's doing puja again!". He'd be putting on his shirt and coat, all the while reciting shlokas at rapid-fire speed. That done, there'd be the frantic whirling of the lit agarbatti in from of the assortment of small idols and photographs in the pasty-green-painted puja room.

We never understood though, what the rush was all about. He'd retired from practice (he was a lawyer) ever since we were old enough to know him, but come every. single. morning and there he was, popping out of bed like toast again.

By the time we'd be groggily sitting around the table for breakfast, he'd be all ready to go. In his black coat, and crisp white suit, wooden cane in hand and impatiently tapping his feet.

He was very proud of us, his 'foreign-returned' grandchildren and he'd show us off to all the acquaintances he'd meet on his interminable walks around the city. "These are my grandchildren. Do you know, they live in Nigeria!" as if living in Nigeria was something so fraught with danger and exotica, that the fact that we were alive was nothing short of miraculous.

But what I remember most about him, is the way he'd speak to us; always in English, and very loudly. Almost as if our inability to speak Hindi rendered us slightly deaf as well.

After we moved to India, he'd visit us once a year, and that one month would be filled with episodes of frantic-spectacles'-searches (which he'd manage to misplace at least thrice a day) and squeals of shock as we'd occasionally find his dentures by sitting on them.

I don't know whether I was his favourite grandchild or not (or maybe just the one who looked like she could do with a good dose of general knowledge, or hell, any knowledge) - he had way too many of them - but I was definitely his first choice when it came to discussing American politics. I use the term 'discussing' broadly though; mostly it would be him asking me questions in his booming voice, "Do you know who is the president of the United States of America?", and me meekly replying, "Yes nanaji, it's Bill Clinton".

He'd positively beam at that, and then go on to expound on the good things the Clinton administration had done for America in particular, and the world in general.

I wondered at some point if my grandfather had ever heard of the little episode with La Lewinsky - his complete and utter adoration of the man never waned in all the time I knew him, but with his generation, you never could tell, could you? The man had two wives and seven (!) children and I never, in all those years, heard him address my grandmother as anything other than saahib*.

He would have been a happy man today.

*Mate/Companion. Also, owner/ruler/lord.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Conversations from Last Night

Me: Boss, ye XYZ building kahan hai*?
Fruit Vendor whose cart is FIVE STEPS AWAY from XYZ building: Nahin madam, nahin dekha.
Me: Achcha, aap Toto's** jaante hain?
Fruit Vendor: (smiles shyly) Toto's?
Me: Haan, Toto's.
FV: (giggles coyly) Toto's? Toto's??
Me: (beginning to get a little worried) Haan...Toto's.
FV: (Blushes red, avoids eye contact, and frantically re-arranges the fruits on his cart) Nahin madam, main 'Toto's' nahin jaanta.
Me: (walks away convinced that there is such a thing as too much fruit) Achcha...thank you.

* See, I'm *allowed* to be lost even though I'm five steps away from where I'm supposed to be - it comes with being hopelessly navigation-impaired - what's his excuse??
** is a pub.


Inside Toto's:

Me: You know, I've never actually seen anyone in that DJ enclosure.
Young man: That's probably because it's not a DJ enclosure.
Me: But it says "No Requests"! Why would it have a sign saying "No Requests" unless, you know, there were going to be...'requests'? Unless, they were expecting requests of the non-musical variety...
YM: (thinks about that for a minute)
Me: (launches forth, driven by rum and a pet grouse*) Don't you just hate it when DJ's say, "I don't take requests". You know, you'd think that entertaining the crowds is their job? But noooo! They're all like, "Oh no, this crowd is so pleb, it is my divine duty as a DJ, to *educate* them. I'm just too cool (weird arm-flappy, raised-hand gesture) to take requests."
YM: They do take requests if you slip them a hundred bucks?
Me: (faking shock) Duuude, noooo! DJ's who take money to play are like, the lowest rungs on the DJ ladder. They have SOLD their DJ SOULS, other DJ's totally look down on them. They're like the...sell-outs of the DJ world!
YM: (giggling helplessly) Yeah, I'm sure Akbar Sami never takes requests.
Me: WTF is Akbar Sami??
YM: He's that guy who remixed Jalwa?
Me: (still driven, still grousing) Which is another thing I just don't get. I mean, so you add a couple of dhinchak beats to some random song and suddenly you're a musician? Explain this to me, please!
YM: You're just jealous that they make a whole lot of money. Why do you think people pay them so much?
Me: Because there are a whole lot of stupid rich people in the world. I mean, how else can you explain Rohit Bal actually managing to sell his..."designs"? See the thing is, when you're really sozzled, you don't CARE what's playing. You're drunk, you're happy, the world is a beautiful place, you love everybody and look! There's a guy behind that glass-shield thingy, wearing headphones! and a bandana! and funky shades! and apparently trying to fly by flapping his one free arm, because the other one's holding headphones to his ear! I think I'm going to give him a warm hug and tell him that I love him.
YM: You know, I no longer remember what we were talking about, but I'm glad this place doesn't have a DJ.
Me: I think this is one of those times when you actually make sense.

* And I don't mean one of these.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Free as a bird...

...with vertigo.

Today's the day internet!

Today, after (roughly) a year of incessant cribbing about my job, I'm throwin' in the towel, chuckin' up the sponge, burnin' the bra (oh wait, that doesn't work here does it?) and movin' to (hopefully) greener pastures.

In other words, I quit.

And while right now, I'm soaring through the sky on wings of silver? I'm pretty sure it's going to be a bit of a bumpy landing. Mostly because, I don't have another job lined up.

Why am I leaving then? Well, because I haven't done *any* work which I'd actually be proud to show anyone in the last eight months or so (except for, strangely enough, some writing). And I'd gotten so stuck in a rut that my idea of 'risk-taking' (on a good day) would involve setting my iPod to 'shuffle'.

Yeah, THAT bad.

So now the plan is, I'm going to be spending the next couple of weeks navel-gazing (Hello navel! My! You do manage to gather quite a bit of lint don't you!*), reading dreaded books like this one, fighting the completely expected and entirely unwelcome panic-attacks, and trying to figure out what to do next.

Wish me luck? Or failing that, only *temporary* insanity.

*My belly-button does not really gather a lot of lint. It's just that, what *else* can you talk about to a belly-button?

Monday, October 30, 2006

Bombay Blog-a-ween Meet

Yet another blog-meet was had, and once again, one is the richer for it (partially because of the free alcohol...oh and of course, the experience).

The venue: Sakshi Juneja’s house at Juhu.

One arrived for the meet some two (ish) hours late, thanks to the hordes (HORDES dammit!) of people absolutely *infesting* the entire Juhu-Chowpatty stretch of road. Of course it helped that one is completely navigation-impaired and was of no help whatsoever to this young man, who never once lost his temper despite being plagued by plaintive cries of, “Are we there yet?” every ten minutes.

Remarkably patient, these young men of today.

So we were saying, we arrived, a little later than fashionably - the young man with a mask and a bottle of wine, and yours truly with killer attack of queasiness and a headache that threatened to spit our eyeballs out of our head (yes Sakshi, that little white pill you probably found by the bar was aspirin…honest!)**.

Anyway, headache thus banished, one was treated to a variety of food, alcohol and scintillating conversation (in no particular order).

Every. Single. Aspect of Salman Khan’s life was discussed; His clothes (or their marked absence, to be precise), his women (oh the number of *hot* women with atrocious taste…it boggles the mind), his little habits of drinking and a) beating up the current girlfriend b) running over people and c) shooting black buck. And how at the end of the day, he’s a really nice guy.

Although one’s memories of the evening are a teensy bit fuzzy, little snippets of conversation which stood out:

“No you need to put on a pair of red panties over your jeans, then you can be Superman!”

“Where’s the drunken dancing on the tables??”

“RSS Feeds! Slash dotted!! Google reader! Plagiarism! Feed reader*!!” (Foreign languages sound so dashed exotic, no?)

“Have I or have I not already issued the disclaimers against drunken marriage-proposals?”

“You look so different every time I see you!”

“Oh no! I broke my horns!”
“Yeah, now she’s not horny anymore.”

“You just say, “She’s a bit of a See-Aich” for ‘bitch’ or ‘What a parachute!” with a stress on the, well, latter-half of the word.” (And apparently, her grandma taught her this. Ours, obviously went to all the wrong schools.)

Also, blog-people, there is talk that India Uncut, might or might not have a set of lingerie to match his Borrowed Bunny Ears.

The imagination, she is getting worryingly out of hand.

(“Imagination, how many times we been through this? You will not, NOT conjure up images of men in risqué lingerie! Oh fine! Go ahead and do what you want…it’s your life. Oh wait…not it’s not! Stop it I say! Stop it right now! NOOOooooooo!”)

More reports of the meet here, here,
here, here, here and here.

**Which brings us to the other point which desperately needs making, namely that, the next time a blog-meet happens, can we please, please, *please* have it somewhere a little closer to where us ‘Southies’ (South Bombay-ites) live? One is down on one’s knees and humbly pleading.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Pretty as a...

this, was the view from our breakfast table. Inexpertly stitched together by yours truly.

I really ought to get myself a flickr account, oughtn't I?

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Mountain High, Valley Low

This time last week, I was in Leh.

I don't remember what exactly I was doing; If this was the day we spent curled up under the thick quilt with purple flowers on it, sliding out our hands only to turn pages on the books we were reading, or if this was one of the many mornings we sat at the breakfast table in the rooftop restaurant and breathed in the mountains.

I don't remember if it was this time last week, that we climbed up a million stone steps to reach the gompas, or if this was the day we walked up to the Leh palace, and from its crumbling facade, saw the little valley town spread out before us, like a postcard come to life.

Was this the day we sat at the banks of the Indus, just watching the prayer flags flutter on the wooden bridge above us?

And that is why I take pictures*.

Because memory is fickle, and pictures are real.

But real as they are, they are not enough. Because they tell you only one side of the story.

That picture of the glass of hot ginger-lemon-honey-tea? You can see the steam rising from the glass in misty curls; you can see the chunk of crushed ginger, sitting pretty on the honey that layers the bottom of the glass; you can even see the amber-goldenness of it, as the sunlight filters through it. But what the picture does not, CANnot tell you, is how it felt to hold that warm glass in your cold hands and feel the life flow back into your fingers. It doesn't tell you about the shock your tongue felt at the first scalding sip; the sweet, the sour, the hot and the spicy, all in one kick-your-brain-awake cocktail of taste and sensation.

Those pictures of the apple-cheeked locals. You can probably count every wrinkle on their weather-worn faces. But those pictures tell you nothing about how, every single day, you will be jolted out of your city-dweller-existence-bubble when you're greeted with a cheerful 'Julay!' and smiled at by complete strangers.

Then there are the pictures of the mountains. Which are pointless really. Because you can neither capture their grandeur, nor your feeling of miniscule insignificance, which is inevitable in the face of these magnificent giants.

Those pictures of the cobbled bylanes. That small wooden door, those flowers in the window. The small Kashmiri bakery, the statley poplars, the purple flowers in the monastery. The leh-berry, the brass temple-bells at Khardung La, the mani walls, the ice.

They cannot tell you what it was like to be there.

The next time, I will just have to take you with me.

*Coming soon.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Secret of Eternal Youth

Hello blog people!

One is writing this post from up the wall, which one's maternal parent drove one up, in the three days that she was visiting.

While the said parent has left Bombay, and is now driving the Delhi-based siblings up their Delhi-based walls, one thinks one will just stay up here for a while. You know, just in case she has left behind the ghosts of her drive-your-children-up-the-wall personality.

(And while one realises that one is probably a horrid little thing, one has a rather interesting view from up here. For one, one can see the tops of all your heads. Ha ha!)

One still wakes up in the middle of the night with that measured-yet-menacing voice in one's ear.

"Why are your masala bottles so grimy?! Where do you stack the unironed clothes? Why doesn't the bai clean the dishes well? Why don't you ever tell her anything? What kind of household are you running?!"

And one is, once again, reduced to a quivering, crying broken shell of a woman.

An interesting facet of human behaviour comes to light though, that namely, all quivering and crying is done in retrospect. For the three days that the MP had the run of the household, one had automatically slipped into rebellious-teenager mode.

One did - with much aplomb, mind you - the whole exasperated-eye-roll, the I-can't-believe-you're-saying-that look of horror and the could-you-possibly-embarrass-me-anymore saucer-eyed-expression.

The poor pater, in his characteristically resigned manner, contented himself with talking to the SB about everything under the sun, and buying mountains of fruit*. And occasionally letting out despairing cries of, "Why isn't anyone eating any fruit??"

So it seems, that the secret of eternal youth is (insert portentous silence HERE), "Invite thine parents over for a couple of days" (and thunder and lightning...NOW!).

On the other hand, one wonders what use this transient youth is, if one is going to spend all of it perched up on a wall?

* Which is another 'father' thing. One is beginning to think that in dad-school, one of the first lessons they teach you is, "Nothing says 'I love you' to your offspring, more than a bowl of assorted fruit. Make that two."

Monday, September 04, 2006

One is late...

...for the silly pic tag passed on by Vulturo, but one had, what is known as, a problem of plenty.

This guy is a clear winner, but one thinks one comes a pretty close second, what?

Oh and this guy has a jolly little gallery of participants.

And I tag Phantasmagoria, Straight Curves, Saltwater Blues, Arthur Quiller Couch (wiggle out of this one Couch!) and Rhyncus.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Because I'm a sucker for...

...good copy.

And the car looks pretty awesome too, doesn't it?

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

To sing or not to sing...

...Vande Mataram, is apparently, the question.

My most recent memories of Vande Mataram are from the A.R. Rehman directed version of it (very soft, very pretty), and then, Shubha Mudgal's knock-your-socks-off rendition (with the absolutely trippy video featuring this woman, who just by the way, would totally be second on the list of women whose babies I would want to have, If I ever turned lesbian. Oh I'm not supposed to say that out loud? Oh shush! You're the internet, internet, and if I can't bare my soul to you, then what use is a soul, I ask you!).

The first time I heard Vande Mataram sung (circa 1988), the only thought that crossed my mind was, "Oh pretty tune! It's the national song? Oh okay."

Was I flooded with feelings of nationalism? No. Did it appeal to the patriot in me? No. Do you know why? Because I hadn't a clue what it means. Nope. Not a one.

The song, you see, is in Sanskrit. Not exactly the Lingua Franca of the average Indian, let alone your average (and that's me being SO generous) eleven-year-old NRI.

And I'd be willing to bet a whole lot of money, that the cretins squabbling over whether or not it should be sung, haven't a clue either.

And yet, there's this.



Oh and while we're on the subject of songs, here's one that's been making perfectly seasoned, slow-roasted, melt-in-your-mouth seekh kababs of my heart (and also, not related at all, but I think I'm hungry).

Naina: OST Omkara, Lyrics: Gulzar, Music: Vishal Bhardwaj

Nainon ki mat maaniyo re, nainon ki mat suniyo,
Nainon ki mat suniyo re
Naina thag lenge

Jagte jaadu phukenge re, jagte jagte jaadu
jagte jaadu phukenge re neenden banjar kar denge
Naina thag lenge

Bhala manda dekhe na paraya na saga re
nainon ko toh dasne ka chaska laga re
Nainon ka zehar nasheela re

Baadalon mein satrangiyan bonve bhor talak barsaave
baadalon mein satrangiyan bonve, naina baanvra kar denge
Naina thag lenge

Naina raat ko chalte chalte swargaan mein le jaave
megh malhaar ke sapne bije* hariyali dikhlave
Nainon ki zubaan pe bharosa nahi aata
likhat parhat** na rasid na khaata
saari baat havaai*** re, saari baat havaai

Bin baadal barsaaye saawan, saawan bin barsaatan
bin baadal barsaaye saawan naina baanwara kar denge
Naina thag lenge

Jagte jaadu phukenge re jagte jagte jaadu
jagte jaadu phukenge re neenden banjar kar denge
Naina thag lenge.

Beg, borrow, download, if you have to, but listen to this song. If you loved Gulzar before, this song will make you want to get down on your knees and worship him.

P.S. There is some amount of dispute of about some of the lyrics. I have written what's made the most sense to me, the asterisked (I'm not sure if that's a real word) words according to the internet versions of this song are:

** parakh

Monday, August 28, 2006

A Letter

To the man who walked his math-impaired daughter down the perilous road from multiplication tables to differential calculus. The personal swimming instructor, raag identifier and consoler of weepy, red-nosed four- year-olds whose heroes have fallen. On celluloid.

That dresser-up of rag-doll-sleepy-school-goers, doll's-arm/leg/head-fixer. Tiffin-packer, chocolate-wafer-adder.

Patient-sitter-through of makeovers by six-year-olds, who think that salt-and-pepper hair in at least six bristly ponytails, with a minimum of three bindis on the forehead, is so him.

Photographer of horrific moments - like fancy-dress parties and clown faces.

Embarrass-er of daughters, by playing ancient recordings of said-daughter's-five-year-old-voice soulfully singing:

"Laila main lailaaaa! Aisi hoon lailaaaa,
Har koi chaahe mujhse, milna akelaaa!"

Hummer-of-tunes, never-singer, non-dancer.

Lover of books, The Beatles, and order. Watcher of every. single. news bulletin.

To the maker of the best chicken curry in the *whole* world.

Happy birthday, Papa. May this be one of many, many more.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

I can walk English, I can talk English!*

This post, and more so the comments on it, reminded me of my own puzzlement with Indian English, when I moved here twelve years ago.

I was sixteen when we moved from Nigeria, right after my grade ten (and yes, we called them grades one to twelve. NOT classes one to twelve, NOT standards one to twelve. *Grades*) board exams. Owing to the bubble environment we'd grown up in, I spoke a strangely stilted Hindi, and very fluent, but very weirdly accented English. It wasn't Nigerian English and it wasn't Indian English. The closest I can come to describing it is, as a cross between Indian and British, with a touch of American thrown in for good (or maybe not) measure.

"But why should you have any of those accents?!", you ask. "I have NO idea", I say.

Hey, I didn't make The Bubble, I just lived in it.

The accent was never really a problem though. At least, not as far as making myself understood was concerned. Getting people to stop thinking I was snooty bitch because I wouldn't (I couldn't dammit) speak in Hindi, was of course, another issue altogether.

But I'm rambling again.

Episode 1:
The first time I was let in on the gossip going around in school, I was told in hush-hush tones that persons x and y were 'going around'.

Me: "Going around? Going around what??"
Random Girl in Class: You know... they're having a love affair!
Me: A LOVE AFFAIR?! But..but they can't have a love affair! They're in school!
RGiC: So?

See, till then, the only time I'd ever come across the words 'love affair', were in Mills & Boons novels and heavens! Love affairs were things that grown-ups had. They were, you know...sordid and occasionally even featured (oh fetch me my smelling salts!) *sex*!

So yes, I was quite scandalised, much to the puzzlement of the RGiC, who began wondering whether Indians in Nigeria were like, really backward, 'cos y'know, like, everyone goes around dude.

When V and I started dating, I proudly informed RGiC that we were 'going out' (by which, of course, I meant that we were seeing each other).
RGiC: Going out? Going out where??
Me: We're not going anywhere, we're just, well...he's my boyfriend now.
RGiC: Ohhhh! You mean you're going *around* now!

Episode 2:
In Indian English, it is understood that when you use the word 'parlour', you mean a beauty parlour (or 'salon', if you prefer).

So I'm on the phone with n and she asks.
N: Haan, so where are you right now?
Me: In the parlour.
N: (after three seconds of confused silence) Isn't this your ghar ka phone number?
Me: Hunh? Yes it is. Why?
N: Tera parlour tere ghar ke paas hai?? Do you have an extension there?
Me: What on *earth* are you talking about?! Parlour ghar ke andar hota hai shaayad? And this is the main phone line...the extension is upstairs.

N thinking: MAN these Nigerian Indians are a weird lot!
Me thinking: MAN this woman makes lesser and lesser sense every day!

And all because English is a very funny language.*

*Part of this dialogue from an old Amitabh Bachchan movie, Namak Halal.

Trial by...

Why do trial rooms have those strange doors? You know, the ones that look like they ran out wood so they just sort of fitted in whatever they had left over and hoped that people wouldn't be that upset about the world being able to see their socks?

Only, there is a much more disturbing aspect to these doors, which I discovered when I went shopping for a pair of jeans* yesterday.

Woman walks into a store. Woman does not like pushy sales people. As if on cue, she is immediately accosted by one.

Stud Boy Sales Guy: Hi ma'am! Can I help you?".
Woman: I'm...ummm...looking for a pair of jeans.
SBSG: Sure ma'am! What waist size?
(at which point SBSG looks at woman's midriff appraisingly and says, "I know size x**!", and saunters off to get it)
Woman: Actually, I want a size x+1, in dark blue...with a regular rise.
(SBSG stops in mid-saunter, turns around horrified)
SBSG: But ma'am, low rise is in right now!
Woman: Regular, please.

SBSG returns with jeans in hand and skepticism on face. Woman steps into the trial room, SBSG stands right outside, and that is when she realises; SBSG is standing right outside said trial room, which means, he is going to know when Woman takes her pants (trousers, if you're thinking Brit) off. Okay, so he can't actually *see* anything apart from sock-clad feet but still...he knows, and that's enough to make Woman want to climb up the walls, Spidey-style and then face whatever trials (pun unintended, but apt) come her way.

Woman, sadly enough, has never been bitten by radioactive spiders, so climbing up the walls is out. Lacking a plan 'B', Woman decides that a little Houdini-style-flexibility is the call of the hour.

Woman tries to squeeze herself out of line of vision (complicated, when you're in a 3x3 room) and try on jeans at the same time (a difficult maneuver, at the best of times). She is mid-wiggle into the jeans when she hears a voice.

SBSG: Ma'am, is it okay? Is it too tight?
(woman freezes, much like bunny trapped in headlights, only imagine bunny in inconvenient state of undress as well. Woman, however, not being bunny, eventually recovers enough to stammer out) Ummm...a little, yes. Can you give me the same style in size x+1?

SBSG passes it over the door.

SBSG: (at eager-beaver-best) Is it okay ma'am? Can I see?
Woman: (What?! No! You can most certainly NOT see, you dolt! What Woman *says* however, is) Uh...No?
SBSG: Is it tight around the hips?
Woman: (with tendrils of smoke beginning to snake their way out of her nostrils) Look, can I come out and have this conversation??
SBSG: (most obligingly) Ya sure!

Woman steps out and hands SBSG the jeans with an icy, "I don't like them, thank you." and a matching frosty look. SBSG, obviously never having understood the language of icy looks, takes proffered denims and further proceeds to dish out advice.

SBSG: See ma'am, the problem is, in proportion to your waist, your hips are too broad.

Woman first blinks in disbelief, then seriously contemplates whacking SBSG over the head with her handbag. Having been brought up to be polite and infuriatingly non-confrontational however, she regretfully discards this line of thought, instead, switching to that last weapon in the arsenal of the wuss, sarcasm.

Woman: (smiling brightly) Really? Thank you so much! I think you're *wonderful* too!
SBSG: (smiling brightly back, absolutely oblivious to the dripping sarcasm) That's okay, no problem!

And that would be the first, of three times in the last week, that random people have said to me, sentences ending with, "your hips are too broad".

Jeans fit weird?
"Your hips are too broad".
Slipped off the raft?
"Your hips are too broad".
Global warming?
"Your hips are too broad".

Is this fair, I ask you. Is it?

*Which, in Chronicus Skepticus' speak, translates into, 'I walked through the fires of hell', because my GOD, there are few activities* I *loathe* more than shopping.

**And just because you're the internet and know pretty much everything *else* that there is to know about me, is not reason enough for me to let you know my waist size as well. Some secrets are *meant* to be taken to graves alright? Let it go now.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Tag! Or 'Meme', if that's what YOU call it!

Well, since no-one *ever* tags me (and yes, I'm enough of a blogging newbie to sulk about it) I shall go ahead and tag myself! So there!

Also, I'm suffering from the worst attack of blog-clog *ever* (no wisecracks. I FORBID you to make wisecracks!) and I have read from reliable sources, that a tag is the best way! Cures it right away, it does*. So, here goes.

I'm thinking:
About these lines from the title song in Iqbal -

Guzre aise har raat raat,

Ho khwaaishon se baat baat...

- and I'm trying to remember the last time, if ever, I was this excited, this hopeful about anything (and no, romantic stuff doesn't count). You know the lying awake at night, thrilling with anticipation for the next day? Yes, that feeling. And I'm wondering, will I ever have it again?

And the answer is scaring me.

I said:
"Oh, what the hell!" and went ahead and did it anyway.

I want to:
Be in The Yellow Submarine song. You know how when you're listening to a song, you can see it happening in your head? The yellow submarine, the bells, the marching band, the happy stoned-ness of the whole picture? You can just see them all drinking beer and having a jolly good time, and in the picture? I would totally be the happy high guy echoing Ringo Starr as he sang,"everyone of uuuus (everyone of us!) has all we neeeed (has all we need!)! Sky of bluuuue (sky of blue!), and sea of greeeeen (and sea of green!), in our ye-he-llow submareeenn!".

Don't you?

I wish:
I was oh about ten kilos lighter...and about eight inches taller...and had a sharper nose. Who needs world peace when you're pretty, I ask you!

I miss:
Not caring about consequences. Or hell, not even considering that there might be any. "Consequences Shmonsequences!" is what I would have said, if you'd mentioned them a year ago.

I hear:
Everything wrong. And the few occasions I hear right, I misinterpret completely! I either have a hearing problem, or a perception problem.

I wonder:
At the fact that S and I are friends. It just seems so...unlikely. She's the kind of girl who lights an agarbatti every day in front of her potted tulsi plant. She also believes that if she touches the darn thing during her periods, it (the plant) will shrivel up and die. She's been fasting every goddamn friday for the last ten years and believes, really believes that 'God will take care of her'. Despite all the evidence to the contrary.

She has a room full of (ugh) stuffed toys, loves Madhuri Dixit and (Oh horror!) Hum Aapke Hain Kaun which she's watched FOURTEEN TIMES. Hold me up somebody, I'm fa-ll-ing.

Still, we're friends.

I regret:
Very little. Except the 'Oh what the hell' decisions.

I dance:
Well enough, but not better than n. That woman can *move*!

I sing:
Waaayy better than I dance.

I am:
in a funny sort of place right now. Y' my head. AS IN, my head is IN a funny sort of place right now (and again, let's just skip the wisecracks, shall we?), NOT that my head is funny place to be in. How would you get in anyway?

I cry:
And then I get really mad at myself for being such a wuss.

I'm not always:
Soft-spoken. And those days, I am not a nice person to know.

I make with my hands:
A delicious mushroom and potato subji...and fish in *hot* mustard curry. Oh and music on my guitar...and dog-ears to mark my pages in books.

I write:
Much better in my head. No, honest. My head is filled with thrilling prose, but somehow, it doesn't get past my fingers. Damned fingers. *aside to fingers* I ought to chop you off for being so darned un-co-operative.

I confuse:
People...or so I've been told. Why that should be is beyond me. Far as I know, I'm an open book.

I need: you really want me to get into this again? A NEW JOB!


I've been reading a collection of Carl Sandburg's poems, gifted to me by the Crazy White Girl (whom, sadly enough, I did not have the planned angry dance-off with, because the dance-off-erred did not show. Hmpfh.) and while I know that he's talking about Chicago, I can't help thinking that all of his poems seem to fit Bombay just as well.

Sample this:

They tell me you are wicked and I believe them, for I
have seen your painted women under the gas lamps
luring the farm boys.
And they tell me you are crooked and I answer: Yes, it
is true I have seen the gunman kill and go free to
kill again.
And they tell me you are brutal and my reply is: On the
faces of women and children I have seen the marks
of wanton hunger.
And having answered so I turn once more to those who
sneer at this my city, and I give them back the sneer
and say to them:
Come and show me another city with lifted head singing
so proud to be alive and coarse and strong and cunning.

Doesn't it sound like it was written expressly for Bombay? Sorry Carl Sandburg, and thank you Beth! :)

*And see? It works! Not only did the tag make me post, it made me do a Long Rambling Post!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Damn I'm Good!

I cleaned up my desk today.

And that's the most work I've done all. bluddy. week.

Apart from mastering this ancient art, of course.


Wednesday, July 12, 2006


I am sick of it all. I am sick of the ‘resilience of Mumbaikars’, sick of their ‘coming together in moments of crisis’ and of their goddamn ‘indomitable spirit’. I am sick of being stoic and cheerful and smiling in the face of disaster.

I don’t want to be ‘resilient’ anymore. I don’t want this city to ‘bounce back’ and I don’t want to display courage. I want this city to shed it’s ‘never say die’ attitude like yesterday’s muddy, bloodstained clothes.

Because you see what’s happening don’t you?

We are turning into victims of the worst kind of freeloading ever. We are being sodomized by the state and the worst part of it is that, we’re getting so used to it that it seems ‘normal’ now.

From the text of statement issued by the Prime Minister:
"The series of blasts in Jammu and Kashmir and in Mumbai are shocking and cowardly attempts to spread a feeling of fear and terror among our citizens.“

The Prime Minister has also appealed for people to "remain calm, not to believe rumours, and carry on their activity normally".

Shocked by the brutal terrorist attack in Mumbai, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil, Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav along with other officials visited Mumbai late night on Tuesday for an on-the-spot review of the situation.

'Shocking'? ’Shocked’? Took you by surprise did they, those terrorists? Never saw them coming, did you? Because you know, O great leaders of this country, you’re pretty much the only ones who didn't. The normal people, distressed and horrified as they were, moved right into action like they knew the drill. Like they were born removing mangled bodies from scenes of terror and destruction. Like severed limbs, and blood and remains of human bodies, were things that they’d seen so many times, they knew what to do. They queued up outside hospitals to donate blood; they offered food, water, shelter and solace to each other because this has happened before, and it can happen again.

I wonder if you get what this says about your government.

It says, Prime Minister, that you have been – how does one say this diplomatically? – uhhh, slow. That you have failed the citizens of this country so many times, that they’ve gotten used to it now.

They no longer wait for the ‘authorities’ to rescue them, because if they did, they’d have a long wait ahead.

Mumbai has been put in a state of ‘high alert’, which, according to Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, apparently translates as, “All schools, colleges and offices will remain open and run as usual.”

So, you know, just in case you made it home alive yesterday, you can tempt fate again today.

Read this: ”New York police heightened security on subways on Tuesday after train bombings in India killed more than 160 people, while officials unveiled high-tech devices designed to prevent just such attacks.

Police called the measures -- including increased patrols and more random bag searches -- a precaution, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg told reporters there was no specific threat.”

And in contrast, this: ”The morning after the devastating blasts on the Western railway line, life is back to normal for the ever-resilient Mumbaikars. Train services are running normally and people are not hesitating to take the local trains to work.”

And this move is being lauded. As courageous, and brave and ‘never say die’ (which is ironic really, because you don’t actually get to say it, do you? You just, die) and that's what puts terrorists off, isn't it? They're probably thinking, "Yeah, y'know, those Mumbaikars...they're a courageous lot, so no point bombing them anymore". Likely? You think?

America, is being cautious despite the fact that there haven’t been any threats, but us? Oh no! We’re the ‘resilient’ ones. We shall shoulder on bravely (in an exemplary display of bloody foolishness) because you know, we’re *Mumbaikars*. And pats on the back from the media and the fucking ineffectual government, are apparently, enough to make it go away.

I saw a couple of policemen standing outside the local train stations, but no signs of bags being checked, frisking, security checks, nothing. So for all you know, the terrorists could’ve walked into the station, left a couple of couple of packages of RDX around and sauntered out again.

I think our country's motto should be changed from 'Satyamev Jayate' (and we all know how true that's been) to:

"Live each day as if it were your last, citizens of this country, because you know, it just might fucking be."

Monday, July 10, 2006

More Than a Bird, More Than a Plane...

(Warning: Minor spoiler ahead.)

I was six years old when Superman flew his one-arm-outstretched-red-cape-fluttering way into my heart. Six feet four in his socks, with his twinkly blue eyes and lopsided-smile, he was warm, and convincing and *believable* (I was six; I believed in everything. Fairies, goblins, name it, I believed in it).

I remember being fascinated by the way Lois fainted, after Supey deposits her safely on the roof of the Lonely Planet building; the graceful buckling of the knees and the half-circle-sway and I remember thinking that if I ever fainted, that would be the way I'd do it*!

I still remember word for word, the interview-on-the-rooftop scene, and the rife-with-innuendo conversation between Supey and LL, (which was of course, completely lost on me then. Elves, remember?) and I remember going all *mushy* when Supey, with his shy smile, replies to LL’s question about girlfriends saying, "If I did, you'd be the first to know, Miss Lane."

All together now, "Awwww!".

That was, however, a very long time ago.

The new superman, via Superman Returns, however, came nowhere close to it (my heart, that is). That Brandon chappie, while tolerably cute, was not a patch on the original Supey, the Supey of my childhood.

Sure, there was the hot bod and the outfit**, but minus the charisma (and the pretty face) of CR, he just wasn't, you know...convincing. Not as nerdy Clark Kent, and definitely not as Superman.

Brandon Routh is everything that the original Superman was not, i.e., cold, insipid and well...fluff.

All the characters, and I mean all of them, were weak, watered-down versions of the originals. And the story had just about as much substance as a diet cracker.

Kate Bosworth had zero, zero spunkiness. Now Margot Kidder wasn't pretty in the conventional sense, but y'know? She had personality. Now there was a woman who looked like she had a brain...and a spine...and a heart. KB was so busy being all dewy and purty and lost-little-girl, she forgot to be Lois Lane. And a Pulitzer for chrissake? For a book titled "Why the World Doesn't Need Superman"?! R-i-i-i-ght.

The kid playing Supey's and KB's love-child was IN-CRED-IBLY annoying. With his look-at-me-I'm-wise-beyond-my-years expression and the now-patented I'm-an-unsure-kid walk, one was very tempted to pick him up and shake him and say,"stop with all the Joel-Haley-Osmont-ing kid, because you're not!".

Then there was the execrable Kitty something-or-the-other, who could be best described as 'ugh'. Not dumb-blonde-with-a-heart-of-gold like Miss Tesmacher, just really dumb.

There were a few watchable moments in the movie though; the plane-landing-in-the-baseball-field sequence (although you'd think KB would be a little more than just wobbly, post all the smashing-into-the-plane's-interiors that she'd done) and the bank robbery sequence. But that was about it.

Superman Returns, is at the end of the day, a movie which leaves you with mixed feelings. Disappointment, that it doesn't live up to Superman;The Movie, but also a strange feeling of relief that, well, at least your childhood memories are untouched.

* It didn't work. The mental note, i.e. The only time I ever fainted, it was more 'Wobble, wobble, wobble...Crash!', than soft-knee-buckle and half-circle-sway.

** The significance of which was explained to me recently, by a well-informed friend. Did you know that supey, being, well, a super man, was supposed to be super in (ahem!) every way? And that contrasting colours (like bright red against bright blue), draw the eye like nothing else? And that poor Supey had to wear some very uncomfortable ummm…substantiating pieces along with his suit?

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


She was in a good mood that day. Giggling, playful and occasionally, teasing. She watched them, a smile playing on her lips, as they did the silly yet endearing things they were prone to doing on days like these; smiling gleefully at the sky and squinting when their eyelashes caught raindrops, sticking their arms out of windows, doors, canopied balconies, as if hoping to catch a cloud and set it free.

She watched them as they scurried about, looking like colourful mushrooms which had swallowed giant spiders. And then laughed hard as a strong gust hit the mushrooms and flipped them upside down, into a field of swaying multi-coloured, many-patterned poppies on decidedly wobbly stems.

They really were quite amusing.

The others were smarter. None of the pointless running around in flimsy (supposedly) protective skins, none of that they-can’t-get-along-without-me silliness, no exaggerated self of self-importance, which was, in her opinion, the way it should be.

“They should be taking shelter” she thought. “Huddling together in the shade of trees, under rocks, in caves…they should be frightened.”

And slowly, the familiar annoyance of being taken for granted began creeping up on her.

“Enough of being the all-loving, all-caring, all-goddamn-giving one. It’s never enough and they’re never grateful, never even said thank you! Instead, they leach; take what they need right then, never replenish and never, ever clean up after themselves.”

“They need to be taught a lesson”, she thought, “taught that you can’t use others endlessly, with no thought of the consequences”.

“Try this for size, little ones”, she said, seething with cold fury, as she gathered up all the loaded clouds, flung them on the city, and watched them burst…sending them all scurrying, like little rats .

I apologise for the bleakness of this post. I *like* rain (mostly), really I do, but I’ve been marooned at home four days in a row, and it’s getting a little depressing now.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Leeeaaving (or hoping to) on A Jet Plane (and we're taking this hope thing FAR!)

You travel, we pay.

Isn't that a lovely, lovely line? Why don't people say this to us more often?

Well the finalists are up and we happen to be one of the chosen ones (and by golly we're surprised!).

We have no idea on what basis the final selection will be made, but we have our fingers, toes and eyes firmly crossed.

We're also chasing a chicken to sacrifice at the altar of the OTB gods, but the damned thing keeps getting away. There's a slab of wood close at hand and we're making a determined effort to stay away from black cats, ladders and spilled salt. A string of nimbu and mirchi has been duly hung up on our Macintosh and a horseshoe has been pinched from it's owner (let it go darn hoss! You can get another one!).

We think we're all set now. Oh wait, wish us well, blog-people?


The results are in and it turns out we're not the one. We're a *little* disappointed, after all, spending other people's money is just so much more fun!

Ah well! For those intent on walking, the road goes ever on...

Chicken Little and Other Stories

Ever since the bird-flu outbreak, the SB has sworn off poultry in it's many glorious forms - boiled/fried/scrambled/omelett-ed eggs, tandoori/fried/curried chicken and even pastries* which might have egg as an ingredient.

Nothing can convince him. Not the explanation, "But it's been cooked at above 100 degrees Celsius and everyone knows that 70 is enough!"; not the government's declaration of the state's bird-flu-freeness; nope, not even Sanjay Dutt in all his shirtless** (and arm wrestling with an animated chicken) glory.

The SB refers to this unreasonable, unfair rejection of normal-breakfast-food as being 'risk averse'; we, to send home a point, run around the house screaming that 'the sky is about to fall on our heads any moment now and we'd better take cover!'.

In adherence to the non-interference treaty of September '05*** however, he cannot stop, hamper or protest against *our* consumption of poultry. Except for frowning in disapproval whenever we cheerfully call up the corner store to send us a dozen eggs.

Which is why, it is even more fun to call him into the kitchen when we're making breakfast and say, "Look SB! Yummy fried bird-flu!", and watch him turn some very interesting shades of purple.

Such fun!

*Souffles and mousses (in which the eggs ARE RAW!), he is, inexplicably enough, okay with.
**An honour, previously conferred upon Salman the Unbelievably Lucky.
***"I will not presume to know better than you, what is good for you, so help me god."


In other news, we have discovered that we're quite terribly susceptible to the enthusiasm-bug. By which we mean, a couple of words at the right time, at the right place, and we're absolutely bubbling over with the stuff.

One (seemingly innocent) conversation with a certain somebody (you know who you are...Yes! You!) about the benefits of fitness, and we're thinking - "Hmmm...he has a point there. You DO feel better after a would be great if we could fit into that pair of jeans again...Oh! Remember that slinky black dress*?! We'd forgotten all about it!! We could wear that!" - and from there, it's just one small step to showing up in the gym all shiny and happy and scaring-the-daylights-out-of-the-gym-instructor.

We are blinded by visions of shopping for doll-sized articles of clothing and slipping into them with nary a wiggle, and don't even notice the rest of the people in the gym, slowly backing off from the earthquake, the epicenter of which is us. We run up to the instructor after every couple of minutes, deluding ourselves that the look in his eyes is the 'you-go-girl! of non-verbal communication, when it is actually the okay!-crazy-lady-on-the-loose-people!-man-your-stations-NOW! of it.

The problem with the enthusiasm-bug is, it lacks foresight, or no wait, what it lacks is near-future-as-in-what-will-happen-tomorrow-foresight.

So now, while we *do* believe that fitness is a good thing, we're pretty sure that being this enthusiastic about it, is not.

Because today, we woke up, no closer to the body beautiful, but with a gait that bore a striking resemblance to the Tin Man's, pre-oiling. And feeling like a herd of elephants slow-danced over us the night before.


* Yes. We do own a slinky black dress. It is tucked away with all the other 26"- waisted (wasted?) outfits in the Wardrobe of Hope.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Picky! Picky! Picky!

Behind ice lies J&K Govt-Governor chill

For people who have chosen to bow down in worship to a stalagmite, for it's resemblance to a penis*, they're awful fussy.

*And it says some rather worrying things about you, when out of all the symbols in the whole wide world you could have chosen to symbolise divinity, you choose a penis.

Religion is so strange.