Wednesday, December 20, 2006

That's It, Folks!

I know this is a little bit early, maybe about ten days premature, but as I've been screaming from the rooftops for a while now, I'm finally leaving for The Other Country on Saturday. Surprised? Well, you haven't been paying attention. I'm displeased. Which other country, you ask? My god, you have been snoozing, haven't you? Read the older posts, that's a fitting punishment. Anyway, since Saturday is D-day, the next two days look like they're going to be choc-a-bloc with last minute scrambling. So, people, this is my last post for this year. I know, I know, year-end reviews are so boring, and nobody really wants to know what my year has been like, but I don't care, I want to tell. Ok, I'll keep it short.

In many ways, both professionally and personally, this has probably been the worst year of my life so far. Most things which could have gone wrong, have gone wrong. I have been Murphy's faithful guinea pig. So, in a sense, I'm glad its going to end soon. I'm sure things will look up in the new year. I don't know why I'm sure. I don't want to examine the reasons for my optimism. Anyway, aren't you only truly optimistic when you have no reason to be?

So, next year, I'm going to be a more committed student. Do not laugh. I shall, in any case, have more chances of attending classes than I did this semester. Also, I will try to be more conscientious about keeping in touch with my near and dear ones, the volume of complaints this year has been truly overwhelming. I will also join dancing classes, and driving classes, and swimming classes. God, next year has already begun to drag. I will go to Goa, no matter what. And I may just take that detour to Bombay on the way. I don't know why I like calling it Bombay. Maybe I'm Portuguese in spirit, and I don't know it yet. Most important, I will get a job, even if that job is as the first watchwoman for one of the posh housing complexes here in Delhi.

Okay no more about next year. One of the best things that happened to me this year was, of course, blogdom. So, thank you Sexy Beast (my laptop) and Kitkat (my mentor). I will, of course, write a little bit more next year. You haven't seen the last of me yet!

Time for a few year end messages, now that the stocktaking is over.

Kitkat: - Rejuvenate, Refresh, Revive. You'll need to be in peak form to take care of me. Oh, and let others take care of you sometimes, okay? I love you, but you know that.

Sim: - You're actually quite cute when you get mad, but don't get too cute towards me, ok? You see, I don't know of any two other best friends in the world who were born on the same day, and I'd like to keep it that way. Hugs and love, lots of both.

Pari: - Please, for heaven's sake, leave some men on this planet for the rest of us. Actually, its ok if you don't. I promise to love you anyway.

Reeju: - Lighten up, please. Life isn't all that bad. And we're going to Harappa! What more could you possibly want?

Simran: - Even though you won't read this, I want you to know that you're always in my heart.

Akhila: - Even though what brought us together wasn't very pleasant, I'm glad we're better friends because of it. We're fun together, no?

Lal: - You crazy girl, get here fast. We never get any time together. And you're special, almost as weird as I am. Get here NOW!!! Love you and miss you lots...

Sisters: - You are both crazy, how can you not be? We're from the same gene pool. Anyway, I wanted to say, I know its difficult, seems impossible at times. But we're good, y'know? We'll make it.

Suk and Raghu (aka the Mumbai madness): - I'll make it there, someday. Till then, stop taking my trip and giving me headaches. Also, seriously, thanks for all the laughs.

To all bloggers, readers, sundry people who've touched my life, thank you. What would I do without you? Probably drive my roommate crazy. Really, you've made this fun, you've shared, you've enlightened, you've enjoyed (sometimes atleast, I hope). Stay with me, okay?

Oh, and Blues, I don't know if you've looked it up yet, but in case you haven't, in the spirit of the holiday season, here goes. Propinquity means nearness, in time, space, relationships, or just in the way we think. My favourite kind is when it has all of these.

Till next year, this is me signing off. Me, heh? ok, aka Sangy, aka whatever else you folks call me. Have a good time.



Monday, December 18, 2006

Weird Chronicles- Part one

The other day someone asked me why I insist on calling myself weird although I seem to be a perfectly normal person. The question was posed in such a way as to imply that I was trying to latch on to the 'weirdness' bandwagon because it has suddenly become more fashionable (has it?). Its true, for a very long time I didn't think that I was strange, because I didn't know that there was an alternate, 'normal' way to be. Even when I did find out, I was too thoroughly offended by the concept of normal to really aspire to it, or try to change myself to 'fit in'. I mean, norms are the most stifling, boring things ever created, and to have to BE them, day in and day out, isn't a fate that I could ever desire for myself or for anyone else. But then I never considered myself weird, or strange, just different. But you see, life has brought along with it a greater degree of self awareness and introspective ability, so I've realised that the word 'different' is inadequate; it is in fact 'weird' that encapsulates me. And no, its not because its more 'in', most of the time, being this way is a pain, a royal embarrassment. I'll prove it.

Till the age of seven, I was thoroughly convinced that Amitabh Bachchan's real name was Amita Bachchan, and that he was Hema Malini's sister. This strong conviction persisted in spite of my knowledge of the fact that boys could only be brothers, and girls could only be sisters.

When I was four years old, I was integrated into the educational system which has, since then, been my only occupation. At the end of that year, we got our first report cards. I, of course, had to be dramatic. So, on reaching home, I ran to the backyard, screaming,"MA! I CAME FIRST IN CLASS!" My mum, of course, was thrilled, because she was still naive enough to believe that this was a possibility. So she asked me if I had been the first one in class to be handed my report card. Puzzled, I said no, of course not. Now, she was confused. She asked me why I'd told her that I'd come first in class. I said,"Because that's what they do in the movies on Doordarshan, every Saturday". I found it quite incredulous that she should ask.

I've slept through earthquakes, Shillong being a seismically active area and all. I've even kicked my sister when she tried to pull me out of bed at midnight during an earthquake, and promptly rolled back to sleep. But, I suspect that a lot of people have done that. Wait, impatient ones, let me get to the real story. When I was in the VIIIth standard, my mum underwent an appendectomy. But a couple of months later, on the night before Holi, to be precise, some problems occurred. Of course, the next day being a holiday, I had blissfully gone off to bed. The next morning, my dad woke me up at six am, with the non-negotiable "I've already made you tea" For the uninformed, I love my tea, and my father was a gastronomical genius. So, grumbling, I woke up, washed up and sauntered into my parents' bedroom. There I saw that someone was still asleep. So I very loudly remarked, "SO! This is how it is, is it? You wake me up needlessly, and then go back to bed yourself?" Then I went to the balcony where I saw my dad and my sisters, all looking very serious. It then occurred to me that it was my mum who was in bed. I asked my sister, "How come Ma is the only one who gets to sleep late?" To this she answered,"Do you not recall anything? Last night the doctor came home around 3 am, all our relatives were here too". Still puzzled, I asked,"Did they come to start playing Holi before the rest of the world?"

As a four year old, I watched 'Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak' eleven times. In a row.

My idea of fun was to tell my innocent little sister that she could find permission to go to the terrace by going through the contents of my mum's handbag, because permission was a red slip of paper.

When I was sixteen, I had to undergo an extended ordeal in the form of about eight sessions with the dentist, spread over some ten days. The pain was unbelievable, but of course I couldn't let myself cry (I was sixteen, I had some pride, y'know). So, I sang. Loudly. You can imagine the quality of the music when its accompanied by drilling. After undergoing an extraction, I walked over to the doctor's cabinet where there were a dozen odd little bottles. One of them was labelled 'Ammonia Aromatic'. I took one sniff and almost passed out, it smelled so bad. For the next twenty minutes, I lectured the dentist on how a sense of humour was a good thing, but his was all messed up, if he considered that 'aromatic'.

Once I was coming back to Delhi after spending winter at home. I was travelling alone, and this man, who had the berth opposite to mine in the train, had to be a lech. Obviously. He was not even one of the regular variety. He was one of those profound lechers, whose eyes glaze over after a while, and who cannot be shamed into looking away if you look straight back at them. I'd been reading for a couple of hours (I think it was the Collected Works of Oscar Wilde, so I was still in a relatively better mood). Then it really got to me, I couldn't bear it anymore. So, in my sweetest voice, I offered him my book. He was flabbergasted. I think he responded with a "Gunhhh?!!?" I then explained to him about how I'd noticed him looking at my book for the last three hours, and if he really wanted to read it so much, all he needed to do was ask. Then I escaped to the bathroom and laughed my head off.

I have a belly laugh. It has scared people. Many people. It doesn't really need a reason to erupt. And, at some point of time or the other, I've laughed at everyone. Everyone.

Ok, now i'm hungry, I need lunch. So that is it for now. The Weird Chronicles may continue, or may not. Depends on whether I continue to be in this light brown mood for very long. Till then, do not presume to doubt my weird credentials. You may just be punished with a belly laugh.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Unwell

I've always wondered at dissatisfied people, people who had all that they could possibly want, but still kept looking for more. I never understood this vague disenchantment, and I never had time for it. Right now, though, I think I'm beginning to understand. I mean, its the holidays, there is absolutely no work that I have to attend to. I'm living with no other aim in mind than to do exactly what pleases me, and therefore, lately, I've realized that I have absolutely no idea what I'm looking for, what makes me happy. On the surface, my life seems absolutely fine to me. I'm still studying (barely), which, everyone, assures me, is the best thing to do, I have good friends who are mostly reasonable in dealing with me, my family also doesn't seem to be asking me any uncomfortable questions (like "Who the heck will hire you next year? You're talentless AND you have no noteworthy qualifications..."). But still, I can't sleep at night. I keep squirming because of this weird weightlessness in my stomach (and believe me, stuffing it with food in order to lend it some gravity doesn't help).

It was so much easier as a child. As I told a fellow blogger recently, I was much more mature at eight than I am at twenty two. I knew exactly what it was that I wanted, and exactly how to achieve it. I could clinically separate the believable fairy tales (oxymoron, you say? You've never read a fairy tale like I have) from the ones which were merely foolish flights of fancy. Most of all, I was a great deal more secure. Secure in the knowledge that I was doing the right thing (I've had very strangely flexible morals, even as a child). I was happy being the sickly child who owlishly devoured book after book, never going out to play, unless my wilder cousins threatened me with unspeakable consequences (no, I shan't speak of those....shudder). I had so much to think of, so many plans to make inside my head, to be implemented when I was 'all grown up'. I was so sure that I was gonna make a really great 'grown up'.

Now I'm not so sure anymore. I feel severely hemmed in, suffocated by my inablilities. I want to talk, but I feel stupid when I try. Even this post is embarrassing me, but the discontent needs to be expressed somehow, so I don't care. I don't want to be nice or thoughtful or smart, or whatever it is that I'm supposed to be, anymore. I only want to not want more, to be happy with what I have, but I don't know how...

Thursday, December 14, 2006

So early?!! You ok?

I don't believe I've ever written a post in the morning....interesting. Why am I even awake? I slept late last night, as usual...oh dear, now this is scary.For the world to be alright some things cannot change, and I seriously cannot be awake before 9am on a holiday! HELP!!!!!
Anyway, leaving the hyperventilating for later, looks like I"m finally going to Pakistan! Its too cold to get out of bed to do my victory dance, so I'll just complete the ritual in my head. Appropriate music...hmm, guitar solo maybe...Eric Clapton, perfect. Wow, that has to be the worst victory dance ritual ever. Ok, I'm rambling again. It still hasn't sunk in, actually. And yesterday there were moments when I actually thought that we'd blown our chance.


We (A and I) had an appointment with a senior diplomat at the high commission who would handle our visa applications. We had fixed up an appointment for 10 am yesterday. The day started off on an ominous note when A woke up bleary-eyed to discover that it was already 9.30am (expletive)! So we called the gentleman, who graciously postponed the appointment by an hour. And then began the scramble...visa forms, passports, changing clothes, checking that we had everything...sheer chaos. We left hostel with about twenty minutes to spare, with not a drop of food or drink in our stomachs. Obviously, as anyone familiar with this campus will tell you, when you really need them, there are no autos around. So we jumped into a passing cab, we were that desperate (any Delhiite will tell you that getting into a random cab just isn't something you can do over here). Anyway, we miraculously reached the place on time for the appointment. On the way we discovered that we had forgotten to read the instructions on the last page of the form which clearly stated that the form had to be typed onto. Actually, we didn't discover it. We were made aware of it over the phone by R, who had purchased the visa forms. She also graciously gave us very precise directions to the high commission. I believe she said we would find it by going on a straight road that came after a weird bridge. Totally normal, precise....sheesh. You can see what we were up against.

Anyway, we finally walked into the high commission at 11am. It was a spooky sensation, extraterritoriality had never been real to me before. Anyway, we met the gentleman, who must have taken pity on us dolts, and helped us to fill out whatever we had missed in the forms. Then he went away to process them, leaving us to wait for about two hours. We were so fidgety in the beginning, couldn't stop talking, mostly about how most men we knew were such oblivious creatures, who couldn't spot a good thing if it danced the meringue in front of them. Anyway, discussions borne out of frustration aside, the central heating soon calmed us down. We both almost went to sleep on the plush leather sofas. And then, it was done! Our handwritten forms were accepted, and our passports had the most beautiful visa I have ever seen (ok, nitpickers, the only visa I have ever seen). The gentleman was so polite to us that it amost scared me. If everyone in Pakistan is this polite, I shall be constantly ashamed of myself for being unable to speak two full sentences without saying 'crap'. And I know a few religious fans of the F word and other such linguistic pleasantries who should definitely wash their mouths with soap should they ever decide to visit Pakistan. A and I walked out of the room with a proud feeling of achievement, promptly extinguished by the fact that we walked into the wrong room and had to make a rather embarrassing exit.

The relief that we both felt on stepping out of that gate is hard to believe. It made me realize that it is impossible for me to even consider the possibility of living anywhere else except in this land where confusion reigns supreme. Comfort zones are really hard to give up...In conclusion, I like politeness but sometimes it really intimidates me, diplomatic/official circles turn my knees into jelly, if I ever have any appointment for anything, I will wake up late, and the next morning I'll be up at dawn to write about it, and, last of all, I'm going! YAY!!!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Today, another day

Well, another day has passed. I'm still where I was when it began. Well, no. I watched a movie, THE movie that I was warned against with such eloquent despair by a fellow blogger recently. The eloquence of the despair only made me enjoy myself more than I would've, considering that the movie by itself was average. What I learned in the process was quite considerable. Let me recapitulate for your benefit. If you think that leaving at six for a show scheduled to begin at six thirty is good enough, because the theatre is pretty nearby, and anyway, there can't be a rush because college exams are on elsewhere and its a Monday evening, for heavens' sake, then you are woefully wrong. You will just make it in time, be told that tickets are sold out, then buy tickets in black seeing that you've come all the way so you might as well watch the movie, and let yourself experience the pleasures of the rear stall for the first time in your life....actually, it wasn't half bad, lots of leg room. Then you will go on to learn that tea gets cold surprisingly quickly in winter (really?), bringing little tots to a movie that clearly isn't kiddie fare will only lead to disorientation and loss of direction for the tots and annoyance for other viewers who will get back at the parents by writing about them. Next time, sitter, please. You and your kids will both be happier. Also, if you're at a stage of life when the restrooms become of vital importance to you, then get seats near the exit, and as soon as the interval begins, run like your pants are on fire. If the boisterous couple behind you decides to celebrate its love by kicking your seat down, complain loudly and/or LOOK at them in a way that uses your glasses to full effect. Everyone had a scary teacher in school who used her visual aid to intimidate those in her charge.

Those were the lessons that life taught me. What I learned from the movie per se makes me want to give the people involved a few personal messages, so, here goes.

Hrithik Roshan:- Seriously, man, do not get into any more positive roles. This has been the only time in recent history that I haven't felt like punching you till you're blue, so maybe you're on to something here.

Abhishek Bachchan:- The secret to looking cool is to not appear as though you're trying too hard. Even the walk looked tired. Get some sleep, man.

Uday Chopra:- Cute isn't cute anymore when it becomes trite and overdone. To be the comical sidekick doesn't mean you take the word 'caricature' literally. Although, to be fair, anything's better than Neal, the rockstar.

Bipasha Basu:- Woman! How could you let them do this to you? Entice you into playing the ubercool cop in the first half, if slightly fawning over the AB, and then change you into a bikini-wearing dolt with no lines in the second half? I'm outraged, also because you deserve tremendous respect for being inflammable enough to take one of the worst outfits I've seen in recent history (that orange gown/dress/something) and to turn it into haute (hot?) couture by simply being yourself. Do not let yourself get suckered like this again.

Aishwarya Rai:- You talk silly. And you sound like you know it. You wield a great deal of power in filmland, I believe. Then, for God's sake, use it. Object when the writer gives you lines that make you say 'like' after every second word. It isn't cool, or cute, or funny. You're playing a thief. Don't sound like a twelve year old who's trying desperately to get 'with it'.

The director/writer/whoever's responsible:- Making a sequel involves some amount of responsibility to the audience. That responsibility is yours. So pray, explain. Why is a (drag?) queen of caucasian descent travelling across the Namibian desert in a train? WITH HER CROWN? If a thief and his accomplice have escaped in a melee of people, and there is a decent gap between them and the cops, then how do the cops know exactly where and when to position their helicopter so that the next chase scene can conveniently start? How does a man posing as a statue in a museum hall walk out of there amidst tight security while still looking like a statue? Why do the umpteen number of security men guarding a priceless diamond never look at the diamond itself? I really wouldn't have carped so much if you hadn't used the word 'perfect' to describe these escapades. Ok, I'm lying. I would've carped just as much.

Well, that's all about the movie. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, partly because the big screen gives me a high, regardless of what's playing on it, and partly because I finally got out of my room.
So I'm back in my room. Going to attack the cookies I bought after the movie. Nothing else is happening, or likely to happen very soon. But that's ok. I'm really enjoying the wait. And I will watch, and enjoy, some more bad movies in the meantime.


P.S. This post is dedicated to the one who did not enjoy the insanity, and tried to warn me, not knowing that crap is fodder for thought for me :P

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Random

I have nothing particularly pertinent to write about. But I'm also terribly, terribly bored and have nothing else to do. So, suffer.....Ha!

I don't like being a Bengali in JNU. Not that I'm much of a Bengali anyway, but it just irritates me because of one simple reason. Three fifths of the people here are probably Bengali, about a third of them talk really loud. And that's how I unintentionally know the gory details of a zillion people who were engaged in loud conversation when they passed me by. I hate being an eavesdropper, even if its unintentional.

There's something about winter. It makes me even lazier than I usually am. All I wanna do is stay in bed all day long, with prompt room service and steaming meals. Seriously, that's all I wanna do.
Girls, I'm not one to talk about sartorial sense, but really, please don't team up monkeycaps with salwar kameezes. I'm trying really hard to be nice, and you're not making it easier.


And Maya, sweetie, I know I really love you and all, but the next time I come to say hi and you ignore me, perched on your little spot on top of the boundary wall, and you proceed to 'whatever' me by turning your face away, its all over between us. You know I mean it...

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Being grey

Today I had to perform an extremely unpleasant errand for somebody who really should have known better than to ask this of me. I was made to go back to this hospital which was the place where I spent a couple of the most hellish months of my life, in order to hand over a trivial gift, right at the reception area where I got to know that terrible truth. I could have chosen to ignore this particular errand, but I don't want anybody to feel like I owe them anything. So I went, telling myself that I'm old enough to deal with this, that life isn't about running away. But it was so hard to see that place again, the roads leading up to it, the building, the canteen where I spent endless nights alone gobbling up a solitary sandwich for dinner, hoping that I would be able to stay awake to help and not be too crabby about it. Most of all, I was thinking about the person that place took away from me, and how I messed up my chance to do the right thing by her. When I walked into the reception area, I kept looking for her shadow, to see if it watching me struggle.

I know, life goes on. Nothing terribly profound about that, coz life only knows how to go on. I know that I have to go on, and to realize that its not all about me, and how I feel. There are other, more important things, like running errands. But it isn't happening very naturally. I look around and I see how I sometimes make people who are close to me uncomfortable, coz they really don't know what to say to me. That look on their faces, saying that they're sorry for me, but they don't know how to let me know that without offending me, or making me feel worse. As it is, being a social creature is hard for me, and it makes it doubly tough when I see myself guarding against the very people that I love the most in the world. I don't know how long it will take for me to get over this nagging hurt. I just hope that it happens, and soon. I also hope that when it does, I don't wake up to find that I've distanced everyone who has tried to help. This experience has changed me. I've become a cynic, jaded, weary and bitter. I just hope the change isn't irrevocable, coz I really don't like the way I've become. The only encouraging sign is that I'm still tenaciously holding on to hope, a little bit of it. Maybe it'll save me.

I want to be whole again. I want to laugh with all my heart, coz 75 percent just isn't good enough. I want to be as foolish as I was before I got a taste of hospitals. But you can't choose your experiences. So I'll just pray that I can make my peace with them, and hope that there are second chances, opportunities that can help me make up for my mistakes, even though I can't ever compensate for this particular one. I hope to be strong enough to break this wall around my heart.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Shut Up!!

Till very recently, I thought that I'd been suffering from writer's block...but now the words are flowing so fast that my fingers can't keep pace. What brought about this amazing transformation, you ask? Simple. Anger. Pure, unadulterated anger. I cannot believe that sometimes, in fact so many times, education is just a waste, and that people remain such twits! (Sorry for the language). People, my post today is about feminism, so all of you who couldn't be bothered, please, for heaven's sake, stop reading right now. Or maybe you should chew on the fact that 'apathetic' contains 'pathetic' inside it.

Yes, feminism. I like it, I espouse it. Why, you ask? Because I have studied it, and I understand it. Conversely, because I have studied it, I have the right to dismiss it if I wish to, and I refuse to share this right with every random person on the street. Big deal, you say..yes, it is a very big deal. Today if I decide that conventional medicine is all a bunch of hocus pocus and should be done away with, will you listen to me and come to me for treatment the next time you fall sick? Of course not, The reason? I'm not a doctor. I'm not qualified to make such statements. So if that respect is accorded to medicine, why is social science everybody's playing field, and fair game for everyone? Coz it speaks in English?

Getting back to feminism, I have heard so many educated women, dressed in jeans, maybe even smoking the regulation cigarette, claiming that they aren't feminists, like its an infectious disease or something. I've wanted to scream, "Just LOOK AT YOURSELVES, FOR PITY'S SAKE!!!" Why do you think you're able to wear jeans, or smoke cigarettes? Why do you think you're able to 'choose a love marriage', whatever that is? Because, dolts, that space is available to you today. You may not care enough to vote, but just imagine...YOU CAN! How the heck do you think you got all these things? Through the benevolence of men?? My advice is, join a library, and use it, please. The thought that you are the people who benefitted from all the years of toil undertaken by all those marvellous women just leaves me cold.

Also, feminism is an academic discipline. It is a body of work that has been subjected to the most critical analyses by the most brilliant minds in social science. It is NOT trivia, to be dismissed after trivial and perfunctory discussions. So, the next time, when you decide to not get married, or eat like a pig, or buy the shortest skirt in the store, think about who gave you this freedom. Have a little respect for the state of things today, because so many people dedicated their lives to making sure that this much atleast could be accomplished. And, please, think before you say things that sound airy and cool but are vapid and insubstantial. This is for my benefit, women. Don't get me mad again.

On a happier note, the new James Bond is quite ok, almost good, as long as he keeps his shirt on.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Why me?

Have you ever had one of those days where, right from the moment you wake up, life goes on a downward spiral just to show you who the boss really is? Where, at every step, you've faced reverses for no apparent reason, just coz people wanna see how the word 'no' rolls off their tongues? Just had one? Welcome to my world....

So, in the morning, I go to make a presentation for the professor who I've always regarded as slightly off, but essentially a decent person. Before class, I enquire if he is going to increase the weightage on this particular essay to make up for the mid-semester exam that I missed because of various reasons. I'm pretty confident that he'll agree, because anyone who's even half human can see that I've had huge problems this semester owing to circumstances which were beyond my control. So I ask him, all hopeful and earnest, and he gives me a precious pearl of wisdom: "Absent means Absent!" I stand there, gaping at him, while the realization hits home that, clearly, for all his resemblance to Swaminathan from Malgudi Days, the milk of human kindness does not, in fact, flow through his veins.......He's giving me a 25% @#$#@ grade cut just to show me that he can!

Fuming, I make my way to the passport office, after sitting through two nauseating hours of presentations where I was feeling like a murderous basilisk. On reaching this particular monument to nationalism, I'm told by the smug guard that submissions are allowed only till one pm and I'll have to come back on Monday!! This effectively ruins my chances of actually taking that trip that I've been consoling myself with for months!

Then I decide to make myself feel better with the best restorative, i.e., a good lunch, seeing as I haven't had a bite to eat all day. So I make my way to the regulation pizza place and order myself a pasta to take off the scars of the day. The waiter then not only confuses fusilli with spaghetti, but also has the cheek to tell me that he may condescend to change my food, but no matter what I say, I did order spaghetti, coz he says so! I'm so mad that I sweetly decline his offer to change my food and gulp down all that horrible spaghetti just so that the gods may be satisfied that their vengeance is complete.....but that apparently isn't enough. I get back to my room to try and study somehow, and owing to my late night shenanigans of last night, proceed to fall asleep on my laptop.

Ye gads, I'm sorry. I don't know what it is that I've done to deserve this, but really, I cannot take any more bad news. I've also realized that people really are mean, so mean. If by any circumstance they are in a situation where they have even the most miniscule amount of power over you, they will milk it for all that it's worth and they will use it to make you unhappy. I've really had it, I don't want to leave my room ever again. I'm so, so sore and so very tired...

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Slammin' HOT(!?!)

In my limited interactions with the male of my species, I have repeatedly been made aware of the existence of a sub-species within the general pool of the female homo sapien sapien (yes it comes twice, do not attribute your ignorance to a typing error on my part). This select branch goes by the rather vague tags of 'hottie', 'hot chick' (not sizzlers made of poultry), 'babe', 'bomb' etc. The very first impression one gets is that of an arsenal with immense destructive capacity....maybe Dubyaman had heard that Afghanistan and Iraq were both full of hot chicks. Anyway, I very foolishly attempted to understand this classification of my sex in a systematic way. But, as usual, I was thoroughly disappointed in the men of this world. They were only able to offer me the rather inadequate explanation that 'hotties cannot be defined'. I still persisted, and persuaded some of the unwitting participants of the study to get a little more candid with their comments. So, here are the final conclusions of my study (drum roll)!

A woman is hot if her anatomy is of the variety that gives visual thrills to the male viewer. That cleared up in my mind the reason why so many guys always look slightly gormless to me, always agape....She is also hot if she is a simpering daisy or a brazen coquette. If she displays any inclination towards sense rather than sensibility, then she loses all chances of being viewed with any semblance of warmth, leave alone any emotion higher on the Celsius scale. So her input into a conversation can either be "Ooooh! You are, like, so smart, darlin'!", or, blink, blink, "I'm sooooooooooo flirting with YOU!!!" Some men claim to find women with high IQs hot. Other men tell me that they're lying through their teeth. A hot woman may wear anything she chooses to, as long as she looks like clothes are expendable to her. She should walk with a certain 'something' (smug expression of awareness of attractiveness of self). She shouldn't have a large appetite, eating like a young killer whale is so unattractive!

So all you 'thanda' women out there, rejoice! You are free to eat, think, dress, walk, articulate, and in general, just be. I suppose that there are some hot women who are all the aforementioned things without really trying. For the rest, I suggest you stop being prisoners of an assigned, imagined temperature. Its seriously not worth it, and its so much fun to be able to eat like a young killer whale!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

You and me

Was it really that long ago
That we met, and touched?
That we made up our minds
To hold on?

It was all I'd wanted
And a lot, lot more
It felt like I was finally home
After so many forevers of weary wandering.

And then one day, I was awakened,
You felt that I was holding you too close,
Getting in your way,
Not letting you fly...

So we let go, hesitantly,
You drifted away, across galaxies,
So very far away that I
Couldn't even trace your path in the stardust.

Since that faraway day,
My life has been an endless, endless wait.
And I suffer a more bitter loneliness
Now that I know how it was..

Sometimes I read you
In a line of a book somewhere
Or hear you in a line
Of some strange, haunting ditty.

I know one day we will be, again
And that you will find your way to me,
Its just that sometimes, I wonder
Do you wait for me also?

Is your soul as seared as mine
By the cruel silver of the moon?
Does the wind blowing through your hair
Make your spirit shiver like mine?

Don't answer me,
I can't bear to know,
I just hope that this lifetime is the last
Of the ones that I've spent looking..

Now every day stings a little bit more,
And every moment gets a little longer.
Make your way back before hope is extinguished
And I meld into the endless earth.

***Disclaimer for friends and well-wishers: 'You' and 'I' are imaginary characters. Please do not worry about my well-being.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Mellow

Its late at night...actually its early morning. I'm sitting in my room, listening to Sheryl Crow trying to convince James Bond to stay at home with her, coz he's 'not the only spy out there'..The lighting in the room's soft and warm, coming from the lamp that my roommate's rather ingenously devised. My feet are a little cold, but the shawl will mend that soon enough. In a little while, T and A will come here to share tea and some part of their lives with me. I'm drinking in the cleanliness, the cosiness and the sanity of where I am right now. My heart feels full, like I love the whole world at this moment. I'm also scheduling the whole of next week so as to enable me to pass the dreaded exams while doing the most minimal amount of work possible. I'm thinking of Kitkat, hoping she got home alright. I'm also wondering if Maya is suffering too much in the cold outside, my poor, precious little mutt. This is it, this is my life, my being, my happiness, right here, now, at this very moment, and I'm blessed.....

Saturday, November 11, 2006

You gotta have faith

The annual political binge on campus took place recently, so I was anticipating the usual fun, viz., being campaigned to, being besieged with significant smiles from the candidates, random people suddenly addressing me, the all-powerful voter, by my name, as though we were bosom buddies, people who've been oblivious to my existence for a year and a half suddenly trying to get to know me better....the works. The vibrancy of student politics is one of the million reasons that I'm in love with this campus. Its so heartening to see people of my age who actually care about the future of this nation and its people are aren't selfish, hedonistic pleasure-seekers like the rest of us.

Another not-so-welcome discovery was something I came across in myriad conversations with a variety of people. I realized that most folks are so deeply cynical and suspicious of politics, and the possibility of change....Most reactions were along the lines of "I'm going to vote, but in the end, it doesn't matter who wins. It won't make a difference to ME." In a nutshell, the evaluative category to judge politics and its worth is ME. What will it do for ME, for MY prospects? How will it benefit MY life? The selfishness of it doesn't surprise me, because I do not believe that there was was ever a 'Golden Age' where people only thought of each others' interests. What does surprise me is the sheer naivete of it. Nobody seems to realize that they are intrinsically linked to everyone else, and their gains and losses are similarly related. In the long run, social improvement need not be a zero-sum issue. People can benefit without others necessarily losing out. Yes, I realize that life is difficult enough without one having to make sacrifices to improve the lot of the faceless, invisible Other, but then, if we're not ready to give up a little something, who else will? People clamour for equality of opportunity, but they refuse to examine if the ground that they're standing on is equal to the footrests of the others who may not so lucky to even have solid ground to stand on. The oft-repeated refrain is "Why should I pay for the sins of my ancestors?" But the point is, as a society, how long can we run, and where? Someday the process of change has to start. One needs to believe that whatever is given up has been foregone for a worthwhile end, and that in some way, somewhere, someone will be better off because of it. Yes, the possibility of sacrifice getting lost in the mire of corruption and red tapism is very possible, but that does not mean that we don't even try. We all want the same things--true equality, dignity, better lives for all. But we cannot shrink at the prospect of doing something tangible to get there. There is no invisible divinity who will grant us the paradise we crave for humanity.....Paradise has to be built, and nothing worthwhile can be built by those who are afraid to get their own hands dirty.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Friend

Once upon a time, I had a friend. She was so much more than a friend to me. We were sisters, confidantes, agony aunts, mutual admiration society presidents and everything else that we could conceivably need in each other. We were different, and yet so alike that it made me wonder if somehow this connection had been celestially planned. Her presence made life so much better than tolerable, made home a lot less far away. Everything was peachy, or, well, as ok as it could possibly be.

Then, one day, I hurt myself a little bit. Wasn't too serious, just a scratch....or, atleast, it looked like a scratch. It didn't really pain me all that much, but then you know us attention freaks. Give us an inch and we'll take an entire universe. So I looked to my friend for attention, a little mollycoddling, a little bit of reassurance and nothing more. But she saw it differently. She was of the opinion that the cut was deeper than it looked. "C'mon, put some ointment on it rightaway, or it'll get infected and you'll be in so much more trouble". Good, sound advice. The only trouble was that I was so scared of the sting of the ointment that I preferred to let the wound fester, to hurt a little bit everyday rather than to burn me up all at once and then leave me healed, but shaken. So I told her, in everyway that I could, that I wouldn't be acting on her counsel. That did it for her. She was so convinced of my pig-headedness and my lack of resolve in dealing with life head on that she decided that she needed time off from us, maybe to make me realize that her way made eminently more sense than mine did.


So you went away, and kept away. Your way is better, maybe, than mine can ever be. Maybe your idea of being Sangy is superior to my lived reality of it. Maybe if you were me, you'd do a much better job of being me than I am doing right now. Maybe I'm being cowardly, and stupid, and maybe I am messing up my life. But that's just the point. I AM Sangy, and I'm doing the very best I can to be the best possible me. I love you for how much you care, and I wish that it were as easy for me to walk away, even temporarily.

Its not that I like punishment, or that I think misery is glamorous. Its not that I crave your pity, or even that I don't know that better alternatives are available to me. Its just this much. I'm living this life because I want to, I'm making these choices because I think that they're sensible. I respect your opinion, but I cannot be bound to it. I cannot be your friend on the conditionality of taking your advice, no matter how well-intentioned and reasonable it is. I need this space to be me, and you have to respect this, because I extend that very same respect to you. We all would live each others' lives differently if we had the choice, but the point is that we don't.....so please, don't grudge me my foolishness. I've got only one lifetime to be stupid. Please let me have it, with you in it, because without you I would just be so unimaginably poor..

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

So good, so bad

Over this last weekend I finally had the opportunity to watch a movie which had been preying on my mind for the last two weeks, making me even more curious than I usually am, and for a bloodhound like me, that's saying something. So I'd wanted to watch the redone version of 'Don' for quite some time, for my very own very special reasons. Firstly, as a child, I had so loved the original, which had gone the closest to the slinky, stylish, vaguely James Bond-ish world of gangsters, or atleast, the version of gangster life most familiar to the rest of us. Also, in my heart of hearts, I've always wanted to be a gun moll. Ok, let's face it...which girl hasn't?

So this Saturday was the day. And I wasn't totally disappointed, as many dire warnings had predicted. Yes, it was long, and confusing. Yes, there were a couple of rather tedious songs. Yes, SRK had hammed up liberally (but that was totally expected). Yes it wasn't as cleanly done as the original. But I still enjoyed it. It was slick, stylish and really....well, no other word for it..really cool. The champagne, the guns, the cars......everything was deliciously over the top. The molls were dumb and stunning, thus living up to my expectations completely. And a couple of times, I had discreetly started performing some rather bad dance moves of my own inside the theatre.

Then I wondered why most people who watch remakes keep harping about how it isn't as great as the original. My point, people, is that it isn't the original. I mean, imagine if you went to the parents of a newborn child, and told them, "You're baby is cute, but not as good as the original".

Also, I wondered how a gangster would feel on watching this portrait of a lifetsyle which would most probably be very far removed from his. Especially the ex-Miss World dancing to his tunes. He'd probably feel rather ironically indignant at the lack of honesty in this world. And for once, he'd be the one feeling thoroughly cheated..

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Highs and lows

Last night happened to be assigned to merrymaking with my friends. Now our merrymaking sessions tend to be rather protracted, taking advantage of the fact that we happen to live in a huge, gorgeous campus. A couple of times we've managed to catch the first light of dawn after a whole night of the most arbitrary forms of timepass. So last night, the gods of food and drink were smiling down on us as usual. And as is well known, when the gods like you, you're in deep trouble.

So everything was going on perfectly, when suddenly, I happened to look up at the sky. I began to reminisce of life back home, where the stars shine so much brighter, and where there is always time to look at the sky. In a couple of years, when my sister is ready to move out, the last link I have to that patch of earth that I was born in will be snapped, and the only home that I've ever known will be no more.

Obviously, thoughts of this nature are not very conducive to the general atmosphere of merrymaking. So I shook my head a couple of times and got back to socializing with my friends. Then began the sharpest mood swings I've ever had. When I was happy, I was delirious with it. I just couldn't stop giggling shrilly like my head was on fire or something. And in the next moment my sadness would seem to engulf me completely. As always, I began to employ the rather self-indulgent version of introspection that I like to use. For twenty odd minutes or so, I wondered if it was the stars who were playing with me, or if my subconscious had decided to have a little party of its own. I wondered if the familiar guilt had gotten tired of its familiar avatar and was trying out a new, more sinister form. One after one, I examined and discarded one after the other sophisticated explanation. Then after i had exhausted my repertoire of causalities, I decided to rely on my old favourite, Mr. Gandhi, who always advocated taking the path of simplicity. So I tried to think simply, and it is possibly the toughest thing to do with a mind that has believed in running around in circles since infancy. However, simple thinking it was that provided me with an explanation in under five minutes: those killers that torment without respite, that can put the most rational person on the fast track to insanity. Yeah you guessed right. Hormones.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Therapy

So after spending a whole day being miserable (for reasons, refer to previous post), I decided to follow the truly excellent advice given by a fellow blogger gentleman, and 'carpe diem' for a bit today. I didn't toe his advice to the letter, true, but used my most tried and tested method of seizing the day.......ok, allright, no more suspense. I went shopping. Now, this wasn't my usual brand of self-indulgent retail therapy. Today I was occupying the position of senior (actually, singular) consultant to this friend who's wardrobe has been in severe need of some fresh blood. This shopping trip has been in the offing for atleast the last three months, but a combination of adverse circumstances and the vicious cycle of hosteller finance (what cycle? We're always flat broke) had managed to delay it so far. However, yesterday things got to the point of no return when the aforementioned friend discovered a tiny tear in a hitherto serviceable garment. I was roped in, being the resident shopaholic and general do-gooder (!?!).

So we set out this afternoon. The trip lasted for about five hours, including the gastronomic bit of the outing, and at the end of it, life was mostly sunny once again. The aforementioned friend had spent more than he'd envisioned, and after buying two pairs of jeans, one pair each of cargoes and track pants, a T-shirt and a sweatshirt(absolutely dreamy, that one), he finally realized how 'dangerous' I was. I, on the other hand, had spent the day in the varied processes of selection, rejection, coaxing, cajoling, and as an aside, resolutely not buying anything for myself except the bare necessities (dishwashing liquid, lip balm, body odour preventive). Therefore, I was smug, not poor (relatively) and not hungry.

There's something so powerful about what one of my favourite authors calls 'the dance of demand and supply'. It makes me understand a little bit why those fool insects hurl themselves at lanterns and die, generation after stupid generation. I mean, you know you shouldn't even consider it, keeping in mind the state of your (absent) finances. But you're drawn towards that shop which could be the devil's agent, as far as you're concerned. It sits there, peeking at you innocently. You're walking towards it, your feet are moving of their own accord. You enter, and after browsing for a while, you find IT. IT is totally the worth the drain on your moolah. IT will compensate (more than adequately) for all the little sacrifices that you'll have to make for the rest of the month. IT is what will make you look good like you've never looked good before. So you're infatuated, and your brain's in hibernation, and you make a buy. You're happy for a while, and that is the power of retail therapy.
Oh, I just realized that I'll never manage to be a successful Buddhist , will I?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Peace

Yes, I am looking for it. Desperately. I want to shut down for a bit. I want to not have my head constantly pounding with a zillion thoughts that just refuse to slow down, refuse to leave me alone. I want to be able to not obsess about why my life is turning out to be such a badly made movie which has pretensions to art but is actually quite the C-grade Bollywood commercial churner at heart. I want to be able to stop caring, and feeling, and being a wobbly mass of raw nerve endings that keep shivering with the slightest breeze. I want the constant pain to stop. I want to be able to look my sorrow in the eye and not have to constantly hide behind bad jokes and puns and the hysterical, not quite authentic laughs. I want to stop the constant repression of me by myself. I want to stop pretending that I'm ok, that life is great, that fun is still so much fun. When did I become this grotesque charade? When did I stop living and start pretending? Why must I be the terrible spectacle of the joker with the bright painted face who stopped laughing aeons ago, but just cannot wipe the acrylic grin off his face? I want to start accepting. Its ok, to not be fun, to mope all the time, to not be very friendly, to be rude when I don't want to talk, to be completely me, no matter how far away I am from the person that everyone seems to think I am. I have truly moved beyond the point where I cared about pleasing people and fulfilling their expectations. Now, the decision is made. If I am truly a monster inside, then no consideration will stop me from being a monster outside as well. Better to be a consistent monster than to be two unhappy people inside one tired mind.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Connections

A couple of nights ago I had a rather illuminating chat with this friend of mine. Let's say she's called Kitkat (you know who you are)..Anyway, chats with Kit usually tend to be very illuminating coz she's just that kinda gal, y'know. Anyway, that's beside the point. We were talking about friends, and the myriad ways in which they make a connection, and that very very special relationship that i like to call ESPN. Don't worry, I'm not about to start commenting on the state of sports in India, nor am I trying to surreptitously promote any particular sports channel. As if.. In my lexicon, ESPN stands for Extra Sensory Perception, Ninny! People have ESPN only when they're truly blessed. It means that they complete each other's sentences, feel sympathy pains and generally buzz around in each other's heads. Now, the rate at which I go around completing other people's sentences, one would think that I have ESPN with every second person. Sadly, I don't. I'm just a compulsive dictionary-cum-thesaurus.

No, what Kit and I were talking about is different, and truly magical. It makes you feel warm when you wake up, makes your step lighter and generally makes you so very happy. That's because after millenia of waiting and searching and holding your breath, you feel, in that blinding, perfect moment of realization,"Ah! This is the one who understands!' Everyone looks to be understood, although these days being misunderstood is more 'with it' etc. But to be understood and accepted like this!! Oh, bliss....

But what happens when ESPN goes away, when you get shut out, when someone doesn't want to understand you anymore? Oh, nothing, ostensibly. You say to yourself,"Who cares?" and generally the current of life flows on. But something does change. The prospect of waking up in the morning doesn't seem so inviting anymore. Food doesn't really tempt your palate that much. The snap and crackle seems to go out of life, it just doesn't seem all that special anymore...What does one do then? What happens when you finally acknowledge that you do care, that you would do quite a lot to have it back, but don't know if there's anything you can do? When the fine thread between two people is snapped, can it really be put back?

Can't say that I know all the answers. But when its that very special connection at stake, maybe its asking the right questions that's important..

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Possession

I've been a hostel resident for more than a year now, and today I faced fresh evidence that I've been possessed by the spirit that rules all hostellers. Its quite a strange spirit, though. It doesn't make you break out into incomprehensible sacred languages or perform twitchy dances that resemble the imaginings of some anthropologist of old about Africa. All it does is thoroughly invert your food habits and turn you into some kind of trash magnet. Let me illustrate.

Today was a friend's birthday, and I was invited for lunch. I woke up (late) with happy visions of sumptuous cuisines dangling in front of my eyes. As a result of the late dawning of my day, I'd missed breakfast and was in a better position to HOG. I jauntily made my way to this Italian ristorante (hehe...me being a snob). My friends also made their way there and, lo! lunch was in progress. I ordered an exotic sounding dish called Red Pesto Chicken, which was basically yummy chicken stuffed with magnificient filling, accompanied with pasta, veggies, brown bread and pesto sauce. I tucked in with full gusto. For about ten minutes, there was pin drop silence at our table. But then , with almost one-third of the chicken looking up at me appealingly, I realized that I couldn't eat another bite!!!! I was heartsore, looking at all that gorgeous food, willing myself to eat, and finally, looking on tamely as the waiter removed my plate. Sigh.

The sad bit is, when I'm eating in the hostel mess, I'm usually stuffing my face with half-cooked cabbage, or specks of dal in chilli powder sauce and so on. I gorge on terrible food, day after day, incomprehensibly. Good food reduces me to a demure maiden who pecks at her plate. I wondered for about five minutes, and then it hit me. You see, hostellers develop an exaggerated version of the survival instinct over time. So no matter what the food tastes like, as long as its there, and as long as your stomach doesn't burst, you eat. Eventually, you lose all appreciation for fine cuisine, and the transformation from gourmand to pig is complete. I'm on my way to becoming my porcine reincarnation. Its only a matter of time now. The aforementioned spirit has well and truly taken me over.... HELP!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

First love

For most of my life, I didn't understand how other people could not be petrified of animals. Now as an innately foolish person, I wasn't really afraid of too many things in this world. You could trust me to keep your secrets from the police under most circumstances, but if they so much as brought a dog into the next room, I'd sing like a canary...This fear was exacerbated in case of dogs due to an almost traumatic childhood experience (I was once almost bitten by the neighbour's pet dog). So, for a very long time, the only canines I wasn't terrified of were the ones in my mouth. Life went on, I kept avoiding going to homes where these fearful creatures were kept as 'pets'. And then I moved to the university campus, and something happened as a consequence. I fell in love.

Her name is Maya. She's a beautiful brown mongrel with a white star on her neck. She's very popular with the men of both human and canine varieties. She's also very adept at the use of human psychology in the pursuit of material pleasures like food and petting. So, one look into those pleading, liquid brown eyes and I was a goner. She frequents the area near my hostel, and engages the affections of most of its residents. She flirts, she pouts, she begs, and almost always gets her way. It was by observing her that I realized how powerful feminine mystique could be, if used appropriately. She's also quite mindful of my well-being, deigning to act as my chaperone a couple of times that I strayed outside after my bedtime.

Anyway, one can't really love one dog and be terrified of the rest of the species without being a complete ninny. So, to save myself from that particular disgrace, I worked to get over my fear. Now I can socialize with most stray dogs. I'm still careful about pet dogs though. They mostly don't suffer from the deprivation and the insecurities that have some role in making most strays so hungry for affection and so generous in reciprocating. Oh my, now I sound like one of those pet psychologists who pontificate on the radiio.

In conclusion, I'm still very much in love, and am actually on friendly terms with quite a number of the canine inhabitants of this campus. I hope someday to come across a cat named Maya, and a bird named Maya and a goat named Maya and so on. I hope to fall in love so many times again. If it happens, I'll let you know.
P>S> This post is lovingly dedicated to Reeju, friend, companion and inveterate animal lover (not in the creepy way...eeeeewwww).

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Swear you're gonna swear

We all like to think that we're educated, that we have some sort of knowledge base which gives us a measure of control, however tenuous, over a wilful and capricious thing called life. Recently, however, I've begun to think that we're really fooling ourselves, coz our education is woefully incomplete. I made this momentous discovery while in the process of watching a movie set in the heartland of India. Now I've always believed myself to be relatively proficient in Hindi, but I was unable to follow roughly one-third of the exchange onscreen, because it was part of the great nebulous unknown that our educators had deemed unfit for us, in the interests of preserving our innocence(!?!). In short, these men were swearing at each other in full flow, and I couldn't comprehend any of it. I left the movie thinking that I'd never imagined that the day would come when I'd wish for a Hindi movie to be subtitled in English!!

I was left with a feeling of vague dissatisfaction, beacuse I had enjoyed the rest of the movie so immensely. I resolved to buy myself a VCD of the same, but with enlightening subtitiles. The opportunity presented itself after barely a month or so. Gleefully, I sat down to watch, only to realize, to my consternation, that the subtitles were made in keeping with the sensibilities of a Victorian woman of high rank, so they artfully dodged the abuses. Then of course it came home to me that I couldn't really expect subtitles which said,"so and so part of the anatomy of so and so member of your nuclear family" etc. You get my drift. That set me thinking about how the construction of abuses made such flawless use of psychological and sociological facts, like the association of certain body parts with privacy, and hence, sustaining of greater losses in case of violation, and the importance of family, so that your closest ones would be targetted according to a hierarchy: the closer the relationship, the greater the degree of filth.

Also recently, my friends and I were perplexed by a certain phrase which did allude to a close member of the family but the corresponding body part was totally innocuous. We'd already asked sundry friends, acquaintances and relatives about it. Without exception, they were either ignorant, feigned ignorance or, worse still, patted us on our heads and told us to run along and play, as young ladies could really gain nothing by knowing things like this which were designed to make our ears shrivel up. So, as the last resort, we asked an indirect friend(friend of a direct friend). Now this gentleman's propensity to use swear words is so marked that he could almost be using them as harmless pleasantries, as I suspect he is. So he told us that the innocuous body part is actually a clever substitute for more innuendo loaded organs of the human anatomy. He also imparted the knowledge that we could now skilfully tailor our own abuses by using the principle of substitution (examples: ma ka haath, baap ka pair etc.).

My point is, my whole life has been spent in the pursuit of education, including the intricacies of language. I really shouldn't be reduced to gaping at a movie screen because my ears could have shrivelled up had I been earlier informed of the existence and meaning of certain choice words and phrases. I resent that assumption, coz now I've heard them all, I realize what they mean, I'm still circumspect about using them, and MY EARS ARE FINE, THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

So in love!! Really?

So today let's go into the boundless realms of the imagination...actually, let's imagine something quite mundane. So, suppose I'm a guy. And I'm in love. Hmm..mundane enough? Sure. There are lots of guys, many of them are in love, and many more are thoroughly convinced that they love. And I'm one of them, for now. And who is it that provokes emotions in the region encased by my ribcage? Well, a woman (coz this is a mundane imagining) who sets my soul on fire, brings light into my otherwise illumination-deprived life etc. So far so good. Ok, now let's tweak the story a little bit.

Suppose she doesn't love me. She also quite candidly admits to this little fact. So there's no devilish subterfuge etc. Its all out in the open and I think, "Atleast she's honest", and I love her a little bit more. After all, it is my prerogative as to whether i keep bestowing my emotions on her. So what's the point of all this pap, you ask. Hold on, the tweaking process is still on.

Now this woman sees nothing wrong in making me the on/off centre of her life, depending on the availability of substitutes. What this entails is that I have to always be there for her in whichever manner she fancies her need to be. I listen, I advise, I help, I act as her sounding board, I become her public relations officer, and I love and I love, love and love some more. In the process, I occupy various positions in her life: carpenter, plumber, odd jobs man, dustbin, pen paper and all other manner of stuff. Its still all ok, coz my love makes me want to give of myself, whatever I can, to her. I don't stoop to think of whether she will ever consent to being a dustbin if I happen to need one. Love doesn't lend itself easily to such selfish speculations. But one day, she stops needing me, coz the aforementioned substitutes make their presence felt. It hurts a little bit, and then a bit more. I think to myself that maybe its a good thing, maybe now I'll have time for my life. The week after that, she decides that she can't do without me, although she still is very clear about not loving me. I happily go back to playing a multidimensional helix of roles on her life. But this in-out process then starts happening regularly, like a joke that's so hilarious that God keeps repeating it periodically coz it just never gets old.

Then my other friends start telling me that I should move on, that she's using me etc. And I do see the point of it all, but how do I move on when i know how devastated she'll be when she finds out? Somewhere in the back of mind is the niggling thought that maybe she won't be so devastated, but I brush it aside, and i agonize everyday, a little bit more. So in this imagining, which may not be entirely fictitious, my central problem is why nice people like me invariably end up loving not-so nice people with few compunctions like her, when there are so many nice, perfectly lovable, caring people in this world. Why don't I stop being there for her, even though, clearly, she's the user and I'm the loser here? Why must I be such a fool for that brat? Why must I love the wretch who makes me so wretched? The answer, of course, is that I cannot blame stupidity or a lack of sense which is typical of humanity. The problem is that day after day, breath after endless breath, I make a choice: the choice to be stupid, to give myself to one who doesn't deserve me by a long shot. And will I stop, you ask? What are you, stupid or something?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Isolation

I suppose its true that one is always alone, essentially..but we do manage to forget it in the course of our daily lives, so that we may have daily lives in the first place. But sometimes life forces one to remember. Today was one such momentous occasion. I was in the one place that I detest most in the world, the dentist's chair. I was parting ways with a molar that had decided to make a rather undignified exit from my life after twenty-two years of mostly uninterrupted service. It wasn't as though the dentist was particularly forbidding or anything. In fact, he was probably more worried than I was, given the fact that his patient looked like she was on the verge of hysterics. And I had a somewhat queasy friend around to hold my hand as well. In spite of all this, I can safely say that I've never felt so alone. Nothing like pain to give one a little perspective. Anyway, now its over, till the next time my dentures decide to give me grief. Till then i'll try to forget, and I'm sure I'll be mostly successful, coz otherwise life refuses to go on. Ok, my daily quota of profundity has been filled, so i'm gonna get back to the more mundane task of forcing some ice-cream down my throat. Toot toot.