Monday, October 29, 2007

Saturday Night

This is another post on request, the request coming from The Other One who was a part of my Saturday night. We'll call him A, because here we're all powerful and we can call people whatever we want. Another reason is because some people have done a better job of staying anonymous than I have, and I'm too nice to blow their cover (but believe me, it's a tempting idea).

A lot of people will tell you that I'm always, always late for everything. Chronic sufferers like RK have now become resigned to this inevitability, and always mentally add a half hour to the appointed time of meeting. But now I realize that I am but a mere apprentice in the art and science of never getting anywhere on time, and A is Grandmaster. For once in my life, I made it to Dadar station on time, only to have to wait for some thirty odd minutes, during which time three men of varying description puckered up and made kissy faces at me. Blech. And when i got really mad and called to find out where the truant was, he nonchalantly informed me that he was waiting for a train, would take another twenty minutes atleast, and (splutter, splutter) would save the apologies for later. I was still blinking stupidly for five minutes after the call ended.

Now what do you do when you have a very angry heh? ok waiting for you at a railway station of all places? You send foolish messages about how you're going to make it up to her and get worried when she doesn't reply. You're so worried that when you do actually meet her, you slip in a few innocuous compliments about how men making gross kissy faces at her implies that she's looking nice etc. This actually ends up amusing the aforementioned heh? ok, who can't stay angry very long for trivial things anyway, and also knows the pitfalls of being a chronic latecomer herself. So after fifteen odd minutes of general rudeness and sarcasm, things are peachy keen once again.

After this little aside, there was a very fruitful exploration of a little eatery near Churchgate station, where A was the cynosure of a strange gentleman's eyes. It's nice to see men getting fidgety when other men pay them too much attention. Some sort of sweet revenge.

We then went to Marine Drive for some Profound Conversation. We also had to dodge some very amorous couples who thought that the parapet by the sea was the best place for clandestine intimacies. Seriously, this city has no space, and people need to understand the phrase "Get a room". But apart from them, there was a sad lonely man with vodka in a Sprite bottle who thoroughly fascinated A the entire evening. The glamour of sorrow is rather attractive, I must say. There was also as much conversation as one can possibly squeeze into four hours, sometimes glib, sometimes serious. It's wonderful to talk by the seaside, really. It feels like the waves themselves are inching closer for a listen. We also had some adventures with a matchbox, but you don't need to know any more about those. Then we went to Leopold and ordered a heavenly dinner which we did not eat. It's strange how full you can feel without eating at times.

I can now boast that I have once caught the last train back home. A believes that slow trains are the dregs of the world of transportation. I think they're nice. They let you be, sink into the night, watch the other people who inhabit your life for all of twenty minutes before you disembark. I also get lulled into a sweet, half dreamy state because of the motion. Okay, enough poesy about local trains. By then it was already Sunday, so logic dictates that the post must end.

Note to A: - I hope that was accurate enough. If not, too bad, write your own post about it. If it was, great, write your own post about it.

Note to others: - Wake up. It's over, you can celebrate now.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Happy Budday To Blog!

Thanks to the ones who sent their good wishes to Icecream, she is rather pink with glee. She is one year old today, and gurgling with the pride of achievement at having survived me for that long.

People ask me why I'm so attached to my blog. When they do, first I roll my eyes dramatically. Then I go on to tell them that my blog has given me so much back in return for the few words I manage to put in - my job (I'd like to credit it to my effusive charm, but it was really the blog), friends who have diligently suffered me or have fallen by the wayside after valiantly trying, and even some sort of readership that actually checks this page out quite frequently. But more than all this, it has given me the belief that if I were to write a book some day, it would sell two copies, guaranteed.

And so, it is most fitting that today I post a list (I love making lists) of moments in the past year that were blog-worthy, but didn't make it because I didn't have access to the internet, I was lazy or I forgot.

1. There was a moment when I realized that if I were to print a T-shirt with the blog URL in front and my hopelessly non-anonymous pseudonym at the back, it would make perfect sense.

2. Skaty and I had our own quiet version of a blazing row. I've never really had a fight with a friend before, especially not someone who I'm that close to. It lasted almost two and a half months, and the blog was in some ways a part of it, because she felt I was doing more writing than talking. I felt that she cared too much and she felt that I didn't care enough. It was long and awkward, and I'm so utterly glad that it's over. I hate confrontation, even if it is supposed to make you stronger.

3. I wanted to write a long post about how I am so heartily sick of getting unsolicited advice. Honestly, given the volume of sermons that I receive, you'd think that I was some sort of walking talking mini-disaster. Don't smirk, I'm really not.

4. Then I wanted to write about how I think that giving advice to me is some people's way of feeling better about themselves, but then I figured that if somebody's self worth gets augmented by my listening and assent, then I might as well listen. Call it my version of social service.

5. I wanted to blog about the first time I met the Brick In The Wall, and the self proclaimed rebel rocker spent about an hour staring at the wall between me and Kitkat, who was sitting next to me.

6. I've been so disappointed in so many people in the last year, and I think the feeling was mutual. But none of them ever said anything to the effect, and I was just too clumsy to write about it with any sort of grace or dignity. I also figured that when people say "I will always be there for you", they also mutter "at my convenience" under their breath.

7. Bombay is a cruel city, has always been. We are so fated. I have lost so many people to this city, and I really don't know what sort of foolish courage propelled me to actually move here. Everyday there are atleast three moments when all I want to do is to go back.

8. Loneliness is a mean thing, but the meanest kind of loneliness is the variety that is self imposed. It makes you want to write long laments to your stupidity.

9. A-hem. I write poetry in secret, lots of it. I've been writing for a very long time, and almost no one knows. It's really awful, depressing stuff. I'm almost positive that I'll never post it, but if there ever comes a day when I'm really, really angry, there will be some fatuous poem waiting right here to ruin your day.

10. I don't like it when people indulge in baby talk to get their work done. As a general rule, I think baby talk should be left to babies. I wanted to write about how hearing baby talk makes me really violent in my head, but then I realized that it made me sound like some sort of lunatic, the sort that I'm not. I'm the other sort of mad.

11. I'd gone to watch the flavour of the season, Chak De India, with a couple of friends. I liked most of the movie, but my absolute favourite was the moment when all the hockey women ganged up to beat the daylights out of a gang of lechers. Every single woman in the hall was shouting, cheering and clapping. It was a wonderful way to release the regret of not being able to do that ourselves, sweet revenge for every whistle, every predatory eye, every accidental-on-purpose shove, every traumatic bus ride. It was a moment to let go of the weariness of being a woman in a man's world, and it was blissful.

12. I get really irritated when people try to read my posts while I'm typing them. It's as bad as peeking into a book while I'm reading it, or tapping your feet while I read the newspaper, dropping oblique hints that I should hurry up with it. It's just plain bad manners, and I hope you know it. Yes, you, the one who peeked at my screen five minutes ago.

Okay, that's about it. I'm going to buy myself some cake in the evening as I'm too poor for lavish celebrations right now. And there will be no poetry here as long as you keep me happy.

Monday, October 22, 2007

I Really Should Be Working...

...but what the heck. I'm gonna post instead, truant that I am.

I'm exhausted right now. Sometimes living is such an effort. Getting up in the morning when all you want to do is to keep rotting in bed, getting to work amidst a maze of people and vehicles trying their best to kill you, maim you, or even more unforgivably, delay you. Then you get to work and you have that face on, the one that says talk-to-me-and-I'll-bite-your-head-off. Most offensively, some people think that you're making your funny face.

Someone asks,"How are you?" and you want to say,"Die. Now."

People are generally being innocuous, going about their business, it's Monday after all. It makes you want to take a giant sword, get up on your chair, shout out an ancient Viking war cry and then proceed to kill everyone. Slowly.

What the heck is wrong with me?

P.S. In two days' time, icecream is gonna celebrate her first birthday. Please send your wishes (good, bad, evil) to my poor, beleaguered blog. Heaven knows she could do better than me.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Of Dances That Sound Like Sauces


Dramatic statement, isn't it? Well, it's true. Turns out that twenty three is actually not the full bloom of youth, as I'd imagined it to be, but the beginning of dotage. How else does one explain the fact that my attempt to learn how to dance turns me into eighty year old Ms. Creaky-Bones every weekend?

What I realized yesterday is that walking is actually a very complicated exercise which involves a complicated co-ordination between very many bodily systems. It's funny how one doesn't appreciate the wonder of bipedal movement till one is reduced to wincing with pain at every step.

Also, I am rather confused as to whether I can dance at all. It's strange. I feel like I have two left feet when I'm dancing, but when I watch the others, I tell myself that I can't be that bad. So is a good dancer defined as a good dancer, or one who is not as bad as the other bad dancers?

At the end of all the pontification and the grunts of pain, I'm forced to conclude that there are two kinds of people in this world, or atleast in the dance classes of the world: those whose grace and fluidity makes them look like they were born to salsa, and those who must resign themselves to dipping their french fries in salsa sauce and watching.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The One About The Job

So I have a job at long last. I've had it for the last three months. It would be fair to say that it really is nothing like I expected it would be. I love that line. It is so loaded. It could be the statement of an ecstatic copywriter who has been lucky enough to find her niche in the World of Work in the first attempt, or it could be the gripe of a disillusioned copywriter who finds that the World of Work has placed her in its very dregs.

Don't worry, I'm somewhere in between. I'm not likely to die of too much happiness or become an embittered, cantankerous old lady who lives with a parrot with a charming disposition anytime soon.

I work at an event management company where I'm supposed to supply out-of-the-box event ideas for mostly corporate clients and write the copy that these events entail (on brochures, leaflets, invitations etc.). Theoretically, I'm supposed to be writing a brochure on LPG right now. But I'm blogging instead. One needs to give oneself some indulgence if one is to write well. I mean, it's gas.

Anyhow, I've learned some valuable lessons in the last three months. One is that mindblocks are very pesky things, and they have lousy timing. Secondly, levels of ignorance are bound to be higher once you step out of your hallowed university campus, so that shouldn't surprise you. Third, if you have some level of talent as a masseuse and you give better than average back rubs, then you shouldn't make it too obvious. Every organization has its share of hairy men waiting for a back rub, and your creativity will be sorely tested when you have too talk your way out of these touchy situations. Ooh, I punned! Fourth, most people will not understand your need to talk aloud to yourself, and they will react by smiling indulgently and giving you their best "She's SUCH A Child" look. Next, people say some shockingly inappropriate and offensive things sometimes. Things like "I like to break these 'strong' women". When you simmer down, you'll realize that the bloke has a daughter, who shall grow up someday. And then you smile slowly, sure in the knowledge that life will teach him. Finally, you will sorely miss the time when your friends were the people that you spent most of your days with. Understanding, empathy, love and friendship are very, very precious things. And if you're lucky enough to actually find a friend in your workplace, go break a coconut in a temple or something. Most people bring only one part of themselves to their workplace, and that is not really enough sustenance for a friendship. It's good enough for a few laughs and general niceness, but not really friendship.

Oh, and about a gazillion people will ask, in tones of utmost concern."Why don't you do an MBA?". After the fifteenth time, you'll smarten up, stop explaining, plaster your best wise-grandma smile and say,"Because I don't want to have to manage".

I like parts of my job. I like that I can wear jeans and kurtas to work because I'm 'Creative'. I like that I can listen to music while I work. I like that there's a room where I can read the newspaper everyday. I like the fact that tea and hot chocolate are free, and the pantry boy is pally with me. What I don't like is the amount of copying and pasting I have to do (about gas today. Shee.). I don't like the profusion of gender offensive cursing, and the lack of awareness about the offensiveness of it. I don't like the recycling of old ideas. I don't like that I don't have enough new ideas to make the recycling unnecessary. But I'm very, very lucky that I actually get to do what I'm good at, and have my work taken seriously. Sometimes.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Weird Chronicles Part Three

Without much further ado, let's get down to business.

1. If I see a beautiful tree that I don't know the name of, my head automatically labels it 'Acacia'. I doubt if I've ever seen a real acacia tree.

2. I cannot move my hips independently of my shoulders. I discovered this in dance class yesterday, where I massacred the salsa.

3. I always get epiphanies about clothes when I'm broke. What I mean by that is that the only time when I find clothes that I MUST have is when I can buy them only if I forgo transport for the rest of the month.

4. On the days that I take cabs to work, I keep laughing at random shop names and slogans. Names like "Waaa! Baby" and slogans like "If you find rates cheaper than ours, please don't call us". To the first, "Oh good god, really?" and to the second, "Well D-UH".

5. I wear two rings on my hands. Both are ugly as hell. I can't take either off because they were given to me by my super-superstitious mum, so I wear them because she had faith in their protective powers. So I wear both of them turned inwards, so that only my palms know how ugly they are.

6. When I was younger, one of my enduring ambitions was to take a helicopter equipped with a huge bucket of water and wash the dust off all the trees on the Shillong-Guwahati highway.

7. I cannot write a post without posting it immediately. No mulling over it, no editing, no writing rough drafts etc. If I know that I cannot post it rightaway, I won't write it at all. I guess that the lack of quality control shows.

8. Some part of me dies when I see people use apostrophes to denote plurals. See? It's apostrophes, not apostrophe's.

Okay, enough for now. Monday mornings need a little pick-me-up. And then one gets back to seriously pretending that one is busy. One's dramatic abilities are a constant revelation even to herself.

Monday, October 01, 2007

A Thought

I want to be a little cryptic today. It's Monday morning, I've just spent an hour travelling in the hot sun and I'm not feeling too willing to be understood. Therefore, cryptic.

Sometimes people become cynical, bitter and full of regrets. They say things like "I wish I'd never laid eyes on you". I'm also feeling more bitter today than usual. But I will never regret the fact that I knew you. Maybe there are moments when I am your deepest regret, but then that is your cross to bear.

I don't know why I scared you so much. I know that you find some sort of romantic glamour associated with being misunderstood. Maybe the fact that most of what I said to you seemed to reflect your most secret thoughts is the reason that these days you won't let me say anything. Being understood easily may have dscomfited you, but I am not going to apologize for not being stupid enough to make you comfortable and secure.

It made me a little uneasy too, when you knew from the tone of my voice that I was pretending to be alright, but I never really considered running away from you. So you fled, and now you stand atop your faraway mountain and smile down at me, confident in the knowledge that now you won't see yourself in me anymore. You always were stupid.

I miss your spirit, your being, which melded so easily with mine. I miss your songs, your very strange laughter. I miss so much, and mostly I miss you when you're around. I wince when I see you doing your pantomime of wellness for my benefit; I'm embarrassed for your lack of acting skills.

My only regret is that I've become so petty that I don't really want you to recover. You've scratched my soul to a fair extent; I hope yours is damaged too. And I hope it hurts.