Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Wedding, Stars, Lights and Christmas

Whenever I have loads to say, I never know how to begin. Then I procrastinate till Ive forgotten what I wanted to say.
So this time I decided to just make a bulleted list.
I just spent the last 5 days in Goa as a bridesmaid at my best friends wedding and to celebrate Christmas... So what did I do?

Pre- Wedding
  1. Had the most delicious home cooked Goan food
  2. Lived in the beautiful Goan house
  3. Spent the 2 days before the wedding roaming around with the bride, groom and brides bro for last minute wedding stuff
  4. Practiced falling over each others feet with the best man. This involved a lot of prodding and nudging and pressing and other filthy sounding words, since we could never get each others cues. This was supposed to look like Waltz.
  5. Bride and Self got ourselves pampered at parlour.
  6. Tried to comprehend and manage all the secret surprises each member of old and new family were planning for each other. I was the secret keeper.
  7. Gave the much loved and already used wedding gift to bride and groom.
  8. Did a lot of dirty talk with bride, groom and brides bro, pretending 8 and 10 year old ring bearer and flower girl did not understand a thing.
  9. Did church rehearsal, where tried not to trip over illogically built step halfway through the aisle
  10. Best man and I tried our waltzing during above church rehearsal (in the aisle) much to disapproval of other people in church. In my defence, it was his idea.
  11. Bride and I and flower girl tried on our dresses and floated around the house , day prior to wedding. All this when groom was happily sleeping in next room.
  12. Got tanned, burnt and sweaty in hot Goan Sun
  13. Had the most delicious home cooked Goan food
  14. Lived in the beautiful Goan house

Wedding

  1. Dropped self's jaw when saw bride in wedding gown
  2. Modestly decided did not look so bad myself
  3. Declared wedding photographer was God after seeing photographs taken before setting off to church
  4. Fell in love with above photographer and decided to have him for own wedding (as photographer that is) at the turn of next century
  5. Practiced the first waltz with best man (this a repeated theme as you might notice)
  6. Reached church and met up with guest milling outside.
  7. Walked down aisle behind bride and her 7 mtr trail, without tripping on mentioned illogical step
  8. Got through ceremony without any major embarrassment to self
  9. Did not like the fact that " You may kiss the bride" not declared by priest.
  10. Liked the fact that groom decided to do so anyways when next part ceremony had already started
  11. Spent most of time doing something or the other to brides 7 mtr trail
  12. Grinned giddily with happiness at bride when she turned around.
  13. Left for reception place
  14. Distributed confetti with other brides maid best man couple
  15. Slowly and steadily got increasingly nervous about toast and first waltz.
  16. Entered with bride and groom ( wife and husband??) and did walk-around and got confetti all over hair and dress
  17. Sat at bridal table, attended cake cutting
  18. Said toast along with best man which self thought went off very well (complemented a lot on toast later by absolute strangers ... so verified i think)
  19. Drank only little champagne so as not to get woozy before the big first waltz
  20. First waltz - Best man and self made fool of ourselves. But think (self-delusion) only brides bro and other people who saw us practice, actually noticed gaffes
  21. Then danced the night away with other best man (nubile youth of 20). Shamelessly flirted with 20 year old and felt like cradle snatcher. Helped that above nubile youth danced like dream.
  22. Learnt and executed with characteristic brilliance (!) the waltz, the 2-step, the cha-cha-cha, jive.
  23. Did shameless booty shaking dance along with bride and other girls from bride-side.
  24. Other brides-maid and self did loads of dress shaking and swirling around (said dress was wine-red spaghetti strapped salsa type dress)
  25. Lost sensation in feet but continued dancing. Could not stand on own two feet by end of evening. Note: Not effects of alcohol since drank next to nothing.
  26. Encouraged bride and goom during kissing game
  27. Tied up bride and groom with ribbons. Considered leaving them like that.
  28. At end of reception full bridal party went to booked hotel room to say bbye to bride and groom.
  29. Everybody took off shoes and coats to get comfortable must to dismay of bride and groom.
  30. Politely escorted out of room by not-so-subtle hints by bride

Post - Wedding

  1. Had the most delicious home cooked Goan food
  2. Lived in the beautiful Goan house
  3. Spent the whole afternoon at beachside restaurant Brittos with friend.
  4. Attended Christmas mass with bride, groom and brides bro and mom
  5. Spent entire mass trying to stop the siblings from pulling up my dress...embarassing me in public in a fine art of entertainment for them
  6. Then grooms family and brides family and me..went for post mass celebrations (read eating) to the bride and grooms hotel ( we really love to visit them there). And ate a concoction of Christmas Pudding with brandy (from Harrods) mixed with butterscoth ice cream mixed with chocolate ice cream with wine poured on it .... eating in tea cups and saucers and wine glasses and ice cream tub covers.
  7. Left them at around 3:30 am and came home and crashed
  8. Spent a day mulling around said beautiful Goan house.
  9. Left Goa.

All the stuff I want to say, I want to express, I can't do in words.

It was an over whelming experience. Thank you to all who made it so.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Free Verse

Untied

I look at you
And wonder

Are you alone
Are you with

And I wonder
What you feel like

I imagine shoe laces
Untied

I see that rough stubble
Under your lower lip

Fingers intertwined
Skin pressed

I feel your words
Entering my soul

And I talk, and listen
And smile at you.
___________________________

Curled Fists

Little hands
And feet

Wrapped Shoulders
And a trembling neck

Your look of complete trust
My spasm of uncontrollable fear

My crazy dreams for
years in another decade

Your insistence on
here and now

The gurgle, the burps,
The toothless smile

My need to use cliches
To explain the unmeasurable
___________________________

Urgent Neat

You enter and set the bag firmly on the floor
Parallel to the edge of the cupboard
You adjust the bag till its entire side
Is on the tile edge

You slowly remove your jacket
And carefully place it on the back of the chair
You smooth out all the wrinkles
Carefully not to leave any behind

I watch as you remove
All your clothes one at a time
Folding each into perfect quadrangles
Piling it on the extra chair in the bedroom

And then you stand back
In your naked splendour
Surveying your handiwork
Reviewing the geometric patterns

I know while leaving how
You'll put them on with the same care
Not leaving a trace of the afternoon
No wrinkles, no hair out of place

The only lines I see are the ones on your body
The only thing I want to do with your clothes
Is tear them off you, dishevel your hair
The urgent need I have has nothing to do with neatness
Whoever said the mistress has the exciting life?

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Man Under the Shirt

I was just turning around the corner in my rush to get to the ladies room. He had just come out the "boys room" and came around the corner at the exact moment. With me just about to go to the restroom and him just out of it, standing in front of the bathrooms, wasn't exactly the most romantic of first meetings. But then you couldn't really call it a meeting. A hastily mumbled sorry, a quick almost non-look in each others direction and we were on our way. His face didn't even register then. The only reason I know it was him, was because of the horrendous, fright of colors shirt he was wearing. My first thought was that people seemed to be taking this casual Friday dress code a little too far. My second was that he must be seeing someone, for no matter how brave a man is, he wouldn't wear a shirt like that unless it was a gift worn coz of a very compelling need. These thoughts passed through my mind in a couple of seconds and I forgot about him. The only thing that stuck somewhere in my subconscious was that shirt.

The second time we met, he was in the same shirt again. I mean it couldn't have been someone else wearing a similar shirt could it? At which point I should have walked away. A man who thinks that that was a shirt to be worn repeatedly was not to be pursued, I mean business networked with. But would I listen to my rare sensible thoughts? No. So I stuck around, as he waited for his mug to fill up at the coffee machine. He seemed to staring fixedly at the oddly dark brown, semi translucent liquid that seemed to be dropping into his mug. As the stream stopped, he picked up his mug and as he walked away he peered inside and only then did he realized that there was no milk in his coffee. He turned around and looked straight at me. "I guess, the machine's run out of milk powder", I offered in the away of a lame excuse (worst first line ever?). He smiled a very rueful smile, walked back, holding my glance (drooling stare?) and proceeded to empty the contents of his mug into the basin.

Then followed the usual, which business unit/ practice/ project do you work with, questions that must be followed according to "The 7 Rules of Highly Effective first time coffee machine conversations". Once the said questions from the script were gone through, we made some inane remarks about the absent coffee and after an uncomfortable 0.6 min which I spent wondering how someone this good looking, I mean with such in depth knowledge of the business, can wear such a shirt (I really need to get another line of thought! …ummmm…no! no! no! this is office! Let's just think about the shirt. ), we went back to our respective seats.

So then of course we'd run into each other often. I mean on a floor seating 100 odd, you are bound to, aren't you? So we finally reached the stage in our relationship (sporadic 15 second "accidental" encounters), when we could start asking certain questions to each other. So with shivering temerity, I popped the question. "So, what's with the shirt?" Really Nandita, a man's salary, his golf handicap and his choice of shirts are his own business. Or are they?? He had the gall to reply, "What shirt?". As if there were loads of shirts he owned, that needed to discussed. I shudder to think of the world if that were true. "The shirt you where every Friday!", trying to keep the emphasis out of "every". And I realized a little too late that me noticing what he wears every Friday, became very obvious.

However, apparently men do not get these subtle hints, and he proceeded to tell me, the story of the shirt. To cut a long story short…

This was the shirt he had worn, when he had his one and only kiss.

I know I should have walked away, when I saw that shirt.

Disclaimer: For any women from my workplace, reading this, this is a work of fiction and bears no resemblance to any man, alive or dead. There are no such good looking men in our workplace, with or without shirts, I mean with or without bad shirts.

Note to Self: The situation is in serious need of correction if your fiction is also full of losers.

Monday, November 26, 2007

When I speak of writing...

“When I speak of writing, what comes first to my mind is not a novel, a poem, or literary tradition, it is a person who shuts himself up in a room, sits down at a table, and alone, turns inward.”
Orhan Pamuk in " My Father's Suitcase"

Real Life

Found this here:

This was a speech made by Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Anna Quindlen at the graduation ceremony of an American university where she was awarded an Honorary PhD.

'I'm a novelist. My work is human nature. Real life is all I know. Don't ever confuse the two, your life and your work. You will walk out of here this afternoon with only one thing that no one else has. There will be hundreds of people out there with your same degree: there will be thousands of people doing what you want to do for a living. But you will be the only person alive who has sole custody of your life. Your particular life. Your entire life. Not just your life at a desk, or your life on a bus, or in a car, or at the computer. Not just the life of your mind, but the life of your heart. Not just your bank accounts but also your soul.

People don't talk about the soul very much anymore. It's so much easier to write a resume than to craft a spirit. But a resume is cold comfort on a winter's night, or when you're sad, or broke, or lonely, or when you've received your test results and they're not so good.

Here is my resume: I am a good mother to three children. I have tried never to let my work stand in the way of being a good parent. I no longer consider myself the centre of the universe. I show up. I listen. I try to laugh. I am a good friend to my husband. I have tried to make marriage vows mean what they say. I am a good friend to my friends and they to me. Without them, there would be nothing to say to you today, because I would be a cardboard cut out. But I call them on the phone, and I meet them for lunch. I would be rotten, at best mediocre at my job if those other things were not true.

You cannot be really first rate at your work if your work is all you are. So here's what I wanted to tell you today: Get a life. A real life, not a manic pursuit of the next promotion, the bigger pay cheque, the larger house. Do you think you'd care so very much about those things if you blew an aneurysm this afternoon, or found a lump in your breast?

Get a life in which you notice the smell of salt water pushing itself on a breeze at the seaside, a life in which you stop and watch how a red-tailed hawk circles over the water, or the way a baby scowls with concentration when she tries to pick up a sweet with her thumb and first finger. Get a life in which you are not alone. Find people you love, and who love you. And remember that love is not leisure, it is work. Pick up the phone. Send an email. Write a letter. Get a life in which you are generous. And realize that life is the best thing ever, and that you have no business taking it for granted. Care so deeply about its goodness that you want to spread it around. Take money you would have spent on beer and give it to charity. Work in a soup kitchen. Be a big brother or sister.

All of you want to do well. But if you do not do good too, then doing well will never be enough. It is so easy to waste our lives, our days, our hours, and our minutes. It is so easy to take for granted the colour of our kids' eyes, the way the melody in a symphony rises and falls and disappears and rises again.

It is so easy to exist instead of to live. I learned to live many years ago. I learned to love the journey, not the destination. I learned that it is not a dress rehearsal, and that today is the only guarantee you get. I learned to look at all the good in the world and try to give some of it back because I believed in it, completely and utterly. And I tried to do that, in part, by telling others what I had learned. By telling them this: Consider the lilies of the field. Look at the fuzz on a baby's ear. Read in the back yard with the sun on your face. Learn to be happy. And think of life as a terminal illness, because if you do, you will live it with joy and passion as it ought to be lived'.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Bole Chudiya...

I have been in a very chudiya mood since last week.

Have mixing and matching my chudiyas..to office.


Its not unknown in office. But it is unknown for me to do so. So ofcourse it has sparked all kinds of comments and teasing from my team.


But all said and done, I absolutely love chudiya. Maroon, Pink, Blue, Red, with sparkles, glitter, chamki, metal and oxidize.

Not only do they look fabulous, they make my fat wrist look slender.

And they jingle-jangle (this i reserve for my bus rides when I listening to my latest songs of the week.







Ofcourse they do look more fabulous with my recently highlighted and trimmed hair.

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Week that was

Have had a fantastic one week. Just had to bore everybody with it.

Diwali 2007
I think I will remember this years Diwali as the most fun Diwali ever.

Last year's Diwali was very low key since my grandmas were in the hospital all through Diwali and one of them passed away on Padwa day.
But this year even the shadow of last year's Diwali brought only happy memories.

I spent a whole 4 days in Mumbai this time for Diwali.

Thursday:
My late grandma's sister had called all the entire family for Diwali brunch to their place. Did loads of maja masti there. Had some fantastic home made Diwali pharal there. Good ol' aaji-made karanjis.

After this my parents and I went to my sister's place. Here I spent all the time I was there singing dance songs to my neice. She would be the only person on the planet who actually requests me to sing. So afternoon was spent me singing and she dancing (She is all of 1 year and 9 months today)

Must mention here the attempt at Ring-a-Ring-a-Roses. My mom, my sis, the baby girl, sis's sister-in law and me were teaching the baby girl the game. At the end of the sing we "all fell down" except the little baby ofcourse. And she looks at as if we were insane, wondering why in the world did we all suddenly sit down on the floor.

Anyways, after this, went home, lazed slept etc etc. Then in the evening I went back to a friend's (Mlch's) place in Bandra to do final fitting for my bridesmaid dresses. Did I mention I am going be bridesmaid for my friend at her wedding at a church in Goa. In December. Does it get more perfect?

At night my folks and I did a movie watching night at home with Chak De.

Friday:

Morning - Read all the newspapers, weekly magazines, Lazed

Afternoon - Lazed, Slept

Evening - Went to a school friends place. Did loads of bakar with her parents and her. Enthralled them with my Marathi poetry. Now this is enthralling not so much bcoz of the poetry but more because it was from the girl who couldn't frame a full sentence in Marathi in her anglicized accent all through her Convent school years.

Saturday:
Was shraadha for grandmom. Even though this was not a happy occassion, most of the morning and afternoon were spent remembering what aaji would have said. And general ribbing and pulling each other's legs.
My S kaka even broke some aawlas off the tree outside the window. And I soaked it in Salt water aaji-style. S Kaka and I spent the whole morning eating aawlaas.

Then Saturday night, some 9-10 of us got together to play teen patti (3 card gambling). I got terrible cards all night long. And I still betted high just to force everybody to raise their stakes.
P Kaka spent all the games trying to cheat. Not quite successfully. He's quite unsubtle and terrible at it. He even tried hiding cards between his toes. :-D

We went out and got this wonderful icecream-kulfi-falooda-rabdi mix that you get at this very small shop nearby at around 11pm. No branded ice cream that ever beat this concoction.

We were up till 1 or so playing cards. And me constantly losing money (on paper that is).

Sunday:
Then in the morning, we all went to have breakfast at this wonderful uduppi.

Ofcourse the whole weekend was spent coming up with jokes about the "marriage-ious" year ahead. My cousins are, 1 a year and a half older to me and one a year and a half younger...so marriage jokes are everybody fav topic of conversation.

Spent Sunday with one of my closest friends (AG) We did lunch and a movie and general roaming around and window shopping in Bandra. Had a great time.

Then it was back to Pune.

Pune - 15th Nov
The rest of the part of the week that was great was that I went shopping with a friend (HYMS) yesterday. Saw lots of uselessly vulgarly exorbitant stuff (lingerie included, he was thrilled that they forced lingerie brochures on me) and thankfully didn't buy any. Both of us did a lot of wondering about who buys this expensive lingerie (it was seriouslly crazy) and wondered what exactly they use it for that makes it worth it. Didn't find the one thing I was out looking for. But had loads of fun anyways.

16th Nov
And finally yesterday. Folks stopped in at Pune on their way back from GanpatiPule to Mumbai. Showed them the new house, still in disarray. Mom, obviouslly had a few(!) things to say about the things that still needed to put away.

Also, visited my fav book shop and found the perfect book for T. Its:
"The Jail Notebook and Other Writings
Bhagat Singh
Edited by Chaman Lal
Jail Notebook annotated by Bhupender Hooja"

Am very pleased at the find

And went for a movie last evening with a very dear friend/ old colleague (ABC) of mine. Great movie. Then went to look for dinner at 11 pm. After a long time went into the proper city of Pune. After a failed attempt at his favourite eating place (which was already closed), we went to the restaurant owned by the Mangeshkar family (Lata, Hridaynath et al)

Winter has set in Pune and the night was pleasently chilly making the skin go just slightly numb.
Good weather, good company - a great evening.

All in all, good times spent with family and friends. Lots of ribbing, laughs and some fabulous memories to tuck away.

Monday, November 05, 2007

The Nod

Now, the nod is very wonderful gesture. It can be used to pretend you are understanding, or to show that you agree, or the most complex - to acknowledge someone on the road.

Now this acknowledgement nod is tricky business. It normally is just a quick bob of the head with it ending, and this is very important, back where it started.
The quick bob with no smile is normally reserved for acquaintances who you really don't want to stop and speak to, or worse, who's name you don't remember. This mostly says "I see you. I don't want to stop and talk now. I have acknowledged you. Now lets move on"

The other nod is more of a long upward movement of the head and a then a very small downward movement. It is essential in this move that your head remained slightly raised till you pass out of sight. This nod, commonly used in metros, is normally accompanied by a slight upward twist of the lips on one side (colloquially called a grin).

This is used to acknowledge peers/ friends who are at some distance from you. This is an alternative to screaming out obscenities over that distance, that you normally use at nicknames for that friend.

This nod is in recent times is used in accompaniment with a cell phone. Thus you don't stop talking on the phone but just do the upward nod while talking as if to say " I have a life. I cannot spend it stopping, to talk to you."

A modification to the above nod, is the eyebrow nod. This is only a very slight shift in the angle of your double chin, but who's whole identity rests on the eyebrows. The idea is to raise one eyebrow as a gesture of acknowledgement.
This has a mischievous connotation to it and is normally used in situations where you don't want to disturb the acquaintance.

Now the most delicate of Nods is the good-bye nod. This is used in situations where you make the fatal mistake of stopping to talk to an acquaintance on the road.
Once the regulatory 1.25 mins are done and you have done the how are you, how is boyfriend/ girlfriend, husband, wife, parents, dog, imaginary pet; the "hows work going", you start hinting that you are on your way to some place.

Now most road acquaintances choose to ignore these signals and instead proceed to a long (and supposedly interesting) story of the colour of the sore on the neighbour's cats leg.

Now it's very essential to recognize a logical break in the story (this is what makes a true artiste) and use this pause for breath to remind them that " I have to go. I'm really late." and of course throw the "let's catch up sometime soon" line... and now comes the clincher. You must do the good-bye nod.

This is a quick sharp military style downward nod that stops with a sharp jerk. This says " I have to go now! NOW! NOW! NOW!"

Now some people not schooled in the art of nodding, do not recognize this need of yours to move. And will continue to inunciate the finer points of checking fungus on a sore.
Now this is when the vigourous nodding of the head starts and you start walking backwards.
It is also considered a matter of finesse if you take a first step to turn around during the backward walking trick.

This says " I have left."

Daylight Savings Time

Its 31st December.

One man forgot to turn his clocks back. He knows it actually 11 pm.

But everybody else has turned their clocks back and is pretending its 12 midnight and so starts celebrating. An hour early.

Can someone please explain this to me? Why the need to turn back the clocks?

Quote Unquote

"Who made up the rule that the best loves last forever?"
---Anon

A Penny for your Thoughts?

Fear:

I'm not sure what scares me more:

This sentence in today's times of India:

"Musharraf’s move to seize emergency powers and abandon the constitution left Bush administration officials close to their nightmare: An American backed military dictator who is risking civil instability in a country with nuclear weapons and an increasingly alienated public."

Or this in Yesterdays:

“…A 22-year-old woman working as an associate at a Wipro call centre in Pune was raped and murdered, allegedly by the driver of the office cab taking her to work and a friend of his. The two men, high on booze, late on Thursday night stopped the cab at a hamlet along the Pune-Mumbai expressway and raped her and then strangled her and smashed her skull…”

Brrrr...

Thanks…

..to my parents.

For letting me make my mistakes. For teaching me my lessons early on in life, and then letting me go out and live my life on my own. For telling me to go manage things on my own. For making the independent person I am today. For still advising me, but respecting my decision to not take it.

For inculcating the responsibility to do my chores, right from childhood.

Thank you, aai and baba, for even though I complained all through childhood and adolescence about rules I hated to follow, I truly appreciate the freedom you gave me.

I met someone recently, who's all grown up and who's parents still followed her everywhere. They came with her to a new city. They got her, her apartment, got her "settled in", didn't let her roam around alone since it was a new city and generally did all the talking and thinking for her.

And I was shocked. At our age, if you haven't cut the umbilical cord yet, you might never be able to.

Thank you also for making me do all the work that needed to be done irrespective of gender stereotypes. I see so many women today who won't do lifting or talking to the handy-men, because that's a "man's job". And I feel sorry for them. For being stuck in a cliché. I grew up doing heavy lifting with my dad. Helped in any electrical for mechanical fixing that needed to be done. Changed bulbs. Carried suitcases. And never gave a second thought to it. Coz I thought everybody was brought up this way. Till I met women today who actually won't do half the work, cause there are boys, na?

Which brings me to my next thought…

I ain't no lady:

I have heard people telling me that I should be more lady like. That I should always speak politely and be gentle. That I should hold me hand to my heart and call the boys when any work needs to be done!

I have never advocated gender stereotypes and I never will. I don't believe that there some jobs only for men and some only for women. I agree certain people might thrive in certain jobs and environments and some in others. But I hate generalization.

Like I mentioned before I grew up in a family which flouted gender stereotypes at least to some extent. And gave us the freedom to explore all things in life irrespective of our gender. (And I mention this because I have seen people who been brought up to think of a man's behavior and a woman's behavior. )

I played tipri and cricket. I broke awlas off trees and played with my kitchen set. My sis and I plaited our doll's hair and played at wrestling.

I was a member of Barbie club and my dad and I made apple pie from it's magazine recipes. I'd lead my mom in cheek-to-cheek dancing around the house. I lifted furniture. I also lifted mom. J

I love knitting. And was the captain to the college girl's cricket team.

I worked in a workshop in college with lathes, and drilling and grinding machines. And loved buying chunky street side anklets, bracelets, chains.

I don't polish my nails regularly and am not worried about chipping them. I jump over walls and get my hands dirty.

I spent two months taking care of sister's 2 month old baby. I stayed up at night with her and carried her and walked with her till she nodded off to sleep against my neck. I changed her nappies and sang lullabies to her. Combed her hair. And later, enjoyed feeding her from a milk bottle.

Until I was 16 (and thin), I ran around in shorts and grubby knees. Alternated with small skirts and pretty lacy tops.

I watch cricket with my entire family and curse the team. I love mostly romantic-comedy and don't like violent movies and horror.

I have traveled standing on furniture in the back on a tempo traveler. And I absolutely love applying mehendi on my hands and loads and loads of colored metal chudiya.

The list could go on. And you'd never know what I am.

I don't always cross my legs. And I don't drink tea with my pinky out. I don't always use appropriate language. I never cover my knees when in skirts. I read and talk about topics that people say I am not supposed to be interested in. I laugh loudly and don't cover my mouth. I play games that make me sweat (not perspire, or glow, sweat!)

But, I cannot be summed up in stereotype.

I ain't no lady. But I'm more of a woman than they could ever be.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Jumble Mumble 2

One
As the hijra pimp led the 7 year old girl into the house enticing her with stories of halwa-puri and led her to fat seth propped up against pillows on his mahogany bed, I sunk lower into the black seat and hugged my bag. I cringed thinking of the innocent 7 year old and what was about to happen to her. I felt a vacuum in the pit of my stomach and between my legs. I crossed my denim clad legs tighter...

(...while watching Deepa Mehta's Water in the bus from Mumbai to Pune on Sunday evening)

...and thanked my lucky stars, that I was born in more enlightened times in a well off, educated family.

Two
After the movie, the assistant in the bus put on a CD of old hindi songs. And suddenly you could sense a change in atmosphere in the bus. The whole bus seemed to suddenly become one.
You could hear voices in bus softly singing along with rajesh khanna, dev anand, sharmila tagore, mumtaz, etc.
There snapping fingers keeping pace with the beats of these classics. Feet were tapping. Heads were bobbing.
And for a few minutes everybody was transformed back to a time when music had a power to hypnotize people.
Credits to:
Roop tera mastana..
Gore rang pe na itna ghumaan kar...
Meet na mila re man ka...
Gaata rahe mera dil...
Jaane Jaa, dhoondhta phir raha...
Mere Sapno ki rani kab aayegi tu...

Let the Music Play.

Jumble Mumble

Every week I take up this new thing to do. Last week it was picking up Urdu.
This site helped me: http://www.urdupoetry.com/

From last week, here's what I came up with:

"Tumne hamein bheja koi pyaar ke paigaam nahi hai,
Magar afsaus, khwabo pe ikhtiyaar nahi hai"

(This was basically to use the word ikhtiyaar (control) in a sentence) :-)

This week it's reading more of Ogden Nash poetry. So today I found a whole PDF of Ogden Nash Poetry. There were many really nice ones. Here is one I picked out:

"My Dream

This is my dream
It is my own dream
I dreamt it.
I dreamt that my hair was kempt.
Then I dreamt that my true love unkempt it.

Ogden Nash"

And on that high note, jumble mumble takes a break.

मराठी Poetry

These are some poems I had written quite some time ago...some 6-8 months ago. Just got around to posting these 3 here.

Marathi Poem 1 - Tujha Haat Pakdun

tuza ha4 pkDUn

AayuXy jg~yace SvPn paihle

p` tuza ha4 pkDta pkDta

dus–Yaa.ca sa4 soDUn gele


tuze SvPn tu3le,

tr tU maZyakDe Aalas rDt rDt

tuZya Do;\yatUn A&U pusta pusta

Svt: hs`e ivsrUn gele


roj s.@yaka;I ha4at ha4 2rUn

tuZya Do;\yat b6t raihle

tuZya do;\yat b6ta b6ta

insrgace r.g ivsrUn gele


tula maza 6raca rsta kay,

maz. nav hI Aa#vt nsel

tuZya 7o3\ya 7o3\ya jo*3I Aa#vt Aa#vt

mI Svt:la ivsrUn gele.

Marathi Poem 2 - Bhatukli

watuklI qe;ta qe;ta

Svtac: 6r zal., k;l. nahI

Aa.ByacI zaD. c!ta c!ta

kes ipkUn gele, k;l. nahI



wavLya.cI 6r bnvta bnvta

mula.cI 6r bsv~yacI ve; AalI

maZya 6uD^yavrce rKt Aa{ pusta pusta

mulICya lGnat pdravr Do;e pusaycI ve; AalI



wugol tasat jgaca Aakar ixkt ixkt

mula.na prdexI pa#v~yac. vy zal.

jgace kayde kanUn smjta smjta

Tyala soDUn jaNyac. vy zal..

Marathi Poem 3 - Mi Daarat Ubhi Aahe

mI darat ]BHI Aahe

pa}l pu!e 3akayc kI nahI ya ivcarat

mage maz. balp`ac. 6r

pu!e A`o;qI rsTyaca c!av ]tar


darala lagUn Aa.g` Aahe

ya A.g`at maze im5 mEi5`I Aahet

Aa{ baba.Cya Premane

Aole ic.b iwjlele idvs ra5 Aahet


Aaj ya ].br#\yavr ]w rahUn

mI mage b6te, pu!e b6te

mage maze bewan Aayu*y

pu!e psrlela ha kora kagd

yaCyavr ilQaa` AjUn ]m3lele nahI


pu!cI va3 AjUn Aa.2arat Aahe

TyaCyavr ]jeD AjUn pDlela nahI


mI pu!e pa]l 3akLyavr

drvaJyavrca ha4 su3Un ja{l

nvIn ha4 2rayla va3 2rIn

maZya pa#Ivrca ha4 magerahUn ja{l


mI Aaj maZya AavtI wvtI b6te

maz. kam, maza ve;, maZya AavDI invDI

]dya tec ³Xy mla idst nahI

]dya ³Xy ks. Asel, te kahI k;t nahI

AajU bajU ko~a Asel, he koD. kahI su3t nahI


Aajce idvs ra5, ]dya kxe bdltIl

ya kLpnet Aahe

ha4a vrCya reqa, Aai~a pu!ca रस्ता kse ju;tIl,

ya ivcarat Aahe

Monday, October 08, 2007

Poetry

There's poetry everywhere around you

In the leaves strewn on the path
Red and Orange
There's poetry in the dried leaves
That crackle when you step on them

In the colour of beer
Held against a light
There's poetry in
The Sunset in a glass

In the little ironies
That we see everyday
There's poetry in
The mysterious nature of life

In a succulent juicy
Well crafted dish
There's poetry in
A home cooked meal

In the way hair falls
Across the skin
There's poetry in
The light that's seen in their eyes

In the rain, wild and stormy
In the puddles that splash
There's poetry in
The pitter patter of rain on a tin roof

In the first step of your baby
In the first word she says
Theres poetry in
The way she holds on to your thumb

In a smile, a handshake
A phonecall
There's poetry in
The little things that make us smile

There's poetry everywhere around you
You just have to see it.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

One more time

Give me one more drag
Just one more puff
Only one more time;
I'm addicted to you

Just one more day
Let me spend with you
Give me one more chance
Just to be with you

Let the screw-ups go
Leave my problems by
Only one more time;
I'm addicted to you

My nerves are shot
I need some druggin'
You're my daily dose
I need to breathe you in

Lemme hold you now
Lemme have my fill
Only one more time
I'm addicted to you

C'mon, just one more drag
Only one more puff
One more time
Only one more time
Just one more time
I'm addicted to you.

The Business of Newspaper Cutlery

This post of Scott Adams about newspapers becoming extinct in the near future got me thinking. Nope, not about the pace of technological development or the future of the publishing industry but about the very nasal presence of the moongphali waala (peanut seller).

Now the moongphali waala is a very typical character in many Indian cities. This chappie sells hot roasted peanuts and groundnuts. You will find this chappie at bus stops, railway platforms, the more enterprising ones on the train. They'll be dispensing warm peanuts and groundnuts at Re. 1 or 2 a cone. This snack caters to the millions waiting on bus stops and railway stations, for trains and buses, tired faces that look temptingly at the auto rikshaws and cabs that pass by slowly, trafficking their wares to the bus-travellers. The moongphali (also called sengdana) is a quiche snack that fills an empty stomach at a cheap price.

The great thing about eating moongphali from the moongphali waala is not just the warm groundnuts and peanuts, sometimes even offered with a spicy topping of raw onion, thinly cut green chilies, some red chilly powder and a sprinkling of chaat masala. Its what you get after you finish your snack. Not just the contended feeling of a full stomach but the added mystery of "whats the cone made of today?"

The cone here is the perfectly shaped paper cone that holds the peanuts. The making of a perfect paper cone is itself an art. The seller's deft fingers shape and twist and turn the paper into a perfect cone in less than 3-4 seconds. It is typically made of a piece of old newspaper, and in the case of a seller whose business is doing well, its made from the glossies. The mystery comes from the fact that you never know what piece of newspaper has been used to craft that particular cone.

In Mumbai where I have devoured hundreds of moongphali cones, the newspapers varied not just in content but also in language. You could get Hindi, Marathi, English, Gujarati, Urdu, or even Tamil or Bengali. You could get a political news update, a stomach churning crime story, a story on the education system or a glossy on the newest scandal in Bollywood. It could be from last weeks or last month.
Thus for the princely sum of Rs. 2, you not only got a full stomach but your own little news widget on a platter.

It was the perfect way to spend the waiting time. Eat your fill and then squinting in the light of the street light, devour the contents of the used newspaper. You never knew what information you would learn. What forgotten piece of history would leap out at you from the annals of newsprint. And not only did you learn something new or got reminded of something long forgotten but you got to look at it with the fortunate backing of hindsight. So you probably knew what happened just after that piece of news had happened. Or how it affected other events in history. If it was a bit of sensational news, you would probably think back to where you were when you had first heard it.

Through the stages of evolution, the newspaper cutlery practice has diversified to cones of larger diameter that resemble large soup bowls. These are used by the bhel waalas - another important character in the lives of road side eaters.
Here you normally can't read the newspaper after eating because it normally gets soggy because of the chutneys. However the piece of newspaper is very useful once you are done eating to use as a tissue paper to wipe the remanants of chutney, spices, lemon juice off your fingers.

Though these examples leap to the mind, newspapers are used on the roadside to serve vada-pavs , dabelis, bhajiyas, samosas and umpteen other road side delicacies.

Now, as experts toss around debates on the extinction of newspapers, I cannot but feel fear about what will happen to the roadside vendors cutlery options.

Footnote: Yes, I know, bowls made of leaves or expensive and boring paper plates are often used as a substitute, but these are normally found at the more upscale road-side vendors. And tell me, what leaf bowl or paper plate can ever substitute a bowl/ plate, reading material and tissue paper all rolled into one?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Road Safety

We were celebrating Road Safety Week this last week in office. I had made these posters for the occasion. (No. They are not on public display. I had made them for a poster making competition which now seems to have disappeared)







***********************

Drive safe.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Lost in translation

Have you ever read
Poetry from foreign writers
Have you ever understood
the beauty in the translation

Have you ever figured out
Award winning latin poetry
That you insist on
reading in english

Have you seen the
depth in emotions
Of a black sky, or a radiant moon
Over another land

Do you connect with
the feelings in another language
expressed so clumsily
In your own

Then why do you assume
You understand me
When all other beauty
Is lost in translation?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Will you be carrying any luggage with you, ma'am?

The grating sound of the squeaky wheel on the concrete shook him from his reverie. He shook his head and smiled, as he saw her trying to get the luggage trolley over some bump on the ramp. She turned and grinned at everybody, as he thought of all the times she'd always turn to give him a last look as she boarded a bus or got into a car or left a room. And she looked at him again with that same look. That mixture of mischievousness and childlike innocence. That same confident belief that we'd meet again soon. Only this time the confidence didn't mask the fear in her eyes.

The struggle to not give way to her emotions was evident as she gripped on tighter to the trolley. And the grin became wider. After some meaningless "bbyes" and "keep in touch" and "i'll call" and "mail me" she turned to walk towards the entrance to the airport.

He stepped forward and took the haversack off her shoulder. He hugged it and started to walk with her towards the entrance.
There was about half an inch of air between arms as they walked and the space seemed to be charged with electricity. Only she knew that it wasn't science but the silence that explained the tingling on their skins.

They stopped just before the entrance luggage screening. He held out the haversack straps and she slid her arms into them. He straightened the twisted straps on her shoulders and put his palms on her shoulders.
They stood there for a minute too long. Her voice cracked as she turned and said "Well, you take care of yourself."
He was about to say something. Something that would explain everything he was trying to say, when the security guard said, "Will you be carrying any luggage with you, ma'am?"
She turned back and in a firm voice said,"No. I'll be checking it in."
And walked towards the x-ray machines, never to turn back again.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

To my fan club

For the benefit of my enormous fan base of ummm...1...2...right, 2 readers, I wanted to take time out to explain the drastic change in the look of the blog.

I'm sure that they don't really care either. But do I really care that I might alienate the 2 people who actually appear on my Google analytics-blog statistics..no sirree!...(especially when one of those 2 people is me.)

Anyways, now for the profound psychological reasons for altering the look of my blog. After careful study of the piece of thin white paper that comes with my tranquilizers, I consider myself a bit of a guru in the matters of the mind. So I realize that there must be deep psychological implications of this shift. Probably something that can be traced back to my nursery school days and that weird red haired man who used to walk by our building everyday.

So I spent an adequate 4 days pondering this move.

And I realized there are indeed deep seethed reasons.

Allow me to explain. No?
Well I'm going to anyways.

Firstly my blog went plain html last Friday. So all my award winning stuff was now displayed in times new roman with a plain white background and bright blue links.

I knew immediately, that my blog was was sending me a signal about something in my life. Again there were murky psycho-babble waters to be explored here. (Am i mixing metaphors? Or is this just a result of mixing drinks?)

As any good pseudo-techie should, I signed out and signed in again.
This normally works.
It didn't.

I then switched off and switched on my PC.
This always works!
Oh, mother of blogs! It didn't.

So I decided to go deeper and solve it with good technical skills.
I turned off the PC and went away. Came back and started it on Monday.
I mean, the problem should have gone away. That's how I live my life too, by the way.

But horror of horrors, I was still faced with eerie whiteness.

Now, I was convinced that either I was overdosing on my tranquilizers (and hence the calm quiet whiteness. This could also explain the tweety bird noises in my ears) or there was indeed something wrong with my template.
(I like to take my time before I arrive at obvious conclusions)

Now I again followed my book on "Pseudo-techie protocol for dummies".
I went to the Edit html window and spent valuable minutes scrolling up and down the html code.
After a few minutes of scrolling up and scrolling down again, I was quite satisfied that I had done the mandatory "debugging" of the code.

And that's when a light appeared.

Actually it was the ceiling lights reflecting off my colleagues watch.
And the light shone on the Template tab.

So I silently copied my old template, saved it, bid a tearful goodbye to it and changed my template to the new and now very popular template (so much so, that its actually attracted one more person to access this page).

The clever reader(s?) of this blog might notice that I'm now posting on a white background too.
But that's just because the effect of the tranquilizers and the shining lights have caused various colours to appear in front of my eyes.
So I'm no longer sure about what colour I am actually posting on.

However my "Tranquility through Tranquilizers" Guru assures me that this new template has positive energy and will flood my life with positive vibes (and my blog with comments??).

Thus with reasons of psychological metamorphosis and technical ingenuity, I present to you, my new template.

May the positive energy flow into your lives and blogs.

It's Vikram Kamat's Birthday!



...and the world is celebrating it!
Happy Birthday Juiceburps

No, I'm not a lunatic explanation: Its my friends birthday. And the mad hatter told me that I must celebrate his birthday by putting up banners.
Well, apparently Google has done it for me. :-)
This blog wishes you a great day dear...
And thanks you for all your comments and encouragement. :-)

Monday, September 17, 2007

Beep Beep - 7:15 AM: Put on Clothes

There are now innumerable ways in technology to set reminders for oneself. You can set reminders on your cell phone. With alarms without alarms. You can set the same reminder twice or thrice on the same day. You can set appointment in your Outlook calendar. You can place desktop post-it notes. You can set out your tasks on Google desktop. In the new Office 2007 version, you can use Windows calender ( similar to Outlook calendar) to lists tasks and set reminders. You can desktop calendars and clocks to show you the date and time.
You can make birthday lists. Anniversary reminders. You can have reminders send to you for 9:30 pm - "Pick up wine and flowers on the way home". You have birthday calendars online which you can repeated hound your friends to list their birthdays on. Orkut shows you their birthdays.

Everyday technology gives you more and more ways to remind yourself.

And everyday you forget a little more.

It seems to me that as technology gets upgraded, the wonderful tool we have called memory seems to get downgraded.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

A sense of destiny

Do you ever feel a sense of destiny
A farwaway dream that you can almost touch
Do you see a road, an image of you travelling
A sense of goodbyes and new beginnings

Do you ever feel a sense of different tomorrows
Of being somewhere else
Do you see strangers conversing
That bring a promise of a new happenings

Do you ever see a dream of standing in tomorrow
And having beautiful memories of today
Do you see new people in new places
That remind you of those here and now

Do you know in your heart
That a future awaits you
Do you see a bright clear image
In the random reccesses of your mind

Do you feel like you are going somewhere
Without knowing where
Do you feel it in your gut and in your soul
Do you have, a sense of density

Monday, September 03, 2007

I’m glad you danced

The white lights blurred as I felt my eyelashes go wet. You are wearing a white dress with a deep back. His hand rested on the small of your back. Your head on his shoulders. He’s wearing a smart black tuxedo.

I thought back to times when you refused to get out of the corner. When the music played, and the crowd danced, and you sat in the corner and tapped your feet. When everybody looked at you standing, aloof, beautiful as ever. When we searched for that light in your eyes, that had been missing for so many months. And you never once looked back into anybody’s. Shying away from making eye contact.

Then one day a boy came and sat next to you in your corner. He didn’t say a thing. Just sat next to you silently for as long as it took you to say something. And then something else. And you talked. Really talked to him. And as you sat and talked, you didn’t even realize when he put his hand gently under you elbow and led you to dance floor.
By the time you realized, you were already standing holding his hand on the dance floor. And then you wondered whether to rush back to the corner. But the hand you were holding seemed strangely comfortable and you felt very much at home. You’ll danced to what will now forever be known as your song.

And today as I see you with your arms around him swaying to the same words, all I can say is, I’m glad you danced.

His Spectacles next to the Bed

I could see his spectacles lying on the table next to the bed. The alarm clock said 5:45. The sky was turning pink as I watched it. He still slept like a child. His right leg pulled up to his chest, his left outstretched below it. The left ankle peeking out from below the bed sheet. ...more

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I have mail. From you.

What will NY152 say today I wonder.

I turn on my computer. I wait impatiently as it connects.

I go online, and my breath catches in my chest until I hear three little words:

You've got mail.

I hear nothing. Not even a sound on the streets of New York, just the beating of my own heart.

I have mail. From you.

Kathleen Kelly (You've got mail)

No Smoking!

There in a Cafe Coffee Day(CCD) stall in my office that serves 90 ml size glasses of tea/coffee, some milkshakes and a few pattices and sandwiches. This CCD stall is located in the midst of a beautiful green lawn , shady trees and a, yes its true, a well.
So logically it figures, this had become the most popular place for a smoke. Everyday at any hour you could see group of smokers standing around or sitting on the wall of the well, having their smoke and lemon tea around the CCD even though there are designated smoking areas elsewhere.

Eventually, my office administration did, what any office administration would do. It put up a "No Smoking" board right next to the CCD stall.

Now, the people in my office are very law-abiding. They also strive to be extremely accurate.

Now, you will never see anybody smoking in front of the "No smoking" board.

They all smoke behind the CCD stall, always keeping at least a 3 feet distance from the "No Smoking" board.

We are very conscientious about our rules.

N.a.k.e.d Women

This is surprisingly about, yes you guessed it, naked women. I'm going to try to de-mystify the mystery that is an only womens parlour or the only women section of unisex parlours. Here I am talking about those that don't have sepearet cubicles/ rooms for each person.

There are basically 2 types of women in a parlour and no, it is not a completely clothed woman and one that is, well, not. The two types are actually based on the reaction of women when they are half n.a.k.e.d, in towels and robes.

If any of you men need to take a break, go for a walk, please feel free to at this time.

Anyways, back to the parlour.
One type of woman is the type that thinks...well...now that an absolute strange woman has seen all the excess fat in their body, there is not much to hide anyways. This type will normally get very talkative and will want to discuss all her life with you right there, while both of you are sitting or lying down in awkward positions.

Now if you are the other type of women, who will prefer not to make eye contact with other skimpily dressed women, who have seen areas of your body that are not made for public consumtion, this can extremely disconcerting.

Typically you would be trying very hard to feign interest in the glossy in front of you which describes in detail how katrina kaif takes care of her skin, while some vindictive lady pours burning hot molten wax on you and devices new methods of soothing your skin before surprise! yanking off the wax strip. So, you are faking this concentrated reading exercise. (We women, are good are faking quite a few things, as you can see.) At the same time you are squeezing your eyes shut half the time to block out the pain.

The pain here is the waxing pain, and not the lady nearby telling you about her issues.

As you might have guessed by now, I fall in the category of "i'll pretend i can't see your thigh and you pretend not to see me". So I absolutely hate it when other women nearby will stare at you when you are undergoing some procedure.

Look, I am not sympethetic by nature. And I am not a good listener. Especially not when I am lying down in a robe, at my most vulnerable while some woman pours hot wax on my inner thigh. Small tip: Any time hot wax is being poured on my skin or hair is being pulled out by its roots from it, it's not a good time to talk to me about your business or your son's school. Honestly I am not listening.

This would also not be a good time to call me. You can SMS me. Yes. I can SMS back comfortably. It distracts me. its good. But no calls. Even if you are getting married and call to tell me, our conversation from my end will be like this: oh! con--aaaa--gratu--aaa-lations. I am -- oww-- so happyyyyyyy--eeeee--- for you. Look--hey, thats hot-- can I call you later--HAAAUUUTT---i'm in the middle of something.

Please hang up at this time. What you hear after this, will not be pretty.

I know I haven't written too much about the type who likes to talk, but thats because I don't understand the urge. Its probably because you trying not to think of the parlour lady, who is ever so gently spreading that golden wax on your skin and then patting in onto the skin, with a sense of nurturing that borders on a mother putting a child to sleep...shes lulling you into the sense of security. However after years of experience you know, its the calm before the yank. So you're probably talking to keep your mind off it.

But seriouslly, read about what is troubling teenaged girls today.

I...am beyond polite conversation.

Se7en

The Seven deadly or cardinal sins are described as follows:
  1. Lust: perversion
  2. Gluttony: waste, overindulgence
  3. Greed: treachery, covetousness
  4. Sloth: laziness, sadness, apathy
  5. Wrath: anger, hatred, rage, assault, violence, prejudice, discrimination
  6. Envy: jealousy, malice
  7. Pride: vanity, arrogance, narcissism

So which one are you NOT guilty of?

Oh, c'mon, don't be shy now.

Since there could be no answers to the question posed, on recommendation, the question has been changed to:

Which one are you MOST guilty of?

Inside Jokes

One of the most wonderful thing about any family are the inside jokes. Nobody outside the family understands them and they probably aren't even funny, when taken out of context. But they probably hark back to an incident or a time when they were funny for the family involved.

Like, for instance, my dad and uncle had taken a fascination, years ago for this very sidey govinda number called "what is mobile number". At that time they sang it all the time whenever someones phone rang. Even though it has lost its frequency (thank gawd for that), they still occasionally burst out singing "what is mobile number, what is your style number" when someone mentions the words "mobile number" or something similar. Most people would not find it amusing that 2 men of 47-57 are singing (and i use the term loosely here) govinda songs. But its still very funny for everybody in the family. We roll our eyes and scream loudly and create a din to drown out the song.

Another one like this, is a dialogue from the anil kapoor-madhuri-anupam kher starrer Khel. Its a crazy movie about 3 con artists. In this movie there is dialogue which madhuri says to prem chopra which goes something like this : "I love you balwant uncle, you know it!" And its said in a very musical voice with a nasal twang. And my dad and I still identify this movie by this dialogue. So if someone were to say Khel, we would suddenly scream out " I love you balwant uncle, you know it!". This is when the other people would silently move to another corner of the room, and conspire on how exactly we should be taken to get treatment. But the fact is that for us Khel would always be the movie in whcih we love balwant uncle and you know it!

Another one involves a prank played on my cousin Aditi. Let me set the context here. It was Gudi Padwa (Maharashtrian new year). On this occasion the Gudi is hoisted is every house for the day. Now on one particular Gudi Padwa, my uncle was removing the Gudi at the end of the day. My cousin was standing nearby. So my uncle tells her, that part of the tradition is that she must take the Gudi along with the pole, hold it upright in her hands (like a flag) and circle the house on the outside, with it 3 times. Since my uncle tends to come up with ideas like this often, she didn't believe him so when our aaji came out, Aditi asked her. If my uncles a prankster, my aaji was... well...the mother of pranksters. With a perfectly straight face, she tells my cousin, that not only is she supposed to circle the house, but she must also chant "Jai Gudi, Jai Gudi" as she walks. Not one to doubt the granny, in all solemnness, Aditi holds the gudi upright, and will all the seriousness befitting a commander of defence forces, she starts marching forward, screaming "Jai Gudi, Jai Gudi!!" at the top of her voice.
She had walked an entire length of the house, before she turned around and saw aaji and uncle doubled up in laughter.
Ever since that day, whenever Gudi Padwa is mentioned and Aditi is around, the whole family in one voice starts chanting "Jai Gudi! Jai Gudi".

I guess the closeness in our family is symbolized by the number of inside jokes.

The jokes I've written about might not seem very hilarious to readers, but what can I say, they are inside jokes.

Monday, August 20, 2007

All this nothing

Did we say anything of consequence?

We giggled, we laughed
Bitched and bantered

We ate, we drank
We danced and sang

We basked in the sun
We sheltered under trees in the rain

I joked about sulking
You pretended to negotiate

We said hellos and goodbyes
And in between, sat around doing nothing

In the immortal words of "You've got mail":
"All this nothing has meant so much more to me than so many somethings"

Smileys

I have a friend who writes (or at least used to write) anonymous comments on my blog. He "confessed" to me this weekend about writing them. I am thrilled. It so completely adorable. To have someone who knows you write nice things about your blog...in secret.

These were the comments.

“Its a very cute and at the same time a poignant note, a difficult balance to manage. Good stuff
Note in the Margin By Anonymous 11:38 AM

“im not too much into reading blogs ...... infact urs is the only one i have read so far ... but i must say this u do write very well.... if words are a window to a persons soul i will say this ur a very beautiful soul .... keep writing girl
Note in the Margin By Anonymous 9:12 AM

Thanks Anonymous. Loved it.

What is intelligence, Anyway?

Found this link:
What Is Intelligence, Anyway? -- Isaac Asimov

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

I did digital painting :-)

Thanks to Artpad

Earth: Warming and Bloody (NanditaM circa 2007)
(Also known as Red Earth in art circles)

Corners of Goa (NanditaM circa 2007)

You can click on the images for a full size view. Click, i say, click. :-)

Monday, August 13, 2007

He blogs but he doesn't bite...

With a nod to Gawker I found this, at a link Gawker had linked to :

“Research on animals and humans suggests mentally challenging activities such as playing bridge, learning a new language or even blogging might help build new connections in the brain, says Molly Wagster at the National Institute on Aging, part of the National Institutes of Health.”


I'm a little confused here about how "research on animals" is being done here with regards to "playing bridge, learning a new language, blogging"...especially the latter.

The blogging world is no longer safe...It's a jungle out there.

A layman’s guide to lift psychology and psychoanalysis

I have researched the subject of what people do in the lift (elevators). After careful study of human behaviors and lift psychology, I am now ready to publish my findings. Without boring you with cumbersome numbers (this might be because I don’t have any) I’m going to give you a… let us call it: “A layman’s guide to lift psychology and psychoanalysis”.

Firstly, let us observe the runner/ sprinter. This is the person, who observes from far away that the lift doors are about to close and will make a wild dash towards the doors, at the same time gesturing wildly for some angelic soul to press the button to hold the doors open. Normally, somebody will do this and the runner/ sprinter will make it in. What is funny at this point, is that this person will now start pressing the “Close doors immediately button” with a vengeance, thus negating any chance the other runners (or we could call them sprinters too, if you like) had of entering the lift. It’s amazing how their thoughts change the moment they are on the inside.

But of course, what is more interesting is the behavior of the people in the lift as soon as the doors are closed. After much deliberation, we have classified these people based on their behavioral patterns. Let me put this to you simply without using too much psycho-babble or jargon.

Now, firstly we have the lift carriers. These are the people which actually make the lift work. They are the ones who will diligently and with a one minded focus stare at the ceiling when the lift is going up and at the floor when it’s going down. They are mind-freaks, who with the power of their minds transport the heavy metal box upwards and downwards. Oh, how we are grateful. Without them, we would just be a bunch of people standing in a metal box to pass the time.

The 2nd category of people is the foot-fetish group. These are the people who will spend the entire time analyzing and collecting data on the feet and shoes of the people in the lift. There will endeavor to be impartial. They will give adequate time and attention to each pair of shoes. They will even do quick comparisons to their own shoes.
Now bear in mind, this group must not be confused with the mind freaks who are staring at the floor to get the lift to descend. Though these 2 groups might exhibit similar characteristics, one can tell them apart after extensive study.

The 3rd category is the zombies. This group stares straight ahead at the lift doors. They wait with an impassive calm for their floor to arrive. They will not move when other floors arrive, but instead continue to stare ahead in a zombie like manner. As their floor arrives, they will awaken from their stupor and lurch forward in to the “outside”. This group is still under study, and we are trying to find conclusive evidence as to their thought patterns.

The above 3 groups are found universally and abundantly. However, recently a 4th group has emerged. This is a more specialist group found in institutions and organization which have name tags.

For the understanding of those not grounded in the subject of lift psychology, let us call them name tag inspectors. The members of this group will undertake an investigation of name tags in the lift. First they will stare at other lift members name tags. In case they cannot make out the letters, they will crane their necks and narrow their eyes and peer till they make out the name. Now most name tags are situated on the thorax region of the body or when hung, on the belly-ous region or most disturbingly in the case of many men on their belts in the front. Hence the incessant peering at the name tag can sometimes cause quite a bit of suspicion. However the inspector is not dissuaded by such minor concerns. If there a photo as well, the inspector will then stare at the photo and then at the actual person’s face, in order to compare the two, to check for signs of ageing or weight gain, etc. We are eagerly awaiting their findings.

In conclusion, this study opens up a plethora of advertising space opportunities. Lift ceilings, floors, doors, name tags, people’s shoes, stomachs and crotches.

To order the full report mail me at crappyresearch@work.com

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Wonder Years

What would you do if I sang out tune?
Would you stand up and walk out on me?
Lend me your ears and I'll sing you a song
I will try not to sing out of key, yeah

Today, I saw a rainbow

As the bus rolled to a stop,
I saw out of the front glass

And I saw an stole
A stole stretched
Around the shoulders
Of grey clouds

A rainbow
Spread across a canvas of grey

Bright and soft colours
Pink and Mauve
Yellow and blue
Red and violet

Starting from one cloud
And reaching out to another
A backdrop
To caves of steel and glass

The bright greens
The lit and unlit hills
All paling in comparison
To this sweep of colours

I traced each colour
with my finger, from
one end to the other
Feeling the color on my skin

Today, I bathed
In sunlight and in rain
And in colour

Today, I saw a rainbow
I didn't search today
It came to me

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Today, I searched for a rainbow

Today, I searched for a rainbow
Against the light blue background
Sprinkled with fluffy white

Today, I searched for colours
In the midst of mixing white and grey
Amongst light and dark

Today I looked around me
With little drops on my eyelids
And warmth on my ears

Today I stopped to gaze
At bright wet green hilltops
Dotted by darker hues of greens

Today, I searched for a rainbow
And I smiled to myself
Bathed in sunlight and rain.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

200 questions...are you kidding me!!!???

200. My Middle Name Is:Don’t have one.

199. I was born in:Mumbai

197. My cell phone company is:NOKIA

196. My eye color is:Black

195. My shoe size is:6

194. My ringtone is:Vibrating…

193. My height is:5 Ft. 3.5”

192. I am allergic to:Artificial people

190. I live in:Pune

189. The last book I read:Catcher in the rye

188. My bed is:Wide

187. Are you happy with your life? I'm loving it!

186. Last person to send you a text message:Aush

184. AIM or MSN or Yahoo! or gtalk:Gtalk

183. Do you email:That’s what I get paid for.
I get email…I exist.

182. How is the weather today:Overcast and breezy

181. Do you have your wisdom teeth:No

180. Ever been to Disney World:No

179. My favorite holiday is:Exploring a new place, meeting lots of new people

178. The perfect kiss is:Sudden and gentle..i think...

177. The last three cds I bought:Don’t buy CDs

176. Last song that made you cry:None really…

170. What did you do yesterday?Woke up came to work…worked… went home ate….listened to a friend playing the guitar on the phone…read harry potter…slept

DO YOU BELIEVE IN:

142. Love at first sight?No

141. Luck?Yes

140. Fate?No

139. God?Antagonistic

138. Aliens?Just myself

137. Heaven?Been there done that

136. Hell?Been there done that too

135. Ghosts?No

134. Horoscopes?No

133. Soul mates?I would like to

WHICH IS BETTER:

129. Hugs or Kisses?Both

127. Phone or Online?Phone

126. Redheads or Black Hair?Black Hair

125. Blondes or Brunettes?Brunettes

124. Hot or Cold?The combination I think…a hot mug of coffee on a cold day, a cool drink on a hot day

123. Summer or winter?Winter

122. Sun or Rain?Rain definitely

121. Chocolate or Vanilla?Neither

120. Night or Morning?Night

119. Oranges or Apples?Oranges

120. Straight or Curly hair?Straight

LAST TIME I:

101. Saw someone I hadn't seen in a while?Last weekend

100. Cried in front of someone:2005

90. Who is the ditziest person you know:Mua

89. Who makes you laugh the most:Mostly myself…and… Baba, Abhi, Mals, Aush

87. The last movie you saw:Die Hard 4.0

82. The thing I don't understand:People

80. The most unsatisfactory answer I've ever received:Hmmmm…

79. The things I plan on doing this season is:Playing the flute more, blogging more frequently, traveling

74. The thing I'm looking forward to most:The next 5 years…

73. The thing I'm not looking forward to doing:Staying still…

72. Today:I grew up just a little…

71. This summer:Got lost in work.

70. This week:I graduated to the classical flute…

62. The person who knows the most about me: Aush & Mals

61. The person who can read me the best is: Aush

60. The most difficult thing to do is:Let go…

54. First time you had a crush:6th Standard (11 years of age), Tennis Club

52. Last time someone said what you were thinking:Last Tuesday…about how when 2 people know each other, you can spend a long time not saying anything…and its totally comfortable…

50. What is your dream job:I have a dream…I just don’t know which one it is…

49. First job:Business Function Consultant in an IT company

46. I hope:…therefore I am

45. The worst sound in the world is:The silence when someone is angry or upset

44. The person that makes me cry the most:No one

35. Florida or Hawaii:Neither

33. My favorite piece of clothing:Jeans and a T-shirt

30. My friends are:…the ones around whom I pretend the least

29. My computer:Is my window to explore….me and the rest of the world

28. The school I go to:Went to…Loreto Convent School, Engg Graduate from Mumbai, MBA from Goa…which one do you mean?

22. The all-time best movie is:Too many

21. The all-time best thing in the world is:An arm around your shoulders

20. Last thing you ate:Sandwich

19. The most annoying thing ever is:…this list just doesn’t end…

18. The most annoying person you know is:…I might get disowned on this one…

17. I lose all respect for people that/who:Who pretend to be artificially “cute”

16. The movies I have cried at are:Movies with silent tender moments…with some beautiful song playing in the background…(this is so ruining my image!!!)

15. Last phone call:I spoke to someone in my sleep….

14. TV shows you watch:Many but a special mention to F.R.I.E.N.D.S….We used to be fanatic fans right from when it started…. I think of the first 7 seasons, I have watched each episode about 8-9 times at least.

13. Last friend you hung out with?H & G…at waterfall rappelling

12. I want to be:Just Me

11. The worst pain I ever felt:Nothing Major yet

9. My room is:Books and book marks on the bed….

8. My favorite celebrity is:No one…

6. My favorite colors:Maroon, Blue

5. My weakness is:Food & Books

3. Who broke your heart:No comments!

2. One thing that makes you feel great is:Definitely no comments!

1. Love and the potential of being hurt OR never loved but never hurt?
Love and the potential of being hurt

I just noticed..loads of numbers missing in the list above.... oh man..imagine if thr were 200...

Friday, July 27, 2007

To cut a long story short...

Baby no more.
"Delete all delivery reports?"
--------------------------------------------------
Tried to call you.
"The person you are trying to call is unavailable."
--------------------------------------------------

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Papyrus Trolls

Hi,
A couple of friends and I have started a new page where we write our experiences with the books we read.

Papyrus Trolls
We read...therefore we are

Welcome to our journal of books.We will be writing about our experiences with the books we loved. And those we didn't.The books we possess. And the books that possessed us.The books that became part of our lives.We hope you enjoy this page.

Contributors
Nandita Mundle
Gautam Begde
GT

Check it out. We are going to try to update this as frequently as possible.
Do write in your reviews/ comments/ curses, etc.
Enjoi.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Inventory of Memories-III (Home)

So we shifted house yesterday. It was a crazy nerve racking day. Loads of arguments and nerve stepping. But in the end, the house looks great. So it was all worth it.
Spent Saturday, packing up the whole old house. Another very "fun-filled" day.
But as we picked up the last paper pins and packed away the last showpieces, a funny thing happened. I found myself asking, what now is "home".

Is home the place where you can roam around in the dark without bumping into a single thing. Where you remember stubbing your toe and banging your knee on the corner on every bed. Where you can find shapes in patterns of the Mosaic tiles. The place where you remember which year exactly the crack in the plaster appeared. Where you find forgotten birthday cards made for dad on chart paper with wax crayons.

Is home where you know exactly how much push every door needs to be given, with your hip,to close it. Where closing the kitchen drawers with your knee or foot and the fridge door with you butt, is second nature.
Where you know the arrangement of all the bottles in the bathroom cabinet and all the linen in the linen cupboard. Where every time you go home for the weekend, you know instinctively at what point in the hall, you can drop your bag and take that flying leap onto the sofa, and you'd land perfectly.

Or is home the place where aai and baba are a shout away. Where you can hear your parents murmuring suspiciously in the other room, discussing your life, in what they think are secretive ways. Where aai will still insist on telling people how many marks you scored in your engineering. Where you share tea on Sunday evenings and groan about going back to work on Monday - invariably, unfailingly every Sunday! :-) Where you sit and talk about aaji-dada and your aunts and uncles and cousins come calling. Where you laugh and cry, and scream and fight. Is that what home is?

I found the answer too. As I sat with baba in the new house, sharing a packet of chips and Mirinda Shorbet, and laughing about the "Ambrosia" bakery being right around the corner, discussing packing and unpacking, I realized with a twinge of something resembling relief, that home is where your family is, no matter what colour the bathroom tiles or the number of electrical switch points.

Memories are not stored in walls and windows, they are stored in the hearts and minds of the people who inhabit them.

Friday, July 13, 2007

I miss you

I turn on my side, as I go to sleep, and I see that empty space beside me. I place my hand on the mattress where you used to be. I feel your absent touch on my skin. I finger the bedsheet and think of you lying there. Like a safety blanket. As I fall asleep. With a tip of one finger touching you. Re-assuring myself that you were there. But no more.

When I get up in the morning, I look over expecting to see you. In my sleep with my eyes closed, I reach out to you. And then in a flash I remember. You are gone.

I remember how you looked. How you were there in the light and in the dark. In good times and bad. Now when I walk, I feel like a part of me is missing. My hand searches the air for your touch.

I miss your sound. Your voice.
I miss your touch on my cheek. In my hair. On my skin.

Dearest Cellphone, I miss you.

Monday, July 09, 2007

I just bought an Alpenliebe Strawberry Lollipop. Am damn excited about it. Not everybody stocks them. So its a rare find. Too bad I can't have it in office. You think I'll be the blacklisted in office if I have the lollipop right here at my desk while working. It would be fun to see the reactions.

I dunno why people think its childish to enjoy a lollipop. So fine, its associated with children. So are chocolates and bike rides. But that didnt stop the oldies from doing it did it. So I say, there aint anything wrong with enjoying a classy lick of a lollipop. Especially one with pink and one stripes. I think its very becoming.

Inventory of Memories- II

I went and cleared out my room this weekend. And found loads of stuff to list in my inventory of memories. So heres my list of the memories on my shelves:

  1. Lucky Stone: This was given to me by a dear friend of mine from engineering college (TK). She said she always considered that stone very lucky for her. And she wanted me to have it...for luck. It a perfectly spherical stone with engravings on it. And i was given to me nestled in cotton in a intricately painted wooden box. It went with me to Goa for 2 years and back. And I still have it. It's treasured and very very special. Thank you TK.


  2. Wind Chimes: I got a set of wind chimes from a very dear friend of mine, AK. They are really beautiful. They are red and silver and when they tinkle, its like sheer music. And they a great reminder of a wonderful friend.


  3. Blessings: An envelope from my grandparents. With my grand-dad's characteristic handwriting. Conveying blessings. For me. It brought back visions of my aaji's very typical way of giving an aashirwad. "Balwant ho, gunwant ho, sukhwant ho...." (Be strong, be talented, be happy...) and it had this musical lilt to it. And she'd always end up giggling after she gave her aashirwaad, setting everyone laughing.


  4. Cards: Birthday cards from school friends with invariable reference to whichever gawky teenage chappie they were teasing me with then, friendship day cards, cheer up cards and a perfect card from TK that said: " How did you get so good...at making people happy"...It still made me smile. Also I found these chocolate/ rose/ eclair day cards with little messages from engineering college friends. And a lovely card from one my closest friends which said..." The only thing more beautiful that your smile, is our friendship". I think this was in one of his mellower moods :-D Thanks AG.


  5. Swimming pool membership card: Now, this I had always kept carefully in my cupboard. This was a membership card to a swimming pool...when i was 6 years old. It has me at 6 in a very serious passport size snap. But still what kills me everytime is the line: Age - 6 years. For some reason i find this adorably cute.


So thats my current list. I'll add more if I think of something that should be here. A lifetime in cupboards and shelves. :-)

Friday, July 06, 2007

Dylan Thomas

"I know we're not saints or virgins or lunatics; we know all the lust and lavatory jokes, and most of the dirty people; we can catch buses and count our change and cross the roads and talk real sentences. But our innocence goes awfully deep, and our discreditable secret is that we don't know anything at all, and our horrid inner secret is that we don't care that we don't. "
...DYLAN THOMAS

Obituary

Passion died today. In the same incident, hopes and dreams were severely injured. No one came forward, as Passion died a slow painful death.
Passion had lived a long colorful life. Passion found successes and committed errors and . And often Passion created magic.
But today, beaten down by people in the rat race, she died. She will be remembered dearly for bringing that sparkle in the eye, and that spring in the feet.
After passions passing away, hopes and dreams are struggling for their survival. Our good wishes are with them. We hope they will get back on their feet and through their actions keep Passion alive.
Passion will be missed. She is survived by a cold, scared, boring world.
R.I.P.

Stop all the clocks

I heard this in "Four Weddings and a Funeral" last night.
Its fantastic. Very Moving.

Stop All The Clocks
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum,
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week, my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now, put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.
-- W.H. Auden