Thursday, December 27, 2007

One More List

This is my premature year end post, because the next post will be the first in a five part story. Atleast, I hope it will be, because one of my best friends (who also happens to be endowed with enough serendipity to be born on the same day as I was) has requested a story as a birthday gift. And I'm short on cash, so. Anyway, let's deal with the year end first.

So I'm sitting in my office in the heart of Bombay, surrounded by the pleasantly dull buzz of conversation between people who are at the fag end of the workday. The only thought that comes to mind is "How on earth?"

So did I really leave everyone I love and everything reassuringly familiar to move to Bombay? Have I actually been here for over five months? *Blink, blink*

No, I'm not being a drama queen. Okay, maybe I am, just a little bit. Indulge me then. Let me make a list of my 2007 moments (Good, Bad and Ugly).

1. The start of the year in Islamabad, with a stolen bottle of Bailey's Irish Cream and some of my favourite people in the world - Good.

2. My birthday, where I actually got flowers (thanks, RK) and slashed three cakes to ribbons - Good (for the flowers) and Ugly (seeing what the cakes were reduced to after my slashing).

3. Fourth semester in JNU which I spent sleeping, eating and going back to sleep - Ugly (my face swelled up with all the extra naps).

4. The bus ride from Bhopal to Pachmarhi in an overcrowded bus, riding through hellfire and amidst increasingly frayed nerves - Hilariously Ugly.

5. Leaving Delhi without really registering that I was leaving - Bad. Would've been worse had I understood the enormity of the move.

6. My first two and a half months in this city, when Monday mornings used to make me happy because I could come back to work - Bad.

7. The leviathan-cum-tyrant of a landlady at my first place and the watery onion curry she fed me for forty bucks - possibly the lowest point of my year.

8. Moving to the Sindhi landlady's place and finding out that her favourite pastime is to loudly repeat any random set of words from songs airing on TV - Hilariously Good. Here's a sampler. You're watching television, when suddenly the 75 year old woman next to you screams 'RAAT GUZAAR!' Go figure.

9. Having a windbag for a roomie - Stinker. Very, very Bad.

10. Meeting Someone after spending a really long lifetime believing that these things only happen to Other People - Surprisingly Good.

11. Feeling belonged - Exhilarating (the labels were not really adequate).

12. Crying my eyes out watching Taare Zameen Par, simply out of surprise at watching people just be, and so beautifully at that - Really Good.

Hmm. Year end messages.

Friends in general - Khush raho, bacchhon. Aur agle saal, sab mujhse milne aao aur mujhe khana khilaao.

Sisters - Khush raho, bacchon. Aur agle saal mujhe zyada pareshaan mat karo.

Bloggers that I read - Khush raho, bacchon. Aur do maheeno mein ek post likhna ek acche blogger ko shobha nahi deta.

Boy - Dukhi ho jayo, bacche. Your life is officially ruined.

Happy New Year, folks. Love, life and general merriment to everyone.

Friday, December 14, 2007

This and That

It's Friday evening and I'm all done with work (I think). I still have an hour to kill before leaving. It's strange that The Boy has to pick this hour of the day to make an impromptu visit to his workplace. But so is life, I suppose.

What on earth am I rambling about? This post is so pointless that I don't even have a title for it yet. Must one post utter trash just because one can? Yes, one must. Let me do some philosophizing on the spot.

Random truism # 1 - stay away from people who are fundamentally insecure, because they will never let you be happy, or even let you be, for that matter.

Random truism # 2 - self destruction is just that and nothing more. It is not begging out to be changed or reformed or loved, it is just standing there. Don't get your hands burned.

Random truism # 3 - adjectives such as 'grown-up' and 'childlike' and 'naive' and 'weird' are labels that people ascribe to others to make their own selves comfortable with things or people they don't understand or to talk down to them. That does not mean that you need to take the labels seriously. Life isn't an inventory.

Random truism # 4 - Chad Kroeger may have dyed his hair blond and may now look more like a Backstreet Boy than the frontman of Nickelback, but he still has the voice of an angel.

Random truism # 5 - silence in the face of unnecessary belligerence is not wise. It doesn't matter if you have all the right responses in your head. If they stay in your head they won't make an iota of difference to anyone in the world, not even to yourself.

Random truism # 6 - say 'NO' when it's required. Doesn't sound half bad, really.

Hmm. I'm all out of truisms. But I have a very merry looking weekend to look forward to, and the lows of the week have only reinforced my gratitude for the people I have in my life and the wonderful things they do for my soul. And my boss got me a huge jar of homemade pickle today. Equilibrium has been established, and it's tilting towards happiness.

P.S.: - Reason # 134 why I'm fervently fond of Gulzar.

Humne dekhi hai un aankhon ki mehekti khushboo,
Haath se chhooke isse rishton ka ilzaam na do.
Sirf ehsaas hai yeh, rooh se mehsoos karo,
Pyaar ko pyaar hi rehne do, koi naam na do.

Luminous, incandescent, gentleness. Have a good weekend.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

One Fourth Of A Vacation

It's always nice to revisit someplace that you've loved, people who you love, a season that makes you more mellow than any amount of wine could accomplish. Slipping back into the folds of the cocoon of familiarity, you'd almost believe that you'd never left, that the next morning you'd wake up to discover that you'd slept through your lecture on China yet again. So I went back to Delhi, and back to the life of a lazy, indulgent non-worker for just a little while.

What can I say, really? Let the others do the talking for a change.

Kitkat (on seeing me for the first time, at her brother's cocktail party): - "Very nice, very nice, LOVE the shoes".

RR (when she pointed her finger at me for no reason and I burst into gales of laughter): - "Why are you laughing? Only you would find something amusing in this".

Skaty: - "Am I a bad person?"

PS: - "You came? When? Make me tea."

P (ex-roomie): - "Can I smoke in the room?"
Me: - "It is your room now, y'know".
P: - "Noooooooo! It's YOUR ROOM!"
She then proceeded to stick her head out of the door and smoke.

Sister: - "Why in the whole world did you have to find a Bengali boy? Does he wear sweater vests? (Gasp) I disown you".

The train attendant on the way to Delhi was a spitting image of Murli Manohar Joshi, complete with vermillion on the forehead, while the venerable Gujarati matriarch on the way back was the spitting image of A.K. Hangal. Reminds me, does any of you ever remember seeing a young A.K. Hangal? There was an earthquake at 4.30 am in the morning when I was sleeping in my old hostel and I woke up to the familiar sounds of women screaming, giggling and running. I debated getting out of the blanket for five minutes and then went back to sleep. I lost my charger and a brand new dress that was worth a thousand bucks, bought a pair of killer shoes that practically annihilated my feet for over two days, had my phone die on me for three days and happily poached all my friends' phones, didn't meet half the people I wanted to, didn't even have the time to look at the mecca of blueberry cheesecake, the Big Chill. But I also tramped all over Lajpat Nagar shopping all on my own, ate atleast three truckloads of food and painted my toenails a nice shade of mauve. On the way back, I was adopted by a family of fourteen elderly Gujarati people who let me sleep blissfully and took care to see that my food was kept aside for whenever I deigned to eat.

So I'm back, and it's not really too bad. Hopefully there will be ten days every year when I can go back to winter and peace. Next time there will be cheesecake, there won't be earthquakes, and there will hopefully be more time. Oh, and bathroom pipes won't spontaneously burst anymore. Fingers crossed.