Monday, August 28, 2006
An Elephant Walk
Walking back home from the station, and I happen to live in a Maharashtrian dominated neighbourhood. That's why Ganpati is such a big deal here. The train was deserted, thankfully, it being past 11 pm, but as soon as I came out of the station, the lane was swathed in lights. There was a pandal with its lights just a couple of paces away, but I decided to turn away and head home. No sooner than I do so, though, did a small mound of a pandal rear up in front of me, relatively dark, and that's why I suppose I missed it at first glance. I peek into the dark pandal - a large Ganpati sat in repose, without illumination, just a hint of a red glow from one of the neon shop-signboards from across the street. Beautiful, I sighed, and then left.
Mumbaikars love the fairy lights that hang like tiny golden flowers from overhead for their decorations. The lane which leads to my house was draped completely by these tiny blinking flowers, top, right and left, and I couldn't hep but smile. Beautifully delicate. There was another chhotu lane here leading into the alcove where Ganpati sat in all his splendour - this time, completely lit up, a golden halo all over the pink pot belly, but I gew lazy, and decided not to venture in, and so continued on straight. I'm the perfect lazy disciple for the perfect lazy god. ;-)
I just went over to last year's Ganpati post, and there I'm cribbing about how strange Ganpati feels in comparison to Calcutta's Durga Puja... and look at me now. Now it's quite obvious that the two are different. That the two have their separate charms. Now I'm eager to see Lalbaug ka Raja in a way I never was last year, even though, I was much closer to the place then. Life is an open arc, screw the full circle!
But some things don't change after all: nostalgia, being one of them. While leaving my golden Ganpati pandal and walking on towards my building, I passed this group of poor-looking sods by the roadside talking loudly in Bengali. And I smiled: You'll always find us everywhere! I briefly flirted with the idea of going over there and asking, dada, durga pujo kobe, jaanen? (brother, do you know when Durga Puja is?), but I didn't. I'm still not that liberated. So I walked on, feeling happy for no apparent reason, walking away from the fairy lights, and quite determined to visit Lalbaug Ka Raja before the night is out.
Ganpati Aalaa Re!
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Sitting at home and listening to 107.1 FM, Aakashbani - they play English songs at night, the only FM radio station nowadays that plays it, since GO 92.5 FM turned into its crass avatar Radio One (hit pe hit pe hit pe hit - feel like SMACKING them hard!). Nice songs, actually, but the RJ 's completely incompetent. Sounds like she's reading from a second standard children's text book in class.
She probably is.
OK, so here's the bomb: I liked KANK. I cried. I'm a moron, I admit. I can't help it. Karan Johar always makes movies that excite my tear ducts, and before you know it, you have all these copious tears running down my face. *sigh* And while everyone in the world cried themselves hoarse saying that the movie didn't make sense, that there was absolutely no frikkin' reason why SRK and Rani would leave their respective perfect spouses, I beg to disagree.
I understand why they did it. I may not like the characters, but I empathise. I mean, the first ten minutes of the movie, I totally hated SRK's character - he's just mean and crabby and takes it all out on his kid - o, wait a sec, I don't like kids either, and besides, SRK's kid in the movie is a complete retard from some farflung galaxy that should have remained undiscovered - and Preity is just so completely fuck-all as the Power Babe. Aaaa, but then, even if I didn't like his character in the movie, I realised that that's what he's supposed to be. That's what both of them are supposed to be - lost, sad, distant, incomplete with their spouses - and somehow, fulfilled, with each other. That's what KANK is supposed to be about.
And what the fu** makes them complete, I hear the cynics mutter. Well, to put it simply: Passion. I hear people say all the time, "There's no reason for her to leave Abhishek - he's perfect!", but then, haven't you ever done that? Haven't you ever left someone because you just didn't feel the... zing in it? The so-called X-factor? Or don't so-called adults, reeking of Maturity, do that? I know I have. I know I've agonised over it. Wondered why on earth I had to leave so-and-so when it was going so... stable... and then I realsied that Stable just isn't good enough. I wanted the BAM. Isn't it permissable to look for the BAM in your love anymore?
The only thing I felt was weird, was how both SRK and Rani tell their spouses about the affair - but then, add that they're willing to work for the marriage now! I mean: WHY??? They've already tried so hard to work on the marriage - recall the face-gloop and the S&M episodes - so WTF were they thinking of, when they added that little caveat in their confession?!
Johar slipped up on this one. Methinks, some silly concession to Weeny Li'l Indian Family Values.
All said and done, I lurrrrrrrved the part where Preity slaps SRK when he comes clean to her.
And while on KANK, this is hilarious. Nutty, sad, strange and hilarious!!!!
Sunday, August 20, 2006
I'm a foodie who likes to experiment with food. The funny thing is, I'm mostly surrounded by people who're not. So the other day, while calling over some people for my birthday bash, I served up some raspberry flavoured grape spritzer to go with the vodka, which inevitably drew comments like 'why raspberry flavoured, if it's grape spritzer???', and I just found it too hard to explain that the concoction smelled of raspberry but tasted of grape, and how there were many other important reasons behind the existance of the drink, besides. Guppie wrinkled his nose in distaste, and handed his share of the spritzer-vodka mixture to Aristera, who actually liked it. But then, Aristera served vodka with hibiscus extract juice at his birthday soiree some months back, so that wasn't a great surprise.
Other experimentations I tried out at my li'l party:
- Bought vanilla ice cream, melted the whole thing; cut Goan bibinca into tiny pieces; bought chocolate eclair toffees; mixed the bibinca pieces, eclairs and ice cream together; refroze the concoction and served chilled. I loved the result immensely - the bibinca was yummy with the ice cream, and the eclairs had frozen into hard and gooey pieces, and the whole mixture had this yummy caramelly flavour from the eclairs!
- For starters, apart from the usual chips, also ordered Malwani vade (local bread, like small North Indian kachoris) from the local sea food joint, and served them with Thai Spicy Rrd Chilli dip. Tangy like hell.
This afternoon, I had a conversation with my boss, where I admitted that I liked to try different types of food and play around with it, while he said he was a staunch conservative
Livinghigh: "Boss, you bring cold coleslaw and carrots for lunch everyday from work but inevitably order in food when we do so. What's the use then?"
Boss, chomping into his chola-bhatura: *something unintelligable*
Livinghigh, chirpily eating uttapam: "So, hey, what kinda food do ya like? Do you like mixing and matching stuff?"
Boss, alarmed at what kind of a freak he's hired: "Umm... no. I stick to the tried and tested. Don't have the constitution for that stuff."
Livinghigh, mixing sambhar and chutney together: "You ever tried sushi?"
Boss, turning green: "Do you mind? I;m trying to eat here!"
Of course, I'm not a great proponent of sushi either, but then I like to jerk people's chains now and then a bit. Like when I suggested to my flatmate that if she's fed up of the Bengali dabba she gets everynight, she could opt for a Maharashtrian or Gujarati one. To which, my staid ole flattie gets all nostalgic and says: "Nooooo.. I hate Marathi or Gujju veg food! I only love my veggies Bong style. And only potatoes and lady's fingers please, for me!"
But then, there's hope for her yet. Just when I thought that she will live forever on her diet of potatoes and lady's finger (cooked Bong-style) till the day she dies, she surprises me by smearing pineapple jelly on some of the left-over Malwani vades from my bday bash, and proceeding to chomp on it.
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Blogs Don't Lie ;-)
Birthdays always have me feeling like a kid, despite the dire predictions from friends that I'm aging. ;-) Birthdays have me jumping around the place, seeing that the flat is clean, that the booze is bought, that the dishes are done, that the music laylist is ready, that the food is delivered, and that I look gorgeous. What's not to love about birthdays?!
Simplistic and materialistic way of looking at things, I'm sure, but that doesn't bother me. Am sitting at home now, listening to the great CDs that I got as birthday loot, and I feel happy. Lunch was a grand affair, starting with the grilled platter and ending with the biscuit pudding. There was a proposal to have dinner out, but I'm just feeling so completely lazy that I turned it down. Home and my computer and my music.
Perhaps I need to switch on Shakira now, just to wake me up. ;-)
Like what I've done with Gabbles. The new layout is nice. Now, all I need to do is write new stories for it! ;-)
Saturday, August 12, 2006
The birthday's coming up fast next week, and someone made a silly remark about it being "one more year closer". 25 years old, and yet you only feel that way at times. At times, I feel as if I've just moved out of my parents' home in Calcutta. Then, other times, when I'm this great 'senior executive' at work, I feel like a relic. When you don't get the sexual attention you expect you would, that's also another time when you feel like a relic. But by and large, you really don't have any of that. At least, I don't.
I replied, to my friend, "Well, I've already had my quarter life crisis. And realised one important thing: that all those quarter-life, quarter-and-X-decimal-point-life crises keep on coming."
They just don't stop. Thankfully, neither do you.
Got a lot of things planned this year, and I'm just hoping that they work out, in succession. The first seems to have worked out so far - my new job. Something which I enjoy doing, despite the occassional heartburn and all-too-real stress. Am going on a work trip to Rajasthan soon, and I'm looking forward to that. The other two are my exams - the GRE and the CAT. Down memory lane again, I said to my flatmate the other day, showing her the CAT bulletin. She understands; she's been there, done that. Whereas me, I've been there, not done that.
But I'm not going to make lists of to-do things. Somehow, I'm beyond that. I don't have the patience anymore. That could be both good and bad. Right now, I'm perched happily on the fence.
White picket fences, naturally. ;-)
Monday, August 07, 2006
My phone, unfortunately, is not God. Its silver finish is peeling off, it's getting a bit cantankerous these days and hanging a bit too at times, so it's definitely not omnipotent. And it's memory is no great shakes, either. Which is why, after a strange exercise three months ago, of storing some special sms' in blog-form so that I could free up some operational space on my cell, I find myself doing the same again.
I think of them as fragile footsteps in the sand, in the journey we've taken by the ocean? Corny? Terribly so. But then, I'm made that way. I come in no other version. ;-)
13 May, 9.43 pm: Yum mua
25 May, 6.36 pm: Just got the messages. lv u
28 May, 12.24 am: I luv u
30 May, 12.08 am: Aww i luv u
1 Jun, 8.44 pm: Luv u mua
2 Jun, 2.49 am: Luv u
3 Jun, 12.17 am: Mua
4 Jun, 6.26 pm: Hi figurd thts why i couldnt get thru miss u
6 Jun, 6.09 pm: Tried callin on my way 2 work will call tomo mornin now luv u
7 Jun, 8.59 am: Ya tried im so sleepy now have a very early mornin, i will call on my way 2 work. luv u. couldnt email. its been a long day nite!
12 Jun, 6.18 pm: Love u. tried callin. no answer. miss u
23 Jun, 12.35 am: U r my shinin star
25 Jun, 10.00 pm: Luv u. ur talkin 2 much is the essence of my life. ur bubbly voice energizes me
29 Jun, 9.29 am: Happy anniversary luv
30 Jun, 7.56 p,: Luv u
3 Jul, 5.44 pm: Aww. hope u r ok. luv u
4 Jul, 6.23 pm: Luv u. have emailed.
6 Jul, 6.14 pm: Luv u 2
13 Jul, 5.42 pm: I luv u loads. u bring energy 2 my life
13 Jul, 9.48 pm: Thinkin about u
15 Jul, 9.45 pm: I luv u
22 Jul, 1.12 am: In another meetin. tired. luv u
23 Jul, 5.40 pm: Luv u 2
7 Aug, 11.10 pm: Luv u
It's ok to be maudlin. Especially, when you're in a long distance relationship. Especially when you wish things could have been easier, but honestly would rather have it any with Love, rather than no way at all.
Does that make sense?
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Out and About
I've spent a week out of town, touring the hinterlands of Andhra Pradesh. Most of the people I told about my trip couldn't understand why I was so excited about it, since I wouldn't even stay over at Hyderabad. I was excited because I would get out of Bombay. A holiday-not-really-holiday, since it was a working tour, but it would be nice, anyhow. There would be banal clients with me, who I would have to babysit and pander to, but what-the-hell, there would be the ocean at Vizag.
And it was amazing. Not the 5 am wake-up calls, or the three-hour long drives. But the stay. The wide expanse of ocean. The pillows all over my bed. The excitement of being waited on, hand and foot. The pampering. The late night dinners reading a book and munching on Thai starters.
The chocolate ice cream.
I was supposed to sit and write a short story tonight. Something not complete in my mind. Just the threads. The meat I would fill in later. Just the feeling of the protagonist in my head. Sitting and waiting. With ice-cold eyes. And a terribly warm, molten heart. Perhaps, it would be terrible to be born like that: pale and unloving to the outside, but if only people knew how fragile you were on the inside, how much you wanted to give and love... Perhaps it would be a curse. I'm not optimistic enough to think that it would be a boon.
Does drifting out of love feel lethargic? Is that what my protagonist should do?
Or should my optimism prevail, and realisation dawn? Effort is what is needed. Does my protagonist with the ice-cold eyes and the molten heart have Effort?