Wednesday, December 28, 2005
The first school to distribute forms in the new year is the one I really want G to go to. For two reasons - first and most important: Despite its reputation as a premier school, the interviewers don't brazenly ask for a hefty donation to extend the school complex(at least that's what I last heard) or build a state-of-the-art-indoor sports auditorium etc etc. Second, it's not too far from home (she'll be just three, can't send her off on a bumpy tour of potholed Bangalore, yet!).
And you know how it feels when you really ever want something in life? Dunno about others, but I can feel the pangs of fear, of insecurity; I can feel those butterflies fluttering in my stomach and I am totally disoriented at the thought of having to go and stand in a queue from the night before. And more so, ever since I realised the date coincides with N's impending trip to Cal that very weekend to be with his beloved NRI sister. He could've postponed or preponed it, had we owned a private Jet. But since he has to rely on Jet Airways, ATM, and adjust with his busy new-business-pitch schedule, I really can't blame him.
But, the moment I voice my concerns, very matter-of-factly to R and a surprise caller, the Bagchi, they are both only too keen to pitch in. I mean not everyone would be forthcoming to sacrifice their precious weekend sleep to stand in the queue for/with a nail-biting, hypertensive woman, irrespective of whether she's a friend or an acquaintance. I mean after all, it's my baby, her impending careerIn a strange land, full of strange people, with strange demands, I 'm really touched by their offer. Call it parochial Bong bonding, call it the warmth and the greatness only Bengalis are capable of, call it pati Bangali sentu on my part...call me names...but once again it's Q.E.D. that friends make a world of difference, no matter which part of the universe you are in. It's not just what they do but what they do differently that really makes the difference.
The independent, egoistic, no-obligations bitch that I am, I'll probably spend the night on the road with 500 other weary-eyed eager parents, but a special thanks to both of you for just being there. Feeling very lucky today.
Looks like I have a way with people, huh(*wink, wink*)?
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Now, we are quite aware that from time immemorial falling in love has been considered a crime. The repurcussions of the folly have ranged from incurring the wrath of at least 1 of our 33 crore supernatural beings to at least one of the more natural biological beings (read parents); to murder; to suicide; to transmogrification...Alas, how would the Hindi film industry and Ekta Kapoor have survived otherwise!
And all this irrespective of whether you have fallen for the most beautiful/handsome or otherwise, highly educated/drop-out, well-to-do/pauper opposite sex. Everyone except the two concerned turn the most illogical, unreasonable moral guardians you could ever dream of. Parents of course turn into your worst enemies, in most cases, and then there are the neighbours, relatives, wellwishers, blah ,blah,blah...suddenly every one wants the best and only the best for you. At any other given point of time, all these "best wishers" are no where to be seen of course. But the point here is these are emotional black mailers, moral consultants, legal advisors ... ( ok I understand parents resrt to physical abuse, too.)
To get back to where it all started..Gandhi Park. From the TV footages and reports, it was apparent that the policewoman just randomly picked couples (some even married) and slapped and booted the women for sitting and coochi-cooing in public places. I mean, what could they have been doing? Holding hands, ok, kissing at the most. Just exercising their constitutional right to freedom of expression. (Has the word expression been defined anywhere in the constitution?) Some social activists shared my thoughts, but Ms Kiran Bedi, our erstwhile national moral guardian begged to differ “No, sometimes these couples do indulge in obscenities under the shawl”. Under the shawl, did she say? Pray, then how is it obscene? Can anyone see anything? It’s under the shawl, right? What would they do to Emraan Hashmi and his women, John and Bipasha, Mallika and Jackie Chan, Shahid-Kareena, Riya Sen- Ashmit Patel??
What would happen to the luvbirds of Victoria Memorial, Maidan, Lake(south Calcutta), JU jheeler paar( pond side) and sundry other goli-galtas(clandestine lanes/bylanes)?
This paucity of private space is not just a physical problem in our country but a sociological one, too. Whether while trying your luck out in college or even as married couples living with parents (in-law), we often encounter the problem in our lives. For instance, unless you are the kid of working parents and have a spare key to the house, or you are one of the few with a swell of a friend who lends out his bedroom, or you are among those late starters who finds a soul mouse, oh sorry, mate, only after clearing the CAT (Ohm projapottoy namaha-IIMC, since, as per my knowledge, it had the highest hit rate;-)), or any other hostel for that matter, you don’t really have access to a very private place to do very private things. Privacy is a luxury we have to pay a high price for.
So where does one let loose the spontaneous outburst of powerful feelings? In public. But to be beaten black and blue and abused so that TV cameras can freeze the frames, play and replay the scenes so viewers can see, bite, chew and digest the atrocity. The funniest thing is some other police(wo?)men from the same police station called the Press to capture the moment, because they thought they were doing a “good thing”. Am a bit conphoosed.
But then I’m confused about a lot of things.
Why is falling in love a crime? Someone tell the world how to rise to the occasion and save them the nadir.
And when one has fallen, why do people suddenly have to develop fangs, paws, nuke bombs et al to destroy the lovers and the beautiful world they dream of through those rose-tinted glasses?
Most importantly, why does the world defect to the Opposition, leaving just the lovers in the Ruling Party?
Why is love so controversial and painful? Well, almost always. The pleasures that come with the pain as bonus, are usually few and far between.
- a world where u live in eternal fear of getting raped,bombed, runover and the works
- a life full of shopping malls
- a life full of wannabe uber-heroes
- a world wrought/torn apart by competition to get to hell or to high water
- a life sans a sense of belonging and rootedness
- a life with a problem of plenty
- yet a life full of half-fulfilled dreams
Alas, wealthy not am I, to leave my poor Cinderalla wealth enough to be a princess and live happily ever after!
Thursday, December 08, 2005
In the course of our chat, we realized, M & I have been friends for the last 14 years, never having lost track of each other despite the distances travelled. It was a wonderful feeling. Of course, it’s been much much longer with Urmea, my “nappy friend” (ok, ok, agreed we’d just grown out of our nappies then!!). And the distances travelled in this case runs across seven seas!! But thank God, nothing’s changed between us. There are a couple of others whom I’ve known for a li’l over 7 years (S) and just over 17 months (R, plz compliment me on my maths, plz) respectively. They, too, are very close friends of mine. And I cherish each one of them, ‘cause they’re really who have kept me and still keep me alive.
So what’s it that makes us click, tick and talk? Even when we meet after years, months, days or even just hours, sometimes minutes?
Going back to my days with Urmi, I remember even after we spent some 8-12 hours with each other a day, we still had nearly half an hour’s conversation left to be completed either near Yoga Cure Centre, or near the red post box in front of Sanjukta aunty’s house (sorry all non-resident New Aliporean’s, but these are landmarks I couldn’t help but mention). What was worse, the moment we were out of each other’s sight, some other devil from gossipland would pop its ugly head up from behind the subconscious and had to be immediately passed on. So, an otherwise leisurely walk was cut short by a dash home; followed by incessant ringing of the door bell bringing the house down. Then, with total disregard to the raging Her Himmler, the phone was picked up and the devil barfed out. Pheeeeeeew! That felt really good. On the other side of the phone, too, one could distantly hear sentences like, “Weren’t you with her barely 5 minutes ago?” We both learnt these were questions best left unanswered;-)
With M, it was on another level altogether. She was just the friend I needed in the first year of college. The age when, to use a cliché, we all wanna break free. We were a group of 4 “wannabes” (one’s a celebrity now - Chandrani of Krosswindz and the other married a celebrity of sorts!!). And, there was M, lovingly called Mama, who had been there, done-it-all: cigarette in hand, a head full of pop and rock, leading us to the forbidden land! And for every drag of the cigarette I took, there always was moral guardian Urmea (in some other part of the city), asking “Why?” Obviously chose to ignore her, cause I could’ve also turned around and asked her “Why did u have to score obscenely in those stats tests in school and my Mom know abt them?” Miss goody two-shoes!
Anyways, going back to Mama, we’d troop down to our favourite haunt, the Momo house in a nondescript gully, which played all our favourite songs (everything from Beatles, Eagles, Simon & Garfunkel, Pink Floyd, The Doors to Baez, Sinatra,Dylan…the works). Bunking classes to climb the stairway to heaven….awesome. Though the other two have drifted apart for obvious reasons (even tho’ both M & I still exchange smses with Chandrani), Mama and I stuck on. Still remember, the midnight calls to discuss Floyd!! (First time she called at that hour, Her Himmler freaked!!) Both of us pursued journalism, worked for national dailies, albeit in different cities, and then she finally followed my footsteps to Bangalore. In Bangalore, we both ended up working for the infamous unmentionable group. She’s still there and has found her soul mate there too…Bless her heart!
S, the subtly naughty and extremely intelligent kid, came into the picture when I moved to Bangalore. And she’s been there, rock solid. Could run to her anytime at IE, midday or midnight, for anything and she’d have a solution. Me and my midnight fetish! Took an auto at 1 am from ET one night to meet her at IE and literally threw her twin out of bed so we could discuss irritant bosses and awesome books rest of the night, dragging on our sootas! Post marriage, of course, we’ve shared even more cherishable moments together. The surreptitious soota meetings at Java City, totally talli tete-e-tetes at Tavern… oh how I miss them. Why did u have to move to Maddening Mumbai, S?
All the above had been loyal footsoldiers in a my long-drawn hindi-moviesque battle for love. They were my family, when my biological family mercilessly slit the umbilical cord. They’re the ones who always ensured that the rollercoaster ride down didn’t last too long, palliated those moments and seamlessly turned those tears into my famous air-rending laughter. They were the wizards of friendship who helped me to break on through to the other side of life.
Dunno what’s kept them by my side though. I’ve never persevered to keep them. Rather, there’s never been a paucity of space – physical or otherwise - between us. We’ve been downright honest with each other, sometimes rudely so. And poles apart that we are, as two characters can ever be, together, we can burn a house down to ashes! That’s the reason why we always choose to meet at water(ing) holes ;-)
Mama thinks, we have adapted ourselves well to the changing circumstances in our lives and fitted ourselves into the scheme of things. R feels it’s a matter of perspective. I think, I’m just plain lucky to have these wonderful people around. I’ve never really counted the years that I’ve known Mama or Urmi or S or R. I’ve only recounted the incidents, cherished the moments and relived some of them over and over again with each of them. And never really felt bored. So what’s it about years? Like vintage wine, it’s only gotten better.
Always considered friendship the most important of all social behaviours. And friends, like crystal, the most valuable assets I own. Can’t barter them, can’t sell them, can’t loan them and certainly can’t lose them.
Friday, December 02, 2005
Wedding no.2 was N's best friend, Mota's. And this meant, no vigilant eyes, no decency, no decorum demanded. And more so, since it was Mota's, the self proclaimed leader of the famous Bawal Group.
We packed our little strolley and drove out of our J'pur home not to return to it until late next night! The morning was a low-key ghoroya affair with a simple lunch of dal, jhuro aloo bhaja r pabda machher jhol. According to Motah, we had to keep it light, to enjoy the evening better!
Come evening and we, as in Rajesh's friends and their wives, trooped into the biye bari in all our finery, all our eyes roving full speed.
Not much luck...all the dadu/didimas, kaku/kakimas sitting and sipping coffee.
Climb up to first floor where the sampradan et al are going on. Mota spots us and manages a wry smile from amidst all the blinding video lights and dripping sweat (trying to convey just how bored he already was, since they registered their marriage way back in July). Still not much luck for the wives really. So we try to follow the eyes of our "better halves". Spotted some fat wannabes who were shamelessly eyeing our rather "decent" looking husbands. Tried pulling N's leg with one of them but he wasn't amused at all. Dropped the case immediately.
Mala bodol and shubhodrishti was completed amidst a lot of catcalls and whistling. Just when we were about retire, with our tails uncomfortably between our legs, in walked the beauty, hubby in tow. All our "decent" husbands promptly turned indecent, their roving eyes suddenly losing their inertia of motion. The rest of the evening went by following in the lady's footsteps or resting our bums on chairs within clear viewing distance. Hai re , the sacrifices we women have to make for our men!
Later that night, we were curtly told bangalder bashor hoy na and shown the door. Ice-cold water flowed over Neil's printout of the most hilarious jokes and all our enthu to sing and dance our way through the night.
The lady resurfaced , with hubby in tow, on Mota's boubhat, too, and our men didn't spare her this time either. But, this time, she too had turned smart and gave these men back a full-blooded stare, which was promptly interpreted as "Arre, O-o to besh jhari machhe".
We just had to be content with a roomful of Xaverians, none worth a second look. To top that, at the dinner table, we had a huge debate with our men on what they perceive as "handsome". Their perception, according to us, the wives, were rather sad and disappointing, considering the examples they put forth. These men, I tell you, should strictly stick to appreciating "beauty" in the opposite sex and keep honing their jharibaji skills!
PS: Honestly, didn't find anything hot in that babe, even though I can vouch that we women appreciate beauty in our species, when we see it.
Her hubby, SD, is finally back from the US after a nine-month long onsite trip. Ok correction, it wasn't a "trip", it was more a "tenure" when he was slogging his butt out to earn some extra greens, which of course we aren't privy to;-). So what this means essentially is, she goes back to life as it was nine months ago... all lovey dovey with hubby and all that (though she will insist she too has to do a lot to grow out of her habitual life alone).
But, what it also means is that:
(a) No more never- ending phone calls -- on the way home from office (hell, she's far more excited about returning home, silly) ; short pause to pay off the auto, get on to the elevator, open the lock and grab the land phone, then continue where she left from.
(b) No more girlie weekday evenings to our dear Noorbhai, with a pile load of her salwar suit pieces to stitch, or to Bangalore Central for a quick Venky's Roll
(c) No more weekends out to the movies, shopping malls with my extended family -- N, G, I and R, of course, silly; or just sacking out at home over a lunch of shukto, posto, dal, mangsho and loads of achaar
(d) Most importantly, no one to boss/mother over everyday and be my overbearing self with. I mean yes, I have G to mother over, strictly speaking, but that's another story.
Of course, R is finally breathing easy for being relieved of my guardianship, but I seem to be experiencing some withdrawal symptoms as regards these bad habits I incurred over the last nine months. Actually, in a friendless land away from home, even one friendly straw is worth hanging on to. And R is this very mature, yet very sweet girl( yes, that's I think of her and she hates me for it), whose charms you can't help but fall for. Both N and I have become quite comfortable in SD & R's friendship and over the last few months, we've become quite used to having R around us most of the time. Hence, life seems a little different these days. Kya karen old habits die hard.
PS: Here's to a very happy reunion, guys. Wishing you eternal knottiness;)
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
the span of a week! And my, did I have fun. All Indian weddings may be fun (tho' I have strong reservations against the Southie kinds; how can getting married at 6.30am be fun by any stretch of the imagination, man?) , but only Bengalis would know what kind of fun I am referring to (*wink, wink*). Now, if you are wondering why the weddings and family get together are two separate stories, the explanation is: weddings-N's family/friend; get-together- My Dad's family.
The last time I attended a wedding in Cal( again N's cousin) was back in 2003 Jan, when I
wasn't really in the thick of things as G was on her way and the paranoid gynae had
strictly marked the lakshmanrekha around my bed. So quite frankly, it was more like an
apology to "attending a wedding". What's worse, that wedding season (Dec-2002-Jan 2003),
most of the eligible bachelors and nubile nymphets in my Dad's family also decided to tie
the knot. So I just lay in bed and sulked while dapper N, as the dutiful representative of
the family (yeah right!! Hog that he is), donned his best attires and went wedding hopping.
That's when I promised myself I'd live it up next time anyone gets married!And,this time I kept my promise.
We landed in Cal in time for N's cousin, Boom's boubhat in the afternoon. Didn't really have time to deck up and be there in all my finery, so just walked in like a fish out of water in my much worn simple salwar suit. We were just in time for the kodi-khela and the
The menu too was lipsmackingly sumptuous, to put it mildly. Shukto, dal, alubhaja, bhetki
macher pathuri,kosha mangsho, plastic chatni (the only dampner), papad, doi and rosogolla. And this was just the beginning of all the eating to come! That evening was N's friend, R's
bachelor's bash. Chivas Regal, Smirnoff flowed smoothly while some more yummy food--kadai
paneer, again kasha mangsho amongst other things donned the table. This was followed by
cold coffee and icecream at The Atrium in Park Hotel( after dropping a sleeping G off home
with in-laws).3a.m: Returned home to the shrill cries of G and a stern "Eto ki modern
parents hoyecho?" Was informed she'd been awake from the moment we lay her down in bed at 1.30 am and obviously was desperately seeking us!! Without another word, quietly slunk
away to the 2nd floor ans waited for N to bring G upstairs!! But must say I am probably one
of the few lucky people in this world to have a set of wonderful parents-in-law. Ok, as much as I'm loving this detailed account of my much awaited biye-barir anondo, I realise, if I punch in so much detail, this is gonna to be the longest post ever written in blog's history. So for those diligent readers, who have lasted this far, without getting bored, I beseech you to wait for Biye Bari - Part-II. Actually, that's where all the bawali, jharibaji aar udom masti really happened...
Monday, November 28, 2005
So here's to all you cool bongs, pati bongs, honorary bongs, scared bongs, non-resident bongs and non-bongs,too...
One phrase every Bengali worth his sweater has grown up with is thanda lege jabey. It is
the ultimate warning of impending doom, an unadulterated form of existentialist advice.
Thanda lege jabey. Thou shalt 'catch the cold'.
'Catching the cold' comes easy to Bengalis. It's a skill that's acquired almost immediately
after birth. Watch a Bengali baby and you would know. Wrapped in layers of warm clothing
even if the sun is boiling the mercury, the baby learns quickly that his chances of survival in a Bengali household depend on how tightly he can wrap himself in cotton, linen and wool. Bengalis have almost romanticised warm clothing, so much so that Bengali art has found eloquent expression in a form of quilt-stitchwork called kantha.
I'm sure wool-shearers even in faraway Australia say a silent prayer to Bengalis before the shearing season (if there's any such season). I'm also sure the very thought of Bengalis sends a chill down the spine of many a sheep.
In winter, the quintessential Bengali's outfit puts the polar bear to shame. Packaged in at least seven layers of clothing and the head snugly packed inside the queerest headgear, the monkey cap, he takes the chill head on. Easy lies the head that wears the monkey cap. With a pom-pom at the top, it's not just a fashion statement; it's a complete fashion paragraph.
I remember strolling down the Walk of Fame in Hollywood on a pleasant May evening. My eyes
scanned the glittering stars on the asphalt - each an ode to a Hollywood heavyweight. Suddenly, my ears caught the unmistakable Doomsday warning - 'thanda lege jabey'. I stood transfixed. The Hollywood Walk of Fame is probably the last place one would like to get caught 'catching the cold'. I turned around. There was this Bengali family braving the American chill. The young brat of the family was adamant that he didn't want any more clothing but mom wouldn't have any of it - "sweater porey nao, thanda lege jabey." I need not translate that. Mom won, and the family - sweaters et al - posed for a photograph.
For a race that is perpetually running scared of cold weather, Bengalis have a surprising affinity for hill stations. Probably, warmth of heart is best preserved in shawls, pullovers and cardigans.
In an age when you are judged by how cool or uncool you are, the warmth that the kakus, jethus and mashimas exude can melt icebergs. I wouldn't trade that warmth for any amount of cool. However, the monkeycap may look cool without the pom-pom.
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Plan on doing
1. Learn Salsa
2. Go on long drives
3. Read at least 2 books a month (considering now it's down to zero)
4. Pamper myself more often at the parlour
5. Sleep till at least 9 am on holidays
6. Learn to cook some great moghlai and thai dishes
7. Spend more time with Madame G and teach her to speak " propah" English
1. Go to Cal anymore for hurricane holidays
2. Bake a decent cake
3. Keep my cool with G & N always
4. Sleep late
5. Change N's Cal fetish
6. Eat dal for every meal
7. Listen to U gushing excitedly abt her hectic social life, without feeling jealous;)
Say a lot
2. WTF/FC (since it's very "unwomanly", am refraining from the expanded versions)
3. Mamma...Don't(what with G always doing just the things she's not supposed to)
4. Hi wassup?
5. Chole aaay(This one's esp for R and I know she hates me for it;) )
6. Oh pleeeez
7. Oshojjjhyo (with extra emphasis on the j)
Since no one reads my blog really and, as u can c, neither do I have plans to write more regularly, won't bother tagging anyone. But just in case you drop in, just consider tagged!
Monday, November 07, 2005
PRINCE, POLITICS AND PALACE INTRIGUES
By Sanjay Jha
The Indian team for the last two ODIs has been announced, and expectedly, politics in selection has taken precedence over common sense and fair play.
Nothing else explains the bizarre and biased ouster of former captain Sourav Ganguly and the continuing prejudice against him by the new powers-that-be.
Let us look at bare facts objectively;.
1) If he had not been briefly injured ( just about 10 days) Ganguly would have been the captain of the Indian team right now. What a strange paradox indeed!
2) Ideally, even if he was not selected as a captain ( on account of the
injury) he should have been playing once the team was freshly announced after the end of the second ODI. But apparently, no one wanted to " disturb the winning combination". Fair enough, then why did they " experiment with a winning combination " by axing Tendulkar and the like in the Ahmedabad ODI ( an old Australian hangover of rotation which Chappell is attempting, which ironically enough, has been dumped as a virtual failure by the Aussies themselves)?
3) India is happily axing a man who has scored the highest number of runs in the world in ODIs after Sachin Tendulkar, who is now physically fit, in good form ( as his century in the Duleep Trophy showed) , willing to play under Dravid and coach Greg Chappell , and who has like a true sportsman taken the sudden reversals against himself with great equanimity.
4) Incidentally, since the ODI series has been decided already, would it not have been fair to allow Ganguly an opportunity to get into rhythm before the ODI series against South Africa and the Test series against Sri Lanka and Pakistan?
5) Are Greg Chappell and all of Sourav's detractors actually so naïve and stupid as to actually believe that they can finish his career off by deliberately keeping him out? Do they really live in a fool's paradise and are unaware that at some stage it will be as obvious as daylight that the farce that is currently being enacted is nothing but an internecine conspiracy?
6) If " performance" is the guiding criterion, how come Yuvraj Singh with 45 runs off 72 balls in 4 innings at an average of 11.25 is still being persisted with? Does it make any logical, rational , practical cricketing sense?
7) Have we all forgotten that Sourav sacrificed his high-run ideal batting position of an opener in ODIs just to accommodate Veerendra Sehwag, and that too at a time when Sachin-Sourav were the best opening pair in the world?
And is this the way the team ( including his own deputy for several years , Rahul Dravid) should now treat the very man who fought for them and led them to innumerable triumphs ?
It is downright repugnant and altogether unfortunate the way the Hate-Sourav Ganguly Club has suddenly emerged, a personification of vicious minds, warped thinking, myopic vision, wholesale ignorance of the game and driven by some small-time parochial thinking. One can either pity them or empathise with their wretched constitution. Or both. But I am fully aware that it will take just a couple of resounding defeats before the initial euphoria wanes and home truths sinks in. The Ahmedabad defeat may just be the beginning of establishing diplomatic relationship with ground realities for Mr Chappell.
And in any case, there is a long way to go!
At CricketNext , we have maintained a dispassionate and honest appraisal of everyone , including Chappell and Dravid on their on-field performance so far ( please click on CricketNext Verdict, Dravid, Good, Bad or Ugly and Chappell's Scorecard).. But it does not mean that we will not expose what appears to be a clear case of petty palace intrigues being played out to humiliate the Prince and destroy his confidence and self-belief. Even an innocent school-kid can witness the murky games being played in the name of Indian cricket.
Sourav Ganguly will be back!. And soon! Watch this space!
I'm watching a lot of spaces...those that are there and those that will be created...very soon.
Sunday, November 06, 2005
Two-and- a-half. This age is beautiful. And as M mentioned in one of her earlier posts... these are small things in life that make it worth living.
Thursday, October 06, 2005
And here's my 55 words (and it's exactly 55!!):
A cherubic smile on her impish face, she tiptoed into the dark, gloomy room, where the listless body of her mother lay in eternal rest, lowered her face and planted a long hard kiss. Probably hoping, she could wake her up to play a round of ring-a-ring-a roses, with her and Dad, one last time.
Thursday, September 22, 2005
Some people who made it possible: A very caring "better half", Urmi(by being there virtually, by my side), Renudi (my most reliable homemaker) and above all, an ever smiling, inspiring doc.
There's still a long long way to go...but at least I can smile without wincing.
Monday, August 29, 2005
PS: Of course, I'm a primeval being, hence, agree with Orwell, almost completely.
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
The scene at 9am everyday: Boss, MG Road?
A wry smile ( like saying 'you're good, but not good enough for me,baby.' yuuuck, puke); a disgusted look; didn't-hear- you, total ignore; nonchalantly drive away; Rs 40 (it's 18 bucks from my house, goddamit)
This is only panning the myriad responses one hapless "immobile" journo faces day in and day out, even before the day's drudgery begins. And this despite putting on one's most charming smile(could give all the Miss Beautiful Smiles a run for their frigging money) and being the most polite self and putting on that most distressed damsel I'm-getting-late-for-work look. Nothing F***ING works. (sorry about the expletive, but believe me,it's much worse when you're the victim). The experience is exasperating, harrowing, agonising,torturous,(feel free to add adjs), to say the least.
The scene at 6.30 pm everyday: Ditto
The scene at 6.30 pm on a rainy day in Bangalore: Even the Gods forsake Pensioners' Paradise. Leaving the Auto Mafia to rule a waterlogged, traffic snarled, anarchical Bean-scattered Town.
Ok, am probably just another one of those daily suffering souls in this godforsaken city. But to be relegated to such dehumanised Nazi-esque treatment by sundry mercenery autowallahs? HELL. What's worse, it's like banging my head against a wall. I can continue to fume, rave, rant and scream expletives(kancha khistis galore), but even God wouldn't know how to get their stinking butts moving. You ask them if they'll take you somewhere(distance not withstanding), pat comes the nod of the head, if he's polite; others don't even bother to answer, just drive past like you didn't exist. Or you are some alien who asked for a drop to some forbidden land! Slowly, and steadily, the mercury content of blood rises till you can see the redness in the ears, nose and forehead. But alas! The autowallas are colourblind and deaf, tempered with generous laddles of shamelessness. (Guess what? I think the Gods peered in through my Venetian blinds and saw me writing this...all hell's broken loose here. They're thundering and spitting fire at me! I'm banished to Kingdom Come!)Nothing can stop me from writing this, even if it be my swansong. Ok, so where was I? Anytime of the day, come rain, come shine "One and a half saar." Or the more kinder variety: "10/20/30...arbit rupees extra madam!" (Yes, today will be one of those days.) Like just because it's the IT capital, everyone's a millionaire! S-O-B, SOB, sob ;(. Wish I were, at least a daughter/wife of one!(Envy that Malaysian journalist.) Complaint centres, letters to editors of various papers seem to be making precious little difference. And of course, the government can't be bothered. Though, must appreciate the effort of police near the Commercial Street Junction. Does help, sometimes.
In a city whose public transport also offers F*All, what do commuters have to rely on? The Auto mafia. Hail Auto!
So why are people still swarming this city from all other parts of the world, like this is the only land of opportunities? May be one should ask the Autowallas.
Sad to say, the city wasn't built to tackle a techboom...it was meant to be a Pensioner's Paradise.
Advice for wannabes shifting base to Bangalore:
1. Make sure you own a two-wheeler or four wheeler.
If you don't, please, oh please:
1. Consult Autorikshaw Association of Bangalore before choosing a flat/house.
2. Consult Autorikshaw Association of Bangalore before choosing your place of work.
Only if they approve both localities, make all other necessary arrangements. So best of luck! For those of us who are bitten by yet smitten with this GFC(godforsaken city, duh!), we'll wait for some good Samaritans to salvage us from this seemingly irrevocable plight.
Thursday, August 18, 2005
Thank God, I'll be spared the ordeal of being electrocuted by Chopracity, but my sympathies to all those who will have acess to it. But hey, if you do get the channel, I'd really like one of you there to report on it.
Oh what would happen to television channels without the quintessential Indian? From NDTV (ok, correction. Bongo TV), CNBC, BBC, CNN to the works...name a channel without a successful Indian on it? And who's best at poaching Indian brains, but the US ofA? Be it Academics,Technology, Consulting, advising, preaching...the works.
Where would the world (read USA) be without the antel (intellectual) Indians?
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Thursday, August 11, 2005
- Talk, think, learn, demonstrate (TTLD)
- Be an Opportunist
- Share a vision, no matter how myopic it is
- I'll Skipe you (Heelloo?? Is this English?)
- Most importantly: listen to gyan with a straightface .
I am a born leader. And thankfully, my school recognised my leadership skills early and always assigned me portfolios suiting me. So from class captain, to house captain to prefect in charge...the ascent had been quite smooth sailing. And the job responsibility of course was mainly, give others Gyan, at the highest decibel allowed. Ranging from: Don't talk (loudly) when the teacher's absent or between period breaks, walk in single file to PT class ( Yippeee no more boring maths classwork) to "Ok pals, get your butts moving on the posters..buck buck up..." to "Why haven't you cleaned your shoes today..you know your house will lose points..." blah blah blah...And of course I was the most (in)famous and (un) popular leader of wo(e)mankind!
Till, of course, I got down to the brasstacks of the corporate world (That I sold my loyalties for peanuts to the media industry is another story altogether) . For the first time, I was led by others (myopic, look-no-further-than-the-phone journos). And I followed, tamely at that. Ever since, have only been listening...the voice, the decibel levels, no wonder, are a trifle choked now. Only rarely have I even attempted to make some noise. Ahem...ahem...made myself heard. So now when I try, it's either muffled or misplaced.
"Don't talk... just listen. I'm telling you to spike that story." Spike, right? spike, s.p.i.k...spi...ski..skipe... S.K.I.P.E. Did I hear right? Huh... damn my ADD... When will I ever learn??
What the hell is Skipe now?
PS: All ye mortals in Skipeland..can you please enlighten me?
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
...continue to continue to pretend
My life will never end,
And flowers never bend
With the rainfall.
The beginning of an end....
Monday, August 08, 2005
So I have been indulging in some serious blogreading lately. The blogsphere is so full of writers who can wax eloquent on everything from Dubyaman, Didi, Kurosawa, Coelho, games, comics, movies to mundane things like leching, enduring bad roads and traffic jams. I came across witty, humorous writers, who can pick upon just anything and make a riot out of it; and the more serious ones who want to talk of government banalities or debate over moralities, poverty in India, the Tsunami, etc and some others who review films, books, music. The list goes on and on... Sometimes I stop and wish I could meet this one and that, coz I love their writings...but am afraid. Afraid of falling in love, of being disapponted... because: Readers who meet writers whose voice they have fallen in love with usually need to make a small adjustment in order to hang on to their infatuation. Even though I live in the land of swalpa adjust maadi , am not really famous for making any adjustment. So, move on...
And while I was happily scouting through the airy and blissful blogsphere, as an excuse for losing my writing skills, our firung publisher here on earth lost his cool at some board meeting and stomped out screaming expletives. Never to return. Am told the Indain (NRI) VC's taking full control. I can only await (holding my breath) the major announcement scheduled for 6 pm today.
In the meantime, a colleague gave some reason to flex those muscles around my lips. The chai fellow came and served her coffee in the ex-publisher's green coffee mug! And she decided to come across and ask me what I thought of her drinking coffee in his mug (like y should I bother anyway). In my most nonchalant and disinterested tone (after all she was disturbing my blogreading) told her, "After 6pm you're either gonna be the woman on top or be stomping out of this office." She laughed it off, but promptly went off to change her cup. She was back with another one. Blue, and cribbing: "Just for you, now I have to be content with this broken one." No comments this time...just broken threads of thought. Hunting, searching frantically for the voice.
* Standing atop a hill* : Hellooo...helloooo....can you hear me? (STD now @ Re. 1).
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
I close my eyes and lean forward
So the sprinting breeze can soothe those bruised cheeks.
A splash of red bloodies the ocular screen
Like the vermillioned parting of a new bride,
The battered brains of a suicidal moron.
With due apologies, these are just random thoughts of a completely demented mind!
Friday, July 29, 2005
What is indeed the nature of relationships/partnerships in our lives? Are all partnerships a kind of a relationship or vice versa? Are we in it for the sake of it, for the sake of love or as Austen would've said for convenience? And most importantly, who's a partner?
Let's try and define a partner first. According to the dictionary, it's one who's associated with another. So, is it the "other" half? The alter ego? What's his/her function in the scheme of things? Is the "other" supposed to have qualities similar/dissimilar to the "one"? No I'm not qualified enough to get into any existentialist theories here. Just trying to figure things out.
So, what is a partnership in this context? One and the other marooned in an island aboard a ship?!! Ok no, jokes apart, is it two people(not necessarily in love) in a convenient relationship? If the relationship is convenient (or otherwise), does it mean it can be between any two people living together or miles apart? What then is a true partnership?
To pick up the thread from Jai's post, let's take, for example, the nature of long distance relationships (LDRs). First, when they are long distance, is there an element of relationship there? Or is it just a friendship, purely transactional? A kind of deal to keep in touch; give each other some peptalk, when either one is down, and almost out; just be there (virtually or phone-etically) to listen to the ravings and rantings of a semi-demented mind.
Relationships with no distance between them (read married/live- in couples), do we call them partnerships? Partners in love? It's a complex and tricky area. Marriage is a different ball game altogether, as they say. Still trying to figure out the nuances of it...some comments will help! But does marriage mean there is nothing transactional in the relationship? What's your job is yours, what's ours is also yours, but my job is mine. In relationships do you make such demarcations such as: the kitchen is your (wife's) territory, not mine..the living room (with TV, Music system et al) is my territory not yours, the bedroom is sometimes mine and sometimes yours.
So where does the word partner come into the picture in the scheme of relationships? Just to tango on the dance floor, in the kitchen, with the kid? What is a true partnership? You do half the cooking, I do the other half. You dust the Tv, music sytem, DVDs, I sweep and swab the floor? You eat the snacks, I drink the whisky!
Or in true Shantiniketan style " Tumi fool, ami pata, tumi jol, ami atta!" ...
Thursday, July 28, 2005
Here's his expression upon striking gold: "Interesting see, there's someone called chattypriya on blogspot.com." My first reaction: aka Sushmita Sen after winning the Miss Universe crown -- jaws fall apart, mind races faster than the speed of light (pleae note, at all other times it's even slower than the tubelight), to come up with some valid reason for using office time, infrastructure et al to publicise what may be confidential information...man just couldn't think of nothin'. He carries on : "She's even from Bangalore! (yeah, right! And sitting just about exactly 3 inches away from you! UGGGGGGH) Very interesting, she written about this exhibition." I/me the stupid, instead of keeping this huge big trap shut and getting back to work, had to play on the 'Bubly' enthu cutlet and spill out: "But that's me!!" (Breaking into an uncontrollable cackle to reinforce imbecility) That's not all. I then russle up enough sanity to ask: "But how did u get there?" Donning his most charming smile, said he: "It's right there on the Google!!" Now you know why I'm not uttering the name again. (I like my privacy, thank you. No I'm not a limelight hogging journo.)
Efficiency thy name is Google! And next time you blog from office, just make sure, there's nothing official about it. (Am again doing it myself tho', but that's ME...don't follow my example in life, please. PS: Urmi just tell them, I'm BAD.)
Oh I forgot, to mention, the only good thing that came out of being honest was that he didn't read that post or any of the others at all!!! Honesty, after all, is THE BEST policy!
PPS: My editor's the most charming, adorable mallu gentleman I've ever come across in Bangalore. And no, this has nothing to do with this particular incident, nor the fact that he may just decide to drop in some other time to read my posts or gimme a hike tomorrow instead of 6 months later. He's quite a rare breed of journalist really.
Friday, July 22, 2005
To go back to my experience, in this little-known niche magazine for global custodians(My friends say my email sounds like I'm some CID agent!!), I was just privy to a sales pitch by the firang sales director! Excerpts:
Sales director (SD): A very good afternoon Mr. so-and-so (S&S). I understand Miss T....SOrry but I'm slightly jetlagged at the moment (jetlagged?? Read "autolagged", F***er lives right here in B'lore!!) Oh dear, u are going away on a holiday are u? Oh great.. may be u could get me some great white wine from there...I know I know...it's wonderful...The children are out there tucked away in a french villa and don't want daddy anywhere around..." (french villa?? 13 and 15 yr olds..sitting put in a London suburb!!). Ok so before you leave, how about just finalising this deal for a blah blah blah...
Freaking hellllll...I'd no clue this is what sales is about...I mean, I'm used to N telling me about the ad industry: "You need to know how to Pfaf your way through to stick around here, not slog your ass off to get thru' CAT, or MICA!"
But I laughed my gut out at this one...it's no doubt an art. No wonder, we, the so-called nerdy antel lot don't see eye to eye with them!
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Thursday, July 14, 2005
How long before my self can break free from the incubator to be the avante-garde? To be what she wants to be, to fear none and to tear all? How long before I just stop fakin' it?
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Especialy, someone who has nothing worth its name for an asset, much less liquid cash and wasn't even earning enough to be a taxpayer!!(Thank God, oops sorry, Fouth Estate, for small mercies!) So, is my future secure? Should I ask my husband? Who knows? Who cares? Especially for the future...didn't I say I was living for the day? The present?
Just read, the securities industry is undergoing a transformation...(incidentally, it's also the theme for Sibos 2005) and the industry bigwigs are gonna thrash out the pros and cons of it at the mecca of all financial conferences, Sibos (Some investment brains over stressed!!).
May be, a transformation is what I need, too. Or is it a metamorphosis altogether? What was that somebody said? Change is the only constant...tomorrow, after all, is yet another day. I live on...for the moment, at least.
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
It might just help me understand the language spoken. As of now, it appears, greek, no chinese, or is it latin? What could the voice be saying? Greek I know zilch, same with chinese...but latin I do have a very limited and select vocab. The only two words I can remember now...carpe diem. Could that be what the voice is trying to tell me? Sieze the moment? Reincarnate Myself...live for the day...live for myself...
Time for some serious introspection..will get back to you with more on the voice...
Monday, July 11, 2005
Since then, I've quit my job at IBM, tried my hand at being a perfect homemaker, absolutely in vain, and subsequently, got back to doing what I do best...editing ( a magazine, this time.) Life's been quite a gee,whizzzzzz, Jeeeez, over the last few days and must admit, I enjoyed every bit of it.
Indulged in a lot of movie watching...from Rashomon to Frida to the 9 1/2 Weeks kinds..a motley mix...thank god for cheap DVDs and long live the pirates! Whoever wants these guys behind bars, please someone catch those activists and send them to infirmary!
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
Can't believe Gubs is turning two already! A terror in her own rights, she's seems to be growing up quite independently. She's already quite a social butterfly (ok, ok I know where she's got that from, shut up you chuckling people!), much to the dislike of children her age and older. Sometimes, it's embarrassing the way she goes across to hug any child she sees at the shopping malls, parlours, restaurants, parks or wherever she ends up with us; especially coz most children her age like clinging on to their Moms and are quite reticent to any kind of physicality!! Of course, she couldn't care less, unless physically abused by the other party!
And she's quite a stubborn mule. She keeps trying till she can at least get a word or a babble out of the other kid! Am quite impressed, must say! Have to wait and see how she behaves on D-day. Another big reason for my cold feet.
Friday, May 06, 2005
Money's floating in the air you breathe in and exhale. Everyone here is a beerdrinking bindaassss Midas. So God(dess) help you if you r a teetotaller, money-can't-buy-me-love sorts like my dear hubby! Everything's on "sale" here, boss.
In a nutshell, I, I who hate Calcutta and thought I'd found my home and calling here in beautiful Bangalore a good 8 years ago, am seriously having, not second, but multiple thoughts now. The air (yes, the reek of money is nauseating at times), vehicular, as well as social pollution -- thanks to some 4 lakh bangalis who've invaded this state, for better or for worse -- together paint a gory mercenary picture of this once garden city.I, for one, just managed to rise from the dying embers of a project, to try and see if I can still write a line of simple English...God bless the language...
Sunday, March 20, 2005
I hate IT, I hate Statistics, more importantly, I hate PMs...I hate the works...
Tuesday, February 22, 2005
It was one of the laziest weekends I've sent in B'lore in along time. Took my Dad for an "English" breakfast at Peco's, Banglore's oldest and most chilled out pub...but he ended up eating Appam and chicken stew...simply awesome. Of course Neil (my one and only awesome hubby) and I stuck to our prudish selves and ate the English variety of brown bread, sunnyside up, mashed potato, cocktail sausages and bacon. All of us refrained from the beer..Neil's a teetotaller, Dad just had a bypass and I hate beer...the only form of alcohol that sucks!
Friday, February 18, 2005
Goti of course asked me create a blog aeons ago, which I promptly ignored..not in the least to hurt him...but just coz it meant a lot of work for me!
As for Urmi...well I just had to comment on her blogs and I found out I couldn't do so unless I was a blogger...That did it. And Voila! here I am, finally a blogger, albeit a novice one.
I have never been intimidated by technology, but always get the jitters when I am asked to try out something new using it. And my worst fears just came true...I lost all that I wrote here..so this one's a rewrite..something I hate doing! The otherreason whyI kept putting off being a blogger...was of this whole thing about writing. Despite being a journo at heart, in mind & soul, and in reality too....I gave up writing a couple of years ago..all forms of it, except of course the sms and emails..which have a weird language of their own. To start writing something more sensible again..was like starting afresh..being a novice.
Thanks to my friends, I'm back at it , this time as a blogger...albeit a novice one.