Thursday, February 19, 2009

Cabbies and conversations

He says he loves philosophical cabbies. He recounts this one time when he'd hurt himself and was walking around with a bandaged forehead. He'd got into a cab and had just settled into the seat when the cabbie asked him,
: Sahab, aapke sar pe kya hua?
: Chot lag gayi.
: Sahab, dil pe lagne vaali cheez chot hoti hai. Jo sharir pe lage usko 'maar' kehte hain.

He's laughing so hard as he tells me this, that I begin to love the cabbie too. Not for being philosophical, though there's that too, but for making him laugh this way.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


He's a complete and utter sweetheart. Only....somehow, he was a lot more *interesting* inside my head.

You know what I mean?

The stuff of dreams - Part II

In other news, I dreamt of Amitav Ghosh last night. Yes, THE Amitav Ghosh. In the dream, I’m in some Singapore-like country (and I know this because I have veg hakka noodles for lunch. Ha! How elementary is THAT, Watson) and we bump into each other and, get this, it turns out, he wants to revive our affair and I’m all, no no, I can’t do this, I’m married now! And then he gives me all these accusing-alternating-with-beseeching looks and while on the outside, I’m being all morally-high(ly?)-grounded, there is this one moment, one, when he takes my hand and holds it to his chest and people, I melt (this on the inside, of course).

(On an aside, I am now seeing him in this completely different light. Completely. Not that any actual seeing happens, since he’s Amitav Ghosh and half way across the world and I am, well, me. But you know what I mean)

And then the dream turned into one of those trippy meta dreams where you sort of know you’re dreaming and all I could think of was, thank god this dream-affair didn’t happen before I interviewed him because, well, we all know how composed I am when faced with people who’ve featured in my dreams.

So did I tell you about that interview? Because it was my first interview ever, I was determined to be all professional and non-fan-girly. I researched like crazy, did all my homework, stayed up late and finished the book and drew up a list of questions. The interview went off well-enough (except that I lapsed into ultra-sonic mode a couple of times. I do that when I’m nervous. Charming, I know). He was an absolute darling; all soft-spoken and sad-but-intelligent-sounding and then it came to an end and I wanted to get my book signed and then chaos (of a sort) happened. For some mysterious reason, in the moments leading up to the signing, I was thinking about that one Friends episode in which Monica gets to hang out with Hootie and the Blowfish and one of them signs her bra (no wait, that was the one in which one of the blowfish gave her a hickey. Which was the autographed-bra episode?). And then I started to worry about which bra I was wearing and whether or not it was even remotely autograph-worthy* and of course, I couldn’t remember, so I had the bright idea of somehow subtly trying to figure it out by feeling the straps through my shirt. Well, for those of who are trying this out right now, YOU CANNOT TELL FROM THE STRAPS. So then I figured, well he’s still looking for a pen so maybe I can sneak a quick peek down my shirt; it won’t take more than a second! So I did and when I looked up there was this worried look on his face. I don’t know if it was because he saw me looking inquisitively down my own shirt or because he still couldn’t find a pen.

His autograph says, ‘For CS, with my best wishes, Amitav Ghosh’. The ‘F’ in ‘for’ starts out a little wobbly but is fine by the time he reaches the ‘r’. I think I got away with it. Don’t you?

* Not that I *planned* to ask him to autograph it, but it would’ve been nice to know that I had the option.

Friday, February 13, 2009



Holy fuck, what is *wrong* with me?

Worth their weight in gold*

In conversation with girlfriends who also have 'weight issues':

CS: I don't really care about getting fit, all *I* want is to be thin!
Girlfriends in chorus: Oh gosh! Me too!

Conclusion: Growing old doesn't make us any wiser; it just makes us more honest about – and oddly, more accepting of – how shallow we are.

*Friends who have the same amount depth (or the lack of it) as you. :)


Dedicated to the gentleman who comes to the gym in RSS-style khakhi shorts.

If you want a body like Zeus's
We do recommend that you use
This thing called deodorant
About which we're militant
Because you don't smell like a rose.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Hell hath no fury…

…like an insomniac awoken.

Dear friends, family and other assorted nincompoops who call me past 10:00 p.m.,

I love you all, dearly, and I would lay down my life for you (not you, assorted nincompoops) in a hot second, but seriously, WTF? Why do all of you persist in calling me only after 10:00 p.m.? Why is the thought of conversing with me appealing only AFTER the clock strikes 10? Do I sound better when I’m groggy with sleep? Does the disorientation in my voice make me more endearing? What is it? WhatwhatWHAT??

I don’t know if you know this about me, but roundabout in 2004, my one-time-good-buddy Morpheus deserted me big time. We were close once, yes, but our 14-hour long trysts are now a thing of the happy somnific past. Dude has walked and left me a raving insomniac. Which means sleep now is something that happens infrequently and with great difficulty.

Where earlier my bedtime was a simple two-step process:
1. Place head on pillow
2. Crash into deep, Kumbhakarna-like slumber from which the devil and his horses cannot rouse me.

Now, it is the following:
1. Place head on pillow
2. Shift pillow around, punch it into shape, shift it around some more
3. Kick off bedclothes, then pull them on, then kick them off again. (repeat one hundred times)
4. Clamber out of bed, adjust fan speed, climb back into bed. Climb out again, adjust fan speed again. (Repeat three times)
5. Toss, turn, toss, turn, toss, turn (repeat till you have pretty much butter-churned yourself into exhaustion and fitful sleep).

And when finally, finally I get to the point where I’m about to drop of the precipice of consciousness and float down on a fluffy cloud of sleep, one of you calls me, the shrill ring cruelly jerking me back to that state where I will have to go through steps 1 to 5 ALL. OVER. AGAIN.

Why folks? What the hell have I ever done to you?

You just called to wish me a happy birthday? Well, that is thoughtful of you, and now I feel like a bitch for telling you this, but this how happy you’ve made me.

CS: Slowly, after many hours of tossing and turning, drifts off to sleep.
CS: Shoots out of bed, wild-eyed, crazy haired and disoriented as fuck.
“What the…?! Who the @#$%^&* is calling me at this time of night?! Bloody @@#$%!! Couldn’t it have waited until @#$% morning??“

So yes, happy? I DON’T THINK SO.

See the thing is, I’m not anal about the dates. You can wish me happy a YEAR after the event and I won’t hold it against you. I know remembering dates can be a pain and I forget them myself very frequently (which might explain also why I’m so willing to forgive, but that’s neither here nor there). Birthdays, anniversaries, New Years, Christmas, Diwali, dude, they are all just dates. They do NOT matter. What does matter is being able to have a decent, non-groggy, non-murderous conversation with you under circumstances that we are BOTH comfortable with. Have I ever called you post 10:00 p.m.? Is it ever MY phone calls that rouse you out of bed on sleepy Sundays? No, right? Then why, why this sadistic urge to yank me from my hard-earned sleep and as a consequence, ensure that I spend the next day walking around like bear with a sore head?? WhywhyWHY??

*sobs brokenly*

I understand that some of you live in different time zones which somehow make you forget that your afternoon is my midnight, but it’s not that hard to do, really! So here’s the deal. The next time you’re taken by the urge to hear the melodious sound of my voice, take a moment and think it through. Then stop and think again. Also, for your convenience, I have made out a little checklist of circumstances under which you can and cannot call me after 10:00 p.m.

1. You are dead. Or very close to it. Or someone in our immediate family is in grievous danger. (Yes, call. No, second cousin twice removed does NOT count)
2. There is a terrorist attack in a random part of the world that I have no connection with and more importantly, cannot do anything about. (No. It can jolly well wait till morning)
3. It is my birthday / anniversary / random festival (No. Remember morning? Yeah, WAIT FOR IT).
4. You want to hear the melodious sound of my voice. (No. Call me post 10 and what you get to hear will be nothing even remotely melodious. Trust me on that)
5. There have been blasts close to where I live and you’re worried about me. (No. Unless you hear of blasts specifically inside *my* building. Trust me, I’ll be home safe. If I’m not, I’LL call YOU and tell you so.)

And now that we're clear on that, I would like you to know that if any of you now call me post-10:00 p.m., I am striking you vehemently off my will...vehemently!

With all my love (except to the nincompoops),


Monday, February 02, 2009

So much for my coffee shop in Coorg

In the words of Calvin (the six-year-old, not the stoic), "Reality continues to ruin my life."