Monday, August 27, 2007

Sweet Oblivion

I want to write this one in third person.

So there was This Girl (TG) who had recently moved to a new city, and being a bit of an emotional fool, spent most of her time feeling homesick. The people at work decided that the time was ripe for everyone to take a little trip together. TG vacillated, as was her wont, but in an uncharacteristic moment of optimism, she decided to go along with the plan. Now the thing with TG is that whenever she has done things that were out of character in the past, she's ended up with a little bit of figurative egg on her face. But this time turned out a little bit differently.

The onward journey itself went off alright. She looked out of the bus window, and as usual the unending variety of the word 'green' kept her occupied for most of the five odd hours. On getting there a game of throwball took place, which served mostly to reinforce her strong conviction that if there was anything that was meant for her to catch, she would most definitely drop it. It was in the evening that things started to get interesting. TG was surrounded by intoxicating fluids all around, and in keeping with her left-liberal political leanings, got a little too friendly with the intoxicant from the land of Lenin. What happened after that is a little hazy in her memory, but the rest of the people were supremely entertained. Apparently she went and talked to everybody (and I mean everybody), kicked a lot of people, cackled, simulated dance movements and also fell down into the mud in the process.

The next morning they all made their way down to the lake. TG doesn't know how to swim, so she was content to wear a life jacket and float about in the shallows. But the rest of the company had other ideas. After successfully resisting all lures for about three hours, she was taken in by a devious ploy and ended up in the middle of a twelve foot deep lake. It was quite an experience, suspended in endless water, watching fat drops of rain splattering all around. The rain also meant that no pictures were taken, so now she has no proof that it actually happened. But there are moments in your life when every pore of you is glad to be alive, and this was one of those. Also, because of her inability to swim, The Boss had to lug her and swim back upstream for a good ten minutes or so. The next time they won't be quite so keen in her facing her fears. Muahahaha.

The night was a slightly sobered down version of the previous evening. There was no more falling down, but there was a lot of good music and company that kept her up till the wee hours. Atleast, that is what she thinks happened. Mostly she doesn't remember. This information was gleaned from secondary sources. Then it was back to reality the next day.

So now here's reality. Its raining, and there's not much to do, so she's telling long, pointless stories again. And I'm sick of third person. Makes me sound like a complete ditsy do-head.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Soul Massage

The last week was one continuous downward slide. My head was even more messed up than usual, and very innovatively dealt with the overload by shutting down without bothering to ask for my permission. It was a shutdown in the most complete sense of the word, and I've always hated feeling numb. If you're working in the Concepts department, you really cannot function with a comatose imagination.

Fortunately for me, I've always had wonderful luck as far as friends are concerned. Okay, not always, most of the time. Anyway, this was one of those times. RR made a very well-timed visit to this city, and I spent the better part of my weekend with her. We had coffee, watched a wonderful play, had the most divine steak and onions for dinner, and just laughed because we could, with each other. The only spanner in the works was this jackass of a boy (but obviously) who tagged along with us on Sunday.

I also had the rather bizarre experience of being stared at for half a minute by a rather wonderful actor who I remember from as long ago as my pre-school days, charming people on Doordarshan. I'd have been flattered by the attention, except that it was not a "Who is she?" look as much as a "What is she?" look. Sigh.

Since yesterday, the ideas have started flowing again, I don't have to struggle to get out of bed as much, and I'm even singin' in the rain.

I also want, right now, to tell all my friends how much I love all of them and how they always do wonders for my soul. Okay, not all of them. Just about a dozen women spread across this country, with about half that number at Delhi. I'm borrowing a line from a t-shirt of mine that I particularly like.

Live, Love, Rock.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Mera Gown, Mera Dress

Yesterday was my country's sixtieth birthday. For me, it was a chance to catch up on some sleep. Don't get me wrong. I'm as concerned about where this country's headed as the next person is; maybe even a little bit more than most people. But I don't get very charged up about watching speeches on television and then being force-fed advertisements about how every major company on this planet is running purely in order to benefit India. And then my old disease makes a comeback. I'm talking about irreverence. Let me give you an instance.

Yesterday all the television channels were choc-a-bloc with programmes extolling our nation's greatness and I was laughing through it all. What kept flashing in my mind was this slapsick show that used to come on television a long time ago. It used to consist of parodies of famous Hindi films. It wasn't particularly sophisticated comedy, but then I've never been much of a sophisticate, and anyone who knows me will readily attest to my predilection for laughing (loudly) at just about everything, and sometimes nothing at all. Phew. Long sentence.

My favourite episode in this series was a parody of Mera Gaon, Mera Desh. As you may have guessed, the parody was titled "Mera Gown, Mera Dress". It had a Dharmendra prototype discovering an ancestral gown and then deciding to wear only that for the rest of his life. I crack up every time I remember that strapping gentleman in a ghastly velvety blue gown, exclaiming lustily,"Aaj se mera gown mera dress hai". I was laughing all of yesterday as well. I guess after sixty years, people should be able to be irreverent about serious things like freedom as well. It'll be a healthy counterforce to all the fake jingoism that masquerades in the guise of patriotism these days.

P.S.: - I really wish that a day would come when I would stop whining, but I don't think that it's ever gonna happen. My latest gripe is this nagging feeling that I'm living a half life. It just doesn't go away.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Close Encounters Of The heh? ok Kind

I started writing and then the internet explorer gave out on me. So if you notice the curt tone, kindly endure. I'm trying to tell you a story that's essentially happy.

People always manage to surprise me. The last week has reaffirmed my belief that at the point when your cynicism reaches its unwholesome peak, you will meet someone or the other who will make you shake your head and wonder how you let yourself get jaded so easily, time and time again.

Anyway, I'd been part of a team that had organized a mall activity sponsored by a stuffed toys manufacturer. Part of the event was a stall dedicated to the display of the aforementioned plush animal companions, and I happened to be sitting behind the desk at this stall when the first encounter happened. She was three, he was eight. She had a look on her face that had been designed to charm the rest of the world, he merely looked amused at the thought that this might actually work. She came to me to look at the pink bear on the desk, and he followed. I asked her if she liked the bear. She blushed, smiled and said 'No.' He had a wry grin on his face, as though she had just lived up to his expectations. Then I began talking to him (lets call him A).

Me: - Do YOU like stuffed bears?
A: - No.
Me: - Then what kind of bears do you like?
A: - The kind that lives in forests, not shops. That's what they're actually supposed to be doing.
I started blinking at this point.
A: - These bears must be rich. They're all wearing snazzy clothes. And you must be very rich to own all of them.
Me: - Oh no, I'm quite poor. They've hired me to tell the world about them.
A brief conversation about the banking practices prevalent among bears followed. We were interrupted by his elder brother who refused to talk to me.
Me: - Your elder brother doesn't seem quite as friendly as you are.
A: - He's friendly enough to me. Hahahahaha.
Me: - So you're the one in the middle, just like me. I have a younger sister who's taller than I am, and an elder sister who's shorter than I am. We're quite a strange family.
A: - There's nothing strange about it. People are like that; it happens in all families. My eldest brother is only 13, and already he's as tall as my mum. Its not so strange.
Me (slightly flabbergasted): - So you're saying I shouldn't take it to heart?
A: - Absolutely not. They're your family after all. There are other things to love apart from height.
He left after that. I'm still trying to believe that this little boy was for real.

The next encounter was again at the same mall, where some 50 kids from a local NGO were visiting. Her name was Nisha, she was dark, bald and crying. All of two years of age. So I picked her up, and gave her a tour of the ground floor of the mall. She put her arms around my neck, trying to understand the bewidering brightness around her. When the volunteers took her from me, she screamed her lungs out. After a minute or two, she was sombre again. Two years of life had already taught her resignation.

The third meeting was with one of the workers in the cafe at work, who makes me hot chocolate every morning. He took me by surprise, asking me to tell him exactly how Harry Potter's life turned out, and what happened to Ron and Hermione in the end. That takes my tally of friends made over Harry Potter to three, the other two being Kitkat and SKT.

Also, a very scared and liquid brown eyed black stray mongrel followed me and a very scared someone around for fifteen minutes on the street today. The poor thing couldn't keep up in the end. Hope he doesn't sleep hungry.

P.S.: - On a Kailash Kher trip right now. I have placed him right next to RHCP on the list of 'must-watch' performers. Okay, its not a list, just two names right now. So sue me.