Livinghigh: March 2005
Wednesday, March 30, 2005
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The forum

A poetic friend writes, and I had to post.

Does love truly have a definition
Or do we make definitions to satisfy ourselves?
There is also hurt to look at.
Our hearts are fragile.
Handle with care,
Is written and yet,
We treat it without respect.
Insanity in love.
I love the madness of loving you
While you look in the other direction.
How can you break my heart
When you are capable only of mending it?
Don't you see the power you have?
Or maybe you do... you feel something too.
It's a feeling that I get,
That makes me know that you are there.
What makes me stay is you.
What makes me strong are your arms.
I do not know whether you will engulf me in them,
Though I wish you would.
My church of security,
My temple of belief,
My gurudwara of hope.
And I bow before you.
No ego
No strings
Nothing. Only You.
And me.
Silence. Love.
Departure and Arrival.
A new beginning.

Yes, slightly mushy, very rambling, but hey, it's a friend, and though I may be bitchy, I'm nice, too. I thought it wasn't bad. ;-)

Tuesday, March 29, 2005
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My Brother Shaurabh ;-)

Well, I saw My Brother Nikhil, and it has been disappointing - kinda. I still turned the tapworks on, but hell, anyone who's been to a movie with me knows that it doesn't take too much effort for that to happen! ;-) MBN lacks continuity. It's a movie that seems terribly cliched to me. Perhaps, it wouldn't have, if I hadn't seen Phir Milenge... but somehow, I think I would still have sniggered at it, even without PM.

What bugged me the most:
1. The decade in Nikhil's life jumps about far too much, and the narration lacks a flow.
2. It's an exercise in cliched dialogue, one after the other.
3. The parents, both Victor Banerjee and Lilette Dubey, are agonising. Dubey is AWFUL *screech*!!!!!
4. Sanjay Suri has flashes of subtlety amidst three hours of 'performance'. His last, wheelchair avatar is o-so-ungodly cliched.
5. There was no Westside showroom in 1994, which is typed o-so neatly in the corner of the screen, when they show Leena.

The high points of MBN:
1. Juhi Chawla is AMAZING!!!!
2. Goa is AMAZING!!! (both Sanjay Suri's house and lover Purab's bungalow)
3. Purab, as the boyfriend, does a great job, though his lines tend to get a bit soap opera-ish at times.
4. I loooove the song. (both the male and female versions, though they only play KK's one on the radio)

Proud of myself for: restraining bro from walking out of the theatre during the interval. I hate doing that. That makes me lose the opportunity of bitching about a movie. ;-)

Chaandni Muskuraye
Jab hawa kuchh kahe...
Samjho meri sadaye
hai tere saath mein
Jo ghana fiza mein andhera
layenge hum sawere tere liye...
Le chale Le chale...
Yado ke ye kafile...
Jayenge hum jahan
ye jamin aasmaa

Sunday, March 27, 2005
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A Million Dollars now, please

I could have sworn that I'd written a post here about seeing Million Dollar Baby, but it seems to have disappeared. Perhaps I deleted it by mistake, but could I have been that dumb? (No pressing reason to answer that anytime soon.)

So, any way, MDB is this brilliantly sad flick about a jaded boxing coach training this not-so-young (she's supposed to be 31 years old) gutsy chick to get to the top of the women's boxing championship. It is guaranteed to have you dissolve into tears, if you are even a fraction of what I am capable of: I boo-hooed my way out of the hall, after watching K3G, admittedly not one of my finest moments. To get to the point, there are a coupla things that I have to mention about MDB:

;-) I think you get my point.


The next movie on my list is My Brother Nikhil. I believe, both Sanjay Suri and Juhi Chawla (that smile!) have done an amazing job. And I'm glad to see that the movie has not skirted (apparently, from what I can tell in the reviews) the homosexual issue. Should be an amazing movie. Am trying to drag my bro to see the film. Though, after having watched MDB with me as I wept away to glory, he's not very keen on it!

By the way, it's my bro's birthday tomorrow. I offered to treat him to dinner, apart from gifting him this sexy blue Lombard tie. Am demented, as well as broke.

Friday, March 25, 2005
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Avatar for the day: Easter Bunny

Good Friday and Easter have always been a happy occassion with me - not least, because of the lovely extended weekend vacation it meant for me, because of missionary school: Maundy Thursday to Easter Monday. So, I kinda club all of them together, and have a ball, expect Easter Eggs from well-wishers (any out there?) and generally chill out at home. So, this year, I dash out a quick sms to a Catholic friend in Bombay: Have a GREAT good friday and a happy easter!

Terse came the reply: This is actually a day of sadness and mourning, but the thought is appreciated.

Oops. Foot too big to fit in mua's mouth, methinks.


In other news for the day: I had seen this great little piece by August that reminded me a lot about something I had written a coupla years back. ad to go hunting for it, and well, here it is in Gabbles, titled The Blind Men Who See. I thought about redoing it a bit, but was lazy in the end. So, I just did a basic cut-copy-paste. But, hell, it's still not so bad. The opening para is:

When you think you've done it all one fine day, my friend, come out with me. We'll walk and we'll talk, and we might even walk the talk. No more looking for hidden meanings, no more talking about hidden reasons. I might not even utter a word, for all you know: I probably won't. Two blind men ambling down the lined road, hands in pockets, walking sticks tapping on the gravel. We might hear yells from the children; we might hear the twittering of birds. We might feel the cool breeze wafting down upon us; we might hear the crunch of pebbles underneath our feet. I'm liable to smile then, and I'd advise the same to you.

Tell me what you saw.

Mirror Mirror #22: I looooove the chocolate eggs, rather than the marzipan ones, though the former are smaller! Can you imagine holding a solid chocolate egg in your hand and biting into the skin delectably! I think I'm having an orgasm now.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005
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Hunch-back of...?

Deciding to play a hunch on a relationship is not always the safest thing to do. But sometimes, it's the only thing to do. Now, why on earth does that make so much sense, and yet seem so vague? Why on earth is it practically impossible to define a hunch?

Play a hunch then, deal the cards, hold them to your heart, and pray that the 'other guy' doesn't catch on to what you're doing. It's a game of poker, or Black Jack, or Beggarman's Neighbour - but then, does that mean I'm trivialising it?

Time to deal. New story on Gabbles, and it's called Sliding Doors. Yes, the title is similar to that movie with Gwyneth Paltrow, but I've never seen it (though I've wanted to!), and so this one is completely uninspired by it. What I felt was the tenderest moment in the piece is:

Sentences, frayed and misty, with common words and threads that somehow link them together. I'm not even aware that my cheeks are wet, but I can feel his fingers on them, brushing and wiping and strong, and soothing. He tells me not to cry, and I find that ridiculous (because I'm not crying, am I?) and he tells me it's alright. He smokes a cigarette, and I would rather look at the stream of smoke playing filigree on the darkening sky, than his thoughtful eyes.

"It's alright," he says. "I've never been with someone so much younger than me. I wondered how it could happen now. But I hoped... But it's alright," and he smiles at me, as if I'm the one who's heart is broken now, "There's so much more time. It's alright."

Do take the time and peek in sometime.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005
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LivingHIGH Ads - No revenue, though (sigh!)

So this one is more like an advertorial. Two blogs that I would like people to take note of, if they ever do find their way in here, and I would like to post a neon sign (as it were) to point the way forward for them. So, without further adieu,. we have:

1. timecode
Where Sanjaya and Kunal tell the world about the broadcast industry

In its words, This is where two young broadcast industry professionals talk about what we think about the industry, good shows and bad shows, editors, cameramen, producers, how they work, spin (good and bad) and all kinds of other random things related to the broadcast media.

Makes for interesting reading, an insight into the silliness that makes a PCR, MCR, Edit Bay and all de silly rooms that constitute Pandemonium. (There's a link to this blog at the right-hand side, under The Chain.)

2. indi3
Independent, Individual, Indian

The caveat runs: We're a loose association of Indian bloggers, an informal collective. We're not a lobby. We're more a lounge.... We're banding together for one simple reason. We see the need for a place where we can discuss, in a civilised manner, the things that affect us all as bloggers. Nothing more, nothing less.The rest can be discussed elsewhere.

It's recent - the very first entry was posted last week, on March 16. But I think it's an interesting space t watch out for. Sonething heavy, something light, something important all the time - am keeping my fingers crossed.

Monday, March 21, 2005
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The clock blinking at the bottom right-hand side of the computer says it is 2.20 am IST, so I may be forgiven my dawdling, my shenanigans, my queries, my excuses, my madness, as I ask myself again and again what on earth I'm still doing up. Was this what they meant by insomnia? A pox on technology and computers then, for making men what we are. I'm not sure what it is on earth that I mean, what it is that time means, and what on earth I'm about to do. A part of me is crying out for sleep, and the other part is getting a sadistic pleasure in torturing the first part. Maybe that's what they call "living" - I'm not sure about the high part, though.

A transcript of a few seconds back:

livinghigher: i dunno y i'm still alive

livinghigher: yawn

music_film: I bet your yawn is cute!

livinghigher: i KNOW ure flirting is cute ;-)

music_film: I can't flirt

livinghigher: no, u cant flirt. u just say terribly cute things

livinghigher: ;-)

music_film: you like?

livinghigher: yes, i like.

livinghigher: ;-)

livinghigher: alrite

livinghigher: i'm tired

livinghigher: am goin to bed

livinghigher: gnite, luv

livinghigher: see u around

music_film: nighty night

PS: I wonder who flirts worst: livinghigher or music_film. Inputs?

Mirror Mirror #21: Somebody once told me, when I flirt I sound positively sarcastic. Vile charges. But maybe that explains my singular status?

Friday, March 18, 2005
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Go Play, is what Diet Pepsi exhorts. You'd think that you would save enough calories by drinking Diet Pepsi so as to jump about the dance floor, doing all sorts of gymnastics in your black jumper (suitably branded) and playing with a can of the beverage, so that thick beads of the glinting liquid (high viscousity, magically enough!) keep popping around like big shining marbles on the floor, on the walls, and finally in your mouth. That's supposed to be cool. That's supposed to be sexy. That's supposed to inspire you to take your own black jumper (suitably branded) from your own closet - if you don't have one, get one! - and make your own way to the most happening club in town. We're assuming that you don't have to be nosed about by a big, bulky bouncer and that you have the 1 grand required to get your ass in.

It's a wonderful concept by Diet Pepsi, actually: I quite like it.

It's a concept that tells you to let go, and live for the moment. Something that credit card companies advise you to do as well. Live on credit and fresh air, because love is a dirty word which may not mean anything at all anymore, judging by your own and your neighbour's horrific experiences. So; buy a car, rent an apartment, boogy on the most expensive dance floor in Colaba, and wink at some hotties on the beach. and never forget to go around without your Gold International card tucked away neatly in your black jumper pocket.

That is the secret to a happy life. Even the sad old man on the mountain, who never goes to any night clubs and has never played with Pepsi in his sad old life, will tell you that.

Mirror Mirror #20: The title Play reminded me about J.LO and her song. I actually like that song: I think it's sexy and quiiiite funky. Actually, I quite like J.LO (sorry, Jennifer now) both as a singer and as an actress. Notable J.LO movies (screw Jennifer!) I have seen: Selina, The Wedding Planner, the thing with Ralph Feinnes I can't recall the name of.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005
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Left HIGH and dry

I am on an imposed break from the spirited side of life. Apart from the sad attempt at making a pun, that basically means that, courtesy the bout of jaundice which had me in Calcutta for a week, I am now supposed to stay away from all manner of booze, wine, liquor, spirits, bubbly, and the other stuff that burns your throats and propells me on to the dance floor.

My life is dry. Hmmm... food for thought.

So, the other day, we were all at the Sports Bar, and while the pitchers of beers and the tall glasses of martinis and the short dwarf vodka shots were being merrily passed around the table, I made do with my silver-blue-red can of Red Bull. Ginseng, I hope, is still permitted. If not, then I have no hopes for living high at a party ever again.

(To all who may be interested, Red Bull tastes amazingly like the liver medicine I'm supposed to be ingesting twice daily, two spoonfulls each time. It also tastes a mite like cough syrup. So if you're the kind who had a crush on your doctor, because he gave you your first taste of alcohol when you were two, then Red Bull is very much YOUR drink. Advertorial over.)

My brother gives a sinister chuckle and says that I should stay off the bubbly for a year. My mum, to whom I recently came 'out' about my watering hole ways, would rather I never touch the stuff. And my naive doctor thinks I never have any need for anything other than the cough syrup, and so did not even jot down a time limit for me.

Methinks, two months should be enough, say what? (Or perhaps, a month?) Pretty please.

Mirror Mirror #19: They called me the Chemical Brother in Chennai, because of the size and versatility of my private medical box. That became my screen name on this blog. When I landed up with a new roomie in Delhi, I bowed my head and surrendered my title to him. And decided to become good ole livingHIGH.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005
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Hyde and Seek

I have old Christmas cards open at my desk - a fat jolly Santa Claus in his trademark Coca Cola suit, although I knew the truth about Santa since I turned 12. I was a precocious kid - I still am. There are some things that you never grow out of. Like the fact that I'm a stranger at times, to myself. Figure that out for yourself. Why on earth do you want help all the time for? Try some rancour in your life, try some hate, try some boredom, try anything with a dash of avocado and a shot of vodka and pretend that the world is a horrible, deceitful space, and you are you are the king and master of all you survey.

This is the schizophrenic in me talking. This is the Ice Man who has finally cometh. This is the idea that you should get of your fat lazy ass and break a few hearts. Try being cruel, and you might see that you like it. So they'll call you the Grinch, so they'll laugh and snigger at times, so you'll be invited to Slut nights at the most happening disc in town - you might actually fall in love with yourself.

You might tell yourself that matchmakers should be shot, and you may never want to see The Fiddler on the Roof again. It's a splendid idea. Try it at times. Mr Hyde is actually pretty charming. Pleased to meet you.

Sunday, March 13, 2005
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Haggle me this!

Haggling is an art in itself. I remember walking down Janpath (Delhi), staring up at all the great stuff hanging from the stalls, and finally noticing this pair of cream khaki drawstrings that the guy asked Rs 500 for. Well, that got my hackles up, and I bargained fast and furiously, and was very pleased when he agreed to let me have it for Rs 250. I told him to have it packed, scampered to find my friends who were milling somewhere about, and was suitably deflated when one of them managed to get me the pants for Rs 100.

I'm no good at what may be perhaps one of the most important skills in life. Damn...!

That manifested itself consummately enough on my very first transaction in Mumbai - my rented 1 BHK in Parel-Sewrie. My equally inexperienced flatmate and I were thrust from one broker to another, till we reached who we now like to remember as the Brothers Grimm version of Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, whom we now deem completely responsible for our subsequent impoverishment. It cost us seventy-two grand to wisen up.

And yet, there are other creatures who seem born to the art. Natural Picassos, they flit from one dealer to the other with all the charm and self-assuredness of an Ambani wife, and they finally get what they always wanted at a price the dealer never dreamt about in his worst nightmare. So, what's the secret - not letting them know what you want, casual disdain effected o-so-fantastically on your face, walking around in faded clothes so that the actual size of your bank balance is not clear, choosing a market where there are a number of dealers so that competition naturally favours you - or anything else?

Ideate, people!

Mirror Mirror #18: Wasn't this entire post an exercise in standing before a mirror, now?

Friday, March 11, 2005
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Dead Mediaah Walking

So this isn't a personal post, but something I feel personally about, nonetheless.

mediaah! was arguably the first Indian media watchdog blog, and certainly the first one where the blogger put the name on his birth certificate up there for all to see: Pradyuman Maheshwari.

He has been served a legal notice about content on mediaah!. On his blog he said:
"Yesterday, we got another legal notice. It was from one of the better known media conglomerates from the country, asking us to delete some 19 posts on Mediaah! as also refrain from writing about it in future. This isn't the first time we've had a problem with media companies taking us on. In the last couple of months this is the second legal notice and not to mention a media baron asking us to apologise for what was termed an insulting post." *

There is a petition afoot, for the dropping of the legal notice against Pradyuman.

Sign The Petition: Free Mediaah!*

For more thoughts/ inputs on this matter, you can check out CSF.

*content from CSF

Wednesday, March 09, 2005
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Performing Arts 1o1

There's a song from the golden oldies age that I find really beautiful, it goes like "Yes! I'm the great Pretender.... etc etc". I have no idea who it's by, or what year it was released, but I love the tune and I love the lyrics. It's all about that little discipline we had when we were in school, called the Performing Arts. How well do you perform before an audience? I think I do pretty well, myself.

It could be for anything. For one, some people think I hide my grief. Some people think I should never grieve, or be silent, or be serious. They're so used to see me laughing and jumping around, playing the fool. The court jester, perhaps? One friend told me, I've never been seen (by her) in a silent, studious moment. I find that ridiculous. I find myself ridiculous at times. There was this blog entry I'd read some time back, where this woman claimed, because she was always the happy-go-lucky kind, people refused to take her opinions seriously. I'm not drawing any parallels with myself - it's just a thought.

About the Performing Arts. Do you add that extra bit of vigour in your brandishes, when you know someone's watching, and you have a part to play. (Shakespeare was a smart old fag, I think.) Do you storm out with that extra bit of haughteur when you know that an Emmy is in the offing? I've never acted, but I'm sure I'd be great at it. I'm sure I could deliver a performance of a lifetime. That's because I've done it so many times already in my life. I act, I play, I laugh, I mourn, I lament, I juggle, I act.

Yes, I'm in a grey mood. Yes, I wrote something new-cum-old, something fished out of the attic and presented with the aid of open-heart surgery. It's called The Performance. Take a gander, and tell me, if it's any good:

He nodded, even though she could not see him. She was still looking straight out through the verandah, at the night, where a lone mango tree burst out from the grassy yard, and its leaves peeked in through at her bedroom, like a thousand little prying eyes that demanded merriment and amusement. He wondered whether they were amused now, and a smile crinkle at the corners of his mouth for some reason. "I know," he breathed softly, and he wondered if he heard her.

Mirror Mirror #17: I'm not really impressed with my school life. I still maintain contacts actively with only one friend from school. The rest are like a flock of birds flying south for the winter. I don't think I care much for any of them, but I will say cheese and back-slap and do all the silly things that boys who have grown up together do.

Monday, March 07, 2005
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Who believes in Serendipity?

Romanticism runs in the family, or, rather, in specific veins of my family. There is my grandmum, who was sorely disappointed when I explained to her that there was simply NO romantic angle in the movie Chicago - she's a major fan of Richard Gere - and that it was a black comedy. My mum, who is romantic in theory, found the idea of a black comedy quite silly, and she thinks kisses are thoroughly unhygenic, because nobody ever knows where people put their lips in the first place, and there is bad breath as a further deterrent. My dad doesn't care for romantic comedies at all, at least the English ones, and yes, I hope HOPE that its not his breath which has given my mum such an extremist view about kissing.

For me, I love kissing. ;-) But I'm a middleman-romantic. I believe in love, I would love to be in love myself, but am afraid that I will never see it. My relationships seem shortlived, and I thrive on the short-term high of passion and sex, and find it very difficult to stick it out. I may even be what a blog-buddy terms a 'playa'.

Hmmm. Food for thought.

I finally saw Serendipity last night. A lovely little romantic comedy, with John Cusack (whom 99% women seem to find attractive for some reason or the other) and Kate Beckinsale (whom I find utterly yummy!). I must say, Beckinsale's performance was a happy surprise for me, after the crap she turned in for Van Helsing and Underworld (both grisly so-called modern horror movies that I loved for sheer thrill value and Beckinsale's sex value!). For anyone who's missed out on Serendipity, the word means a 'fortunate accident', and the movie is about how this pair meet by serendipity one evening, and after a couple of years a number of happy coincidences result in their meeting up again and ending together. A very nice, sugar-coated, chocolate-stuffed, caramelised piece of pastry. ;-)

Mirror Mirror #16: I was the fat little boy in kindergarten whom everyone liked to cuddle, then I became the stout older boy in school, then the portly young man in college, and then came a year in Chennai. That made me a sexy hot thing with a rake-like body! ;-) Lassi and paranthas in Delhi added some more meat to my bones, though, and my rich bro's feasting in Bombay also did the same. I'm not fat any more, but have lost my sexy rake-build now! sniff!

Friday, March 04, 2005
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The return of Romance

Warning: Obsessing about love can be injurious to your health. Perhaps that should be rule #1 in every relationship. But what about that other rule - taking it for granted can be equally disastrous. Managing a relationship is not the easiest thing to do in the world, and I'm not the Einstein who came up with this equation.

So, it was left to the Romantic in me to resurface in yet another storytelling session, and the subject seems to be a bit inspired by Shakespeare (though it ISN'T!). My pick from the new kid on the block, Frailty, thy name is..., is:

She sips her mocha and watches him. He's distracted, she can tell. But he's not ready to tell her yet, and she can wait for him. She's waited for him for so long already. To give himself to her completely, the way she's surrendered herself. At times, she feels a twinge of ache, whether he will really ever summon up the courage to tell her - and what then?

Courage can go both ways, her father used to tell her, when she was young, on the shooting range. It can make a man, or it can destroy a man. And the man doesn't know till the very last instant what it is he has signed himself up for. She would listen to her father's voice, gentle and strong, undulating yet firm, holding her hands steady on the gun, as she fired. Courage was a dangerous thing, she had learnt in her own life, so she smiled at this man across the table from her, who seemed distracted, and flashed silly smiles her way, and asked her what dessert she would like to have.

Mirror Mirror #15: I have a life-size poster of Aishwarya Rai, looking ravishing in a blue dress, pinned up on the wall next to my bed, here in Calcutta, but I still prefer Sushmita's style. Ash is for the Romantic in me, methinks. We're a sucker for a damsel in distress, and she's the damsel-est of them all!

Thursday, March 03, 2005
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The King and I

The issue is marriage, and whether arranged marriages are best, or love marriages. For one, I find the nomenclature quite idiotic for both, but that's something else. I have a brother who wants to get married, but is too bothered with work to actually make inroads for a marriage (of sorts) himself. I have a father who is highly excited at the prospect of finding a daughter-in-law. And I have a mother who herself has got married in true Hindi film-ishtyle, and is privately quite mortified at the proposal of going through rishtas for her elder son, but being a dutiful mom will do so otherwise with a straight face. And as the sole computer-literate member of my family at Calcutta, I am automatically designated in-charge of Online Proposals -,,, I have been through them all.

So is that or is that not a sure-fire recipe for instant rip-roaring comedies?

(My poor, poor brother. I should have packed him off for the Time Out 5-minute dating party in Bombay last month! Mum would have been relieved, I think.)


Elvis Presley is crooning Are You Lonesome Tonight? right now, and I wonder how sane I really am. It is the 3rd of March, and I hit Bombay exactly a week later, on the 10th. I don't exactly expect a float with scantily-clad cheerleaders, but yes, that would be nice, nevertheless.

Mirror Mirror #14: I'm a mushy romantic at heart, though people say I can actually be quite a cynical pain-in-the-ass. Today, I scared away a hapless anonymous person on the net, who thought I was being unduly sarcastic. WUSSY!

Wednesday, March 02, 2005
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Media vs Entertainment, and NCR vs Mumbai

According to the cover story of the latest India Today, the media/ entertainment sector is slated for the largest pay-hike across sectors of the economy, in the year ahead: a rate of 15.4%. Do my eyes deceive me, or does that seem to elude me, as I look at my pay cheque? Or maybe, 15% of that hike is for the entertainment sector, while media gets the paltry 0.4%? Methinks, I should fulfill my childhood ambitions of running away to join the circus. At least I have the gift of gab.

The same story further compounds my conundrum, when it proclaims that the National Capital Region will generate the maximum number of jobs in 2005, while Mumbai trails in fifth place, and the gap in between is made up of Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad. Moreover, Mumbai is the city where commuting takes the longest time and is the most expensive, apparently. When I asked the tarot card reader whether I should change cities to help my career prospects, the blackguard had nodded enigmatically: why o why did I not ask him outright, if Dilli was the key?!

On a more personal note, the other night, I was actually having trouble falling asleep, as I kept on remembering things I'd done and places I'd been to, in Delhi. Sigh...

Mirror Mirror #13: I can be acutely indecisive at times - the present is a case in point - while I make up my mind in a flash at others. These disparate situations are also not separate in terms of importance, so I can't even dismiss myself as a hack who takes time for the most important decisions of his life! Sometimes, I think I'm the Energizer Bunny who develops a strange, unexplained snag at times.