Livinghigh: January 2007
Sunday, January 28, 2007
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Going By The Book

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The Strand Book Fair wins hands down over other book festivals, whenever it comes to town. The good part for me is, the store is bang next to my office, so even when the sale is not on, I can just walk over and get all the best books Strand can offer at their mandatory 20% discount. When the Traveller was in town earlier, he wanted some weird book on Nirvana-or-whatever and couldn't find a copy anywhere in Bombay, predictably enough - till he hit upon the only copy for sale in the city at the Strand. :)

Anyway, so I hit the fair this evening with Vahed, and picked up four books, three for myself and one for a friend. And yes, even though the prices are REALLY marked down, I'm officially broke again (in proportion to my mingy salary), but I'm justifying the expense as a once-in-a-year thingy. :)

So now I'm the proud owner of:
And I picked up a Virginia Woolf for the friend. I completely adore her style.

Thursday, January 25, 2007
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Year of the Pig (OINK!!!)

While in Delhi, Sharon and I pored over Elle magazine to decipher our fortunes in the new year. Predictably, it said I didn't realy have stable love in sight, but it did mention that my career graph looks set to zoom. There was stuff about new challenges - 'nothing that you cannot handle, though' - and great accolades, and post-September, a 'free soaring', which I hope means that I get the scholarship I've applied for. But it's still January; September is many many months away, and I'm handling all those 'new challenges' that I've supposedly handled before.

1. Badgering Clients.
2. Results season.
3. Spoilt bratty journalists.
4. Bosses who expect you to be superhuman.
5. Intermittent flirtations with melancholy regarding singlehood.
6. O, and did I mention Badgering Clients. Bold and Underline that, please.

But in a way, the forecast (if it can be called that) was right. It's not something I haven't been through before. Thankfully, I don't have inertia holding me back, and thankfully I'm geared up to treat Q3 more aggressively than I did earlier. So I don't get all excited, and I stroll in after an extended 2 hour long lunch break (ok, I agree that's a bit much!) to glide over to the telecon chair for a conference call. And the most important part is strategy: I'm glad I'm able to strategize much faster and better this time around. More independently.


Last night, I hit The Ghetto after ages. The first time I'd been there was during the CNBC years, with Mallu and the gang from office, and after that so many times with Sharon. The great big drawing of Jim Morrison is still there, as green as ever in the garbled light, even though some of the other drawings have changed. And the atmosphere still remains as college-world as ever. So I glugged beer (two pints) and conversed about the similarities between Hinduism and Ancient Greek religion, and no, it wasn't all that farty as it seems. :) This is The Ghetto - farty is not allowed.

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Monday, January 22, 2007
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Back From Delhi

So it took me more than a week to finally upload all the snaps from my Delhi-Agra trip, but they're finally online at Pixelated. An exercise of labelling, photoshopping, blogging and uploading, and finally relabelling and rechecking. Whew.

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And I thought, getting a digicam was easy work.


On Sunday, instead of hitting Zenzi for some salsa practice, I joined a friend for a Western Classical Music concert at the NCPA. Involved a stocky Polish pianist and a gorgeous French singer (mezzo-something). And even though I really didn't get a word of what she sang - French, you see - I could (for the most part) get the thrust of the song, cuz the singer was so completely involved with the crowd.

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With each of her songs, she adopted a new persona and played with the crowd - playing up the hurt or the anger or the love or the flirting or the sorrow or whatever emotion was dominant in the song. The best was the last song, their encore, in which she enacted this funny (I take it) song about being high and tipsy. Ridiculously funny.

Saturday, January 13, 2007
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Saddi Dilli

The hiatus in blogging is due to my Delhi trip. The trip is about to get over, though, and I hit Bombay late tomorrow night, godwilling fog doesn't play the spoilsport. Have had loads of fun, and will post about that shortly. Had three days exploring Old Delhi and Agra with a friend, and even though he wasn't very impressed with the Taj, I was.

Immensely so.

So, while Stephen groaned and moaned about how the Taj was overhyped, and yes, the smell of feet in the inner sanctum was a deterrent, I kinda... fused with the place. I felt all weird and mushy-gooey... and it was really great. I told him later: maybe I needed him to rant on and on about the place as much as he did, because it allowed me to breathe in its intensity. It wasn't all about Shah Jahan and his 'n'th queen... it was so much more important. The idea that through the centuries, so many lovers have wandered under the arches holding hands... can all that love ever be anything but beautiful? :) I jokingly call the Taj the world's greatest Erection for Love, and sometimes that may seem cynical.. but it doesn't have to be.

And it's about the way we are. I realised something that day, as I told Stephen - I'm madly in love with my country. There we were, on the platform of the Taj, the monument was looking splendid by the light of the setting sun, and from somewhere across the river there wafted in this beautiful tune being played on some primitive stringed instrument... it took me a while to realise that the tune was from a recent Hindi film song, and that was just so amusing that I started laughing. Stephen was surprised, but I couldn't find the right words to explain why I found it all so amazing. The then and the now, the building and the rebuilding.

More on Delhi and Agra, and loads of pictures to upload... will come soon.