Livinghigh: April 2005
Thursday, April 28, 2005
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Ho hum

I need to get on a diet.

Mirror Mirror #29: I went to the gym yesterday for my first full-blown workout. I need to do a lot of things: (a) build up arms from scrawny limb-like appendages, (b) get rid of hair on biceps, before wearing sleeveless Reeboks, (c) be regular at the gym.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005
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Editor For A Day

Yesterday, I was Editor For A Day. All of it deserves to be in capitals, even For A Day, as that has its own significance. That meant, that come the next day, I would be mere mortal again, so I would have to go easy on my erstwhile friends and colleagues about story copies that have some in too late or have come in too wrong. That meant, that come the next day, I would still be eligible in the club of wranglers to bitch about the Editor For The Rest Of The Days.


Being Editor For A Day meant that I was editing copy, hunting news, allocating wire stories, yelling for the technical team to back me up while reloading the site, chewing up a pencil while determining which story to rank as Number One, hobnobbing with the Markets Editor For Everyday, and generally fuming at my computer screen.

It also meant a hold on my goofing off. No blog writing or checking. No chats on Yahoo. No soft music to tame the savage beast, just when the savage beast needed taming the most. No fifteen-minute phone-calls. No coffee breaks to wonder at how time flies by. I only had one cup of coffee the whole of yesterday, in place of my usual seven.

If my doctor had his way, he would make me Editor For Every Day. I'm not wholly sure I would like that, though.

Sunday, April 24, 2005
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Though a friend had complained to me that livingHIGH was getting to be too much of a review mag, I'm sorry (not really)to say it's Review Time again!

1. Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi is a fantastic film: among the best I've seen in a long time. Can safely say, there was not a single moment in it that I found superfluous! The performances were brilliant. The music rocks as well, so if you're a fan of new-age stuff, you should rush right out to get the CD. Burn it for me, please! ;-)

The ending can leave you feeling a bit lost, though. Who knows where idealism ends? And who knows where love begins? Did that get you foxed? SEE THE FILM! Chitrangada Singh is the most gorgeous leading lady I've seen on the marquee in a long, long while (though she doesn't look that special in the filmi posters); Kaykay Menon is fiercingly real as the Naxalite, and Shiny Ahuja leaves you wanting more.

2. Mumbai Xpress made me laugh the first 90 minutes, but the film drags on after that, and needs to be drastically edited! Has a very Southie flavour (no offence intended!), with motorcycles running wild, and Kamal Haasan putting on a great poker face. The jokes are cheesy, and I guess that's why they make you laugh. But, ummm.... you can only take so much of cheese at a go, right? The plot is bloody confused! Time-pass, and good enough if you're on a Rs 60 ticket at Eros, though.

Mirror Mirror #28: I love old-world movie halls, like Eros and Regal in Bombay. Love the charm, and the smarfy deco on the walls. But I guess I'd like them more if they had better seats, like the new-age multiplexes in the 'burbs! Yes, that's the snoot in me talking, much apologies, but he's here too. You should check out the PVR Plaza in Connaught Place, Delhi: Plaza was this old-world hall in CP, and the PVR chain bought it, renovated it, but it's still magnificent - pleasure to be there!

Friday, April 22, 2005
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Beep-beep, beep-beep, BEEP!

It rained after ages today in Bombay. Am so frikkin' happy! Have been praying since yesterday that it pours and pours and pours in torrents, and there was some... brief drizzling today. Hmmm, yes, I get easily satisfied.


Went lurching into driving class today. My very first. Interesting things to observe/ mention:

1. If I'm supposed to keep my right foot all the time either on the brake or the accelerator, then how is the car not supposed to always screech to a halt or gear up for a Grand Prix?

2. If I'm supposed to signal with my hand out of the window, flick the indicator switch down (or up), shift gears to slow down, and also steer the car every time I turn, how many hands does that mean I have?

3. If I'm supposed to make sure that I drive in a straight line, but also keep a watch on the rear view mirror in front of me, and on the mirror beside me, and also look at what's happening in the world around me, does that make me a multi-headed Hindu God?

4. Gears are tricky creatures. They're almost as elusive as hobbits are supposed to be.

5. I'm in love with the accelerator. The clutch gives me nightmares, though. (Or, at the very least, I expect nightmares tonight.)

On my next class, I'm carrying along my Beatles CD.

Thursday, April 21, 2005
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A lil bit of Marx here

I'm in the whole dweeb look today! Yay! Complete with crimson t-shirt over baggy blue jeans, topped up with Adidas cap and black sandals, complete with oval glasses.


But then, there are other creatures around me who take the definition of dweeb to a whole new level. Picture Nut-cracker in a particularly mad mood throwing dead ants all around her, and bemoaning the fact that Mr Six Legs is doing the Climb Every Mountain (remix by Juggy-D) right now, while she does the solo in her best Nun Maria imitation! And, o yes, if you're interested, she's "big boned".

Yay! Yay!

Then there's the nerdy bong-bongo journo on the other end, who's all set to become a sting guy, a-la Rucha Whatshername, though I doubt Aman Verma would want to be "naughty" around him! He's got a jhola, and the classic French goatee, and the even-more-classic faded shirt and frayed jeans. And yes, he keeps on muttering "fuckall!" to his computer every now and then.

Dweebs of the world, UNITE!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005
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Think this was a song by Savage Garden...?

New story on Gabbles, and though I know all of you buggers are far too lazy to go over and read it (sniff! sniff!), I will do the needful and post a crappy excerpt here (grumble, grumble):

He grinned. He could do not much else. The streetlamps that lined their way through the center of Maine Drive were too blindening, and there was only a gut instinct that prevented him from dying. It had always been that way. And he knew another name for that instinct.

It's called Insatiable Lust, so go check it out, if you want to read something (that I hope is) racy.

Monday, April 18, 2005
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Twinkle Toes tries rhyme

Let's try something new now.

Twinkle Twinkle
Eyes shining, glittering,
with dollops of liquid. Charcoal black, quartz hard,
depths unknown and unseen,

Little Star
She held a doll in her hand,
flazen hair, curls so bright, cherry lips,
one striped sock on one leg,

How I wonder what you are
Monster! Monster!
Pumpkinhead for Haloween
Love th grin, da-ling, flash those pearly-whites,

Up above the sky so high

Like a diamond
But it breaks, the doll's head,
and one leg too, the flaxen hair rips

In the sky.

Friday, April 15, 2005
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On a roll here

This looks like the gingerbread house gone horribly, horribly corporate with a vengeance. Red wall in front, yellow to the right, blue behind me, white to my left, with teeny little cracks appearing in the paint, a corporate HR guy's nightmare. There are yellow beams overhead, where the roof thatches up like the gingerbread cone, and light bars suspended like rows of chocolate-lined wafers. Hansel and Gretel are gone, and I'm left here instead.

On the evening shift at work.

Bored. Tired. Hungry, but dieting. (Or trying to). Determined not to do work, so that's why I'm blogging. And will proceed forthwith to read other blogs. Glazed eyes, dreaming of gingerbread houses and candy canes.

Listening to Funky Guru by Yatri. Gets me grooving. Am perplexed because I want to go to a rave, but wonder whether the weed will agree with me.


And yes: I have a complaint to make: why the hell does nobody go over to Gabbles and read the frikkin' story?! Been up there for ages, people!

You get a rap on each knuckle now. rap, rap!

Mirror Mirror #27: I've never had weed, but was involved with someone who was a major weed addict. Never had ciggies, but kept on rolling joints! Though I hated the idea of that, and kept on lecturing like grandpappy on a rocking horse, I must admit that the sex after a roll was fantabulous. Oops, am I propagating the wrong values here to the kiddies?

Thursday, April 14, 2005
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Picture this

The picture on my desktop calendar shows an amazingly orange umbrella. You can see the sun's rays glinting through the top of the umbrella. It's a harsh glare, something that you would want to be shielded from. The rest of the umbrella is in varying shades of orange, red and ochre. Spoke by spoke, it's like a huge baked orange pie dissected for future consumption. There's a part that looks particularly well toasted and I can almost imagine the crust flaking off, I can imagine the gooey orange marmalade filling inside slithering out.

There's a book, hardcover, well-thumbed out pages, and a bottle of Chardonnay and a glass below the umbrella, on a checkered rug on the grass. It's a picnic that I would love to be in. I can't see the sky in the picture, but I can imagine it would be a bright, beautifil blue. It seems strange, though, to think of a beautiful blue sky with a harsh steel sun, so I must conjure up some clouds as well. It's necessary to have some fluffy and some not, some cream with a glint of gold, some ivory with a lining of steel-silver. And I would rest my head on that big fat book, under the orange umbrella, and close my eyes.

The Chardonnay would keep me awake, though. It would keep me buzzed slightly. So I would lie there, eyes closed, lips curved in a smile, and I would think of the sweet nothings I've been told in my ear, and the sweet everythings I've whispered in fits and starts. I may chortle softly. I may feel the wine's bittersweet tanginess still at the back of my throat, and I would smile at the feeling of being curled up in a corner of someone else's yard, under a big orange umbrella, with the shade atop my head, and Chardonnay in my dreams.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005
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Optimism personified

The morning started well. I was in an optimistic mood. The day started off with a huge hunk of Dutch chocolate truffle pastry, followed by a highly luxurious bar of Mars in the cab. There was Tom Petty singing Free Falling in my ears, and I was free-jumping in the air.

Yes, the cab driver didn't have change, so I got short-changed two bucks (no pun intended), but he was an immensely polite Muslim guy, so I was not really pissed off. Hard to come by sweet guys like that these days, I thought, like your typical nonagenerian, and then sauntered off, gymbag, walkman and chocolate in hand, towards my office building.

Yes, a crow shat on my brand new cap, but look at it this way - thank god, I was wearing the cap, otherwise, I would have had the goop all over my shirt and that would have been much worse! This way, I just put the cap under a running tap and voila - goop gone! No loss of ebulance in the bargain!

It would be worthwhile, I think, to post a "Day Over" entry here as well, to see just how much of that ebulance is still intact.

Postscript: Day ended well, I guess. Did work, met with friend, had fun and coffee. Walked home. Decided to skip dinner and had a pack of Choconut biscuits instead. Chatted with flatmate before nodding off to sleep. Read a couple of chapters of Amitav Ghosh. Not bad.

Sunday, April 10, 2005
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I could have danced all night!

I danced on Friday night. I loved it. Polly Esther's was awesome, and I was like the frikkin' belle of the ball - except that I'm not really a belle, and it was hardly a ball. But it was awesome and I loved it. Songs I haven't heard in ages came running back, and songs that I'd been hoping for soooo long came jumping back at me! And I was possessed, demented, cathartised, emancipated, clarified, maddened, all at once. Yes, you can call me Twinkle Toes. Yes, you can call me Mad Hatter. They're all synonyms for Living High, hereafter.

Saturday night was a bit more sedate. But every bit as lovely. Discovered this lovely place called Mocambo's in Fort, that serves up amazing Continental and Italian food, but I managed to avoid the pasta this time, and had this yummy fish preparation instead, with oodles of cream sauce, mushrooms and a hunk of cheese on top. Dessert was picture-perfect: a huge piece of Kahlua torte, soaked in rum. And after that, a date with Ms Congeniality: Armed and Fabulous.

So, let's talk about Sandra:
1. I love her.
2. I love her.
3. I love her.
4. Movie was a good timepass. Lotsa jokes, lotsa funnies, some sentu' stuff thrown in.
5. Sandra does a great Ms FBI routine. Had me chortling throughout.
6. I love her.
7. I love her.
8. I love her.

I suppose you get the point I'm trying to make.

Mirror Mirror #26: One of my favourite movie songs: I could have danced all night, in My Fair Lady. Amazing movie, and amazing song. I loved the picturisation, and Audrey Hepburn is one of my favourite actresses of all time. There was a time when I knew all the words to the song.

Friday, April 08, 2005
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What we need is action.

My phone cost me a bomb.

I feel like a strawberry lolly now. Not feel feel - I want to eat one, I mean.

Make that a raspberry one.

I had white wine last night. A whole bottle of it. I'm still bragging about it.

It kills me to say this: I may be getting bored of pasta now. Had too much of it, simply!

I haven't had a Chicken a la Kiev in ages!

Delhi makes me simper. Thoughts of Delhi do.

I don't like red too much, but yes, crimson I do. A very sexy colour. Picture billowing cape in a dark, grey sky.

Ditto for dark blue. I hate electric blue, though.

I may be hungry for intimacy. I may drive away intimacy by being too hungry for it.

Death by chocolate, or Chocolate Bomb? Would love to die either way.

Make up your mind, make up, make up, make up.

Sometimes, I don't make sense. Actually, that happens a lot of times.

Mirror Mirror #25: I adore being a paradox. Or would love people to think I am.

Thursday, April 07, 2005
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My favourite Archies song? But of course, Sugar Sugar!

The dust flies thick, and it flies fast. There are decisions that I am loath to take, and for no other stupid reason, than it disturbs my 'scheme of things'. Somehow, the idea that flexibility is essential in my line, the need to roll with the flow, has been eroded in my life once again, and I blame it all on the last 11 months. I'm talking in riddles, because I'm ranting. Not because of any great confidentiality scare, but rather, because, yes - I'm ranting.

It feels good to rant.

That reminds me of an Archies comic I'd read many moons ago, about Veronica and Reggie telling Archie and Betty that they should give in to their rage more often and shout about a lot, because it's beneficial to let off steam when you're stressed. That's when Ms Grundy passes by, and she says, V and R simply echo what many learned psychiatrists advise - the rest advise growing up!

So does that mean I still need to grow up? Well, whoever disputed that!!!


And yes, by popular demand, Mirror Mirror is back. Before you start making accusations that I'm just a drama queen who simply wanted a huge outpouring of etc etc before I return it, I have a rejoinder: it comes with a clause - namely, that I will give into my lazy and bored self and post it only on such occassions as I'm not bored, - so hopefully, that will lessen the scope of further boredom.

Or whatever.

Mirror Mirror #24: I have always loved reading Archie comics, though I haven't read one for ages now! Contrary to what most people say/think about comics, Archies helped a lot with my vocabulary: giving me words like procrastinate (so relevant!) and smorgasbord, and many others that I can't recall now. Yes, Sabrina was cute too, but her boyfriend Harvey was a dolt and I really would love to turn him into a toad.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005
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Nobody could ever kill the Radio Star...

I come to work, as often as I can, with my walkman tucked in my jeans, and a self-satisfied grin on my face. Admittedly, it makes for some deft handling of my bag straps, maneuvering in the cab with sunglasses, walkman chord and gym bag all in tow, but I manage, somehow. Admittedly, I get curious stares from the neighbourhood kids when I walk past them, but hell, I think it's worth it. I enter my office to the strains of Thoya Thoya, and that inevitably means I'm in a good mood.

Good Morning Mumbai is an integral part of my workday, and not even my editor's sardonic stare can make me part with it. I love the idiotic banter, the idiotic guests on their games who muddle up easy freebies, and the great songs. I love jiving to Rabba Rabba from Monsoon Wedding, while I type in an article about Jubilant Organosys taking over a US company. I love looking at the TV next to me, a boring CNBC-TV18 broadcast, while Sunidhi Chauhan croons ever so seductively in my ears. It brings a smile to my face. My colleagues are happy - I don't bust their balls with my dumb jokes as long as Good Morning Mumbai holds me in thrall.

Yesterday afternoon, they were playing The Beatles, and that was simply mind-blowing. And then, my favourite diva-song, Superstar by Jemilia. Eclectic mix, and yes, I was dancing in my seat. I need to find a disc, I need to get a permanent memership there, but hell, I need to do a lot of things, many of which I am too lazy or too broke for. And last night, there was this John Lennon Special on Nightlife with Glenn: amazing stuff, and the only thing more amazing is to know that the Special will continue throughout the week.

They're playing One Love by Blue right now, and while doing the classic hip hop moves with my ears, head, shoulders and torso, I'm wondering whether I should take the walkman with me when I go reporting awhile later...

I'm sorely tempted.

Sunday, April 03, 2005
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'The Fosters' three-pack, please...'

I went to Mondy's yesterday in a little flat-mates' bonding session that spilled over from coursing through second-hand books on the pavements at Fort. Dinner was supposed to follow at Bade Miyaan's, but due to excessive human traffic, we decided on Baghdadi next door. Though I was keen on Polly Esther after that, my flatmate had no interest in being gay with me. ;-)

But Mondy's was a great experience. And I understand why so many of my friends go gaga over the place. I thought I was a Toto's freak earlier, but now, things seem to have changed. But that stupid jukebox needs to be modernised for people below 25 to operate it!

My favourite characters from the Gateway mural on Mondy's wall:

1. The Ringmaster, who reminds me so much of myself.
2. The Brit tourist with his horrible red flowery shirt.
3. The chick with the big boobs jutting out of her polka-dotted dress, and the glass of bubbly in her hand.
4. The dude looking through his binoculars, and with a weird looking little cap on his hand that looked either French or Parsi.
5. The brash American right out front, with his Texan sombrero.

A bonus was the Parsi family (little man, big and fat wife, cheeky daughter, smiling son being blown away by his balloons) riding the tonga on an adjacent wall.


I've also written a new story, after a comparatively long while, and it's posted on Gabbles. It's called Brutality, and it's all about the brutal aspect of wanting to be in love, of searching something 'different' out, from the rabble. (I'm sorry, I'm not much of a happy-love-story kind of a guy, am I?) Anyhow, here's the usual teaser for you to go fish:

Somehow, in these places, a drink was never a drink. She had tried to explain that to the people who knew her, but wasn't sure she had succeeded. There was an idea they had about her, that she was born to such exotica and it suited her, and she could never really make them see the truth. You could never really do anything to change perceptions, she thought sipping the blackcurrant flavoured vodka and letting the organs strain out the last bit of soul in her. It was an exercise in heaven, she would tell herself, but even that didn't exactly hold water when he came over to her from the opposite side of the bar.

Saturday, April 02, 2005
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C U Hopefully Never Again!!!

I saw the most godawful movie tonight. It's called CU@9, and I would provide a link to a review if I could, but it seems the damn thing only released today and there's no review available. So, after exhausting God Google all I have is this link to this piece that Mid-Day did last year on the 'actor' of the movie ('I saw a Vision of Mother Mary!'). And, if you don't really have the enthusiasm to read an ode to Muscular Model-turned-'Actor' (who it was hoped could actually act), here are the few lines that refer to the movie from a sort of list of movie bizz happenings on Yahoo India:

TIME PLEASE! Shweta and Isaiah in C U at 9 - Now what could this be? Two dying souls giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to each other? A couple quizzing each other on what they've had for dinner hence a common breath analyser test? A duet being sung so close to each other that it reaches the innards of the respective bodies?
Okay, we give up. The film is called CU at 9. If anybody's ever interested, they can see the movie and find out. That is, if anybody's interested.

:-) Let me put things into perspective, so that you will (hopefully) never be interested:

1. Isaiah, the 'actor', tries to do a John Abraham (they used to call it 'a Salman Khan' in prehistory) without his shirt all the time.
2. He speaks like a retard returned from Timbuktoo.
3. The 'actress', Shweta, looks like from Bram Stoker's worst nightmare, in both her avatars: the goody-goody and the vamp (pun intended).
4. The 'actress no. 2', Aakanksha, is a snivelling piece of tissue paper who should have been tossed out with the garbage a long time ago. The only reason she's still there is because Isaiah needs her when he's horny and he mouths dreary come-on lines, and Vampire Gal is not available to seduce him.
5. Vampire Gal, aka Shweta, does a great porno film touchy-feely number that left me and my bro quite awkward around each other. (My bro is old-fashioned, yes.) She has the most grandmotherly bra ever!

The movie has some great visuals, though. It looks like a music director tried to make it, and he botched up on every damn thing, except perhaps some of the interesting angles. It looks like an Art Film gone horribly, horribly wrong - the worst stereotype that Indies could ever hope to have!

The plot goes like this: horny ad film director meets this chick who calls him and wants to meet at (jackpot!) 9 pm: so they do, and they fuck like rabbits, but then things get complicated when he meets her alter-ego twin sister and screws her too. Actress no 2 is the on-again, off-again fuck for horny ad film director, in the background.

I walked out even before the interval, but am pretty sure that this is what happens in the end: Vampire Gal is a demented schizo with two egos, no twins - she's after director's blood - the end will probably have not-so-sati-savitri Actress no 2 save horny film maker from Vampire Gal's clutches.

Ta-da! End of movie. Paisa vasool?

Not bloody likely! The damn seats at Regal gave me a back-ache!

Friday, April 01, 2005
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Shiny Disco Balls

I need to party. I need to wrap my hands around a tall glass of blackberry flavoured vodka and take a deep draught, inhale the sultry fragrance of Wild Rain seeping through my consciousness.

O heck, I had jaundice. I'm off booze for three months, maybe six.

But that means, I need to party harder. And I'm pretty sure I could do that. I could close my eyes and jive to the beat. It could be anything. Remotely sexy, remotely strong, intensely passionate, intensely uber... I could run my hands over a cold wet bartop, and drum my fingers to the beat I hear between my ears. I could lick my lips as I spy the gorgeous creature across the room, and flash a grin in that direction. There's a message I'm sending, and I'm wondering if there's anyone there on the receiving end.

I need to hop along to a different kind of music and wonder if I can really hear it. I need to play the convincing ringmaster to the hilt, and drive along some animals with me. Yes, I need the whip - as much for me, as for the animals in my carnival. I'm insecure, lovely, tiresome, giggly, fluttering, insane, warped, cracked, sexy, carnivorous, thirsty like hell.

Jaundice hasn't changed that.

Mirror Mirror #23: I'm quite bored with Mirror Mirror, as is evident, I think, from the lack of posts in this segment over the recent posts. This is likely to be the last post in this space - an admission of boredom.