Livinghigh: June 2006
It doesn't take hydrogen gas. Or riding a shuttle.
Or snorting on the whitest, finest powder this side of La-la-land.
(It might take an extra spoonful of sugar, but maybe that's just me.)
Say hello, shutterbug
Fiction, I write
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Once Upon A Time
Friday, June 30, 2006
My bout of joblessness ends this week. Come Monday, I'll be walking briskly into another office, dressed in stifling formals, on the dot at nine a.m, and hoping to leave work by seven p.m. The grasshopper has had his fun, and now it's time for the ant to kick back in. I hate being a schizo.
But this time has been great. Had the major upset with having to postpone my GRE-TOEFL sked, but I got the chance to catch up with some close pals. Had an impromptu party with Scribbleamus and The Scribe earlier this week, some delicious red wine over old pictures, topped up with seafood at a chhottu Dadar restaurant.
The trend of catching up with old friends continued, with an extended sms conversation with Gyaaneshwar who seems to have fallen off the face of the earth. Had loads to talk about, mutual insecurities and hopes, job prospects and no prospects at all in some areas. Aaa, it wasn't really all that negative as I make it sound. Nor all that braniac. Just some chilling, and I remembered that time he and I went over to Pizzeria on a Saturday afternoon, got wasted on pizza and chilled beer, and then bought books from the pavements at Fort.
He hates Bombay, hates the poor life he had to live here, and he doesn't want to come back here. Anywhere but Bombay, he said, and I don't blame him. I remember all of that. I remember the Maggi noodles in lukewarm water and no stove, the tiny loo smaller than what you find in an airplane, the tiny bedroom that had no inch of space left beyond the not-so-big bed two people had to share, the forced train rides back home in the dead of night after so much revelry when walking was the last thing anyone could do, and most of all, the terribly long hours at work. Bombay makes worker bees of you, and Gyaaneshwar can't come back to that life. Even though his life would probably be much better now if he did return, than those early months, the memory of those days holds him back.
And there were those other meetings, movies, impromptu lunches with other friends. Coffees by the seafront. Rushing in the train with the rain lashing outside. Standing at the window, in my home, watching the sky turn golden, and the water rush down faster than that silly overcrowded train could ever rush forward. Got my laptop finally fixed, after ages of fretting over it.
So I'm soaking up this Friday night, late 11.30 p.m., and even though I'm sitting at home typing, and not partying the night away, I'm not fretting too much. Dancing to a catchy song sometimes, that plays on the radio. The mirror is a great companion for that.
O, and yes, I've written a new story. Mellow one, about love and romance. Enter The Dancer in Paradise. One of the happiest things I've ever written, the most hopeful. And the customary excerpt:
"It's not more," chimes in friend no 2. "They come and they go. Non resident idiots are fun to screw. Screw him and get over it. Nothing more. Don't screw yourself like this now."
Reason shines through, and fights with the heartstrings. But... "He dances divinely."
"He'll dance right out of your life," comes the reply, fast as lightning, I'm not sure from which one.
Sunday, June 25, 2006
Was sitting with someone I'd met lately at JATC and that's when I bump into someone I used to know well a long time back. So we chatted up, exchanged notes about what who is doing, where he's doing it at, who with, and yadayadayada to boot. It was fun, I suppose, but I felt as I was playing a part. The highly social person part, not something I'm completely at ease with. I'd told the Love once, how we're so completely different in that way: put the Love in a roomfull of strangers and within 30 minutes they'll all become good buddies, but I'm in my best element dealing with small groups, twos and threes. So here I was, chatting with this old friend, flashing my pearly whites and talking about mutual friends and acquaintances and wishing that he would soon go away. Not that I hate him or anything - just felt stranging, putting on this silly act.
Tired of acting, after awhile.
So, today, while driving back from lunch, brother darling answers a phone call from someone at his office, and when this chap aplogises for calling on a Sunday, bro answers magnanimously "No issues!" - only to mutter "Jackass!" after the phone is switched off. I grinned and accused him of being a hypocrite then, and a game of Tickles ensues in the car. Hypocrite, eh? And hey look, who's poised to enter the sexy world of PR now! ;-) Sometimes, I wonder whether I think at all before I open my big mouth wide. Tasting my own foot has almost become a habit these days.
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Quitting my job today...
Going about, tying loose ends here and there. Is it my imagination, or are the people I work(ed) with going ahead, without involving me at all...? Have not done anything at all since I arrived today. Nothing on the desk or otherwise. Boss was going to send me for a stake-out, but I opted out, saying I came in for the day only to quit. Hate to sound/seem unprofessional, but waiting under the hot sun - ok, fine, clouds right now, but in Mumbai, that's even scarier than the sun! - is not my idea of a nice way to spend my last day.
No use denying I'm going to miss this place. For all the ahem, ahem, complications... I had a blast. Got some good experience. And I can't deny it. Everyone was a bit surprised when my resignation letter was so nicely received - perhaps, none so more than I! ;-) Maybe that means they think they're better off without me! *guffaws*
Was reading my GRE and TOEFL prep stuff yesterday, and needed to leaf through a dictionary, so I took out the small one I'd picked up in Chennai. Two years back, in Chennai, a July evening, and I walked over to the corner store and picked it up: scribbled on the front cover: To myself... a New Journey... no floundering allowed! How naive I must have been to think that you stop floundering after you've taken a decision. You keep changing your mind all the time. You keep changing your life - and though it's not so frequent, it can be quite diametric. I've told myself that this is not necessarily a final goodbye to journalism, but then, I'd be lying if I said that I felt a lot of zeal in what I said.
It's just another drift.
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
I've been writing. Or rather, I did some writing last week while we were at Saputara, and I've posted them on cyberspace now. This is just some cross-posting publicity here! ;-) Some little part where I get to act the great big author and write what I thought about while making those stories.
Number One is this piece called The Fairy Catcher, which is there at Caferati, seen through the eyes of the protagonist and a secondary character, the obligatory and anonymous friend. The story of a man who loves and loves and loves and loves, and makes no apologies about it. How mired in reality is it? Aaa, well, that would be kissing and telling, wouldn't it? But I would be lying if I didn't say there's a part of me in this silly protagonist who falls in love with fairies, and never tries to hold onto them when they flit away from his grasp. And then, perhaps, I've reversed my fairy-luck of late, and found love? O, yes, I've found Love. *grin*
And so, here is the obligatory excerpt:
The fairy is sitting astride me now. Looking at me with cat eyes in the dark. The lake is a short distance away. The grass is scratching my back and bum, and I'm vaguely aware of the discomfort, but they don't really compare to the anticipation of this - the fairy sitting astride me.
"You'll destroy me," I tell it, but the fairy never cares. Never does. Fairies are cruel creatures.
"I'm not cruel. No more, no less, than you are. I flit. I float. I sit. I ride," and the damn thing grins. I fall in love with the damn apparition when I see the grin. The most beautiful thing in the world. Ethereal.
Number Two is a touch of idiotic dialogue I had great fun in concocting up: Giving The Boot. That's why I didn't presesnt it to the Noble Minds at Caferati - it was so silly, writing this down, so much throwing arrows in the dark, a weird bantering with four imaginary friends. But perhaps I will submit it to Caferati at a later stage. What spun this whole tale? Quite simply, a song that was playing on my laptop at the moment, and I thought a silly adolescent discussion should and must take place on this. Does the narrative actually go anywhere? Well, that could be anyone's guess, really. If you were to be highbrowed, you could say that it's a discussion on sexual rights and sexual interpretations... or maybe something like a study on youth or some such drivel. ;-) Or , you could call it, quite simply, Drivel. ;-)
Appy, mutters to herself: "I like S&M. I like kinky."
Part of me is listening to what Appy said, and feels happy cuz she's really hot and sexy, but the other part of me is distracted by Sid the Fag’s sudden outburst: "Straight men are morons! They run after chicks canoodling themselves and can't stand it if gay men do it! Double standards! EFFing double standards!"
Thursday, June 08, 2006
1. The word snatch is slang for the female vulva. Remember coming across it the first time in a Hadley-Chase novel. Yes, I used to read that stuff ocne upon a time.
2. Computers are fickle creatures. But some of my friends are worse. There's a friend who turned all slutty one day, then decidedly polished, and then finally, completely chaste with the evil intentions still simmering underneath the surface in case a younger person comes ambling along. And then there's the other friend who used to be gung-ho on design, but is now embarking on a job of sales, but secretly wants to go in for PR.
3. I read the newspapers for sleaze these days. Rahul Mahajan is interesting to read about. The President going WHEEEE!!! on a Sukhoi is fun. Ronaldinho's girl friend posing in teeny weeny swimsuits for the World Cup is cute. The Ambanis can go jump in the pool, for all I care.
4. Too many files and papers around me. Applying to US colleges is a horrible chore that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. And yet, for the sake of Love, here I am.
5. I love seeing myself on TV. I'm an egoitic prick. But hey, I'm also a lazy one. So I hate the idea of rushing out to do a package at 4 pm, which is supposed to run between 6-7 pm, and rush from one department in the office to another, getting this cut and that done... Watching the final product on air is satisfying, yes, but WTF happens to my shooting blood pressure?!
6. I'm a greedy glut. I love fine eating and fine dining. I also love going to these cheesy little joints when I'm in the mood and gulping down something that you would not find anywhere else. Like paranthas at Delhi's Chandni Chawk. Or faloodas at Mumbai's Crawford Market. Or Honey Chicken at Calcutta's Krystal Chopsticks. Or chocolate mousse at Chennai's Sweet Chariots. Love calls me motya.
7. I've never used a fire extinguisher. I would like to, some day. At no personal risk, however. Always be careful what you wish for.
8. I'm actually a sex maniac. Not many people see me that way. Not many, except the people I sleep with. I'm grinning now, wondering what this flamboyant little nugget is doing here, tucked away as no. 8 in this otherwise silly post. Freudian slip? But then, I'm hardly that stupid.
9. I haven't written stories in ages. But then, the other day, I sat at home with my laptop and punched out a couple of what you could call short stories. I would call them 'dialogue' instead. I prefer dialogue to life. A story seems dry without it. Dialogue can also be impersonal, without quotes. I prefer stuff like that. People can be sucked into following a dialogue, that's because everybody is a voyeur. But then, if that dialogue doesn't lead anywhere, people tend to be more disappointed than they would have, in a story without the dialogue trail.
10. I decided to write only ten snatches here. My mind is mad. But wait, that could only be my humongous ego telling myself that I'm mad. M-A-D.
Thursday, June 01, 2006
Have a bomb to burst. Much worse than popping the question. To be honest, I never had to pop the question - except once. Always had the question popped at me. ;-)
So with the bomb ready to burst, I'm just wondering when to do it. And then run for cover. Have called friends all day, looking for cues. Experience counts, or so they say. They don't know very much though. You never know quite how to do it, till you walk in and open your mouth. Hopefully, I won't put my foot in it. Expecting a storm, of course. Wind and fury. Shock and awe. That's called Strategy.
I'm very vague these days in this blog, I realise. Except when I battle and argue on the reservations issue. And then, someone tells me that the tone of the blog is more aggressive. What a tightrope I walk - vague and airy-fairy, to aggressively militant.
(Five cups of coffee so far.)