Be Blunt?

So that NaBloPoMo lasted exactly three days.. shortest month ever? 😀 But well, in my defence (which I don’t think I need to offer considering nobody asked), that tends to happen when your weekend has been busier than the week. For perspective, do know it includes one husband down with the sniffles, one person determined to spring clean like she’s on acid, and hosting 9 people for dinner at home. 

Well well, now that I have some time to myself – it being a workday and all – there’s something that’s on my mind today that I need to share.

 One thing I can never pride myself on is my temper or my control over it. I’m told I was a quiet, calm child but evolved into this monster ready to bite people’s heads off some time around teenage. And may I add I can’t quite counter that fact convincingly, for it is 100% true. But the eerie part is this: of late, I just don’t get angry. I get disappointed. You know what I mean? Running out of steam and letting the shit pile up.. letting go.. and feeling like not bothering. Sometimes, it seems like the nicer, grown-up thing to do.. at others, it’s like sitting on a bomb where you’re waiting for things to get unbearable enough. Why is this happening? I have a theory that being verbally angry takes the negativity out of your system, and actually clears the air. Agreed, it hurts people at the time but there are no repressed feelings. This, on the other hand, is like living with the negativity inside you, taking roots. Is it because I’m fed up? Is it because some people are too close to me to be fought with? Or is it that I know they won’t take it well anyway?

In other news, I am down with the sniffles now and simply hoping that it isn’t anything worse than just the common flu. Too lazy and tied up to see the doc. This is my personal version of living dangerously, it seems. 😀

I wish I had more ideas to write about, but I don’t. I’m in some sort of a funk, and I hate making an effort to blog in fact. I hate to come up with things to write – I expect things to come up so I can write about them. Now I totally understand why they have so many “farmaaish” programs on radio: no RJ wants to take the overwhelming task of coming up with music everyone will like every night, so might as well let the listeners choose! I wish blogging worked on a request basis as well 😀

Oh, I did want to boast that I made awesome butter chicken and biryani on Sunday, even if I say so myself. Unfortunately, there aren’t any pictures..  but I will take them the next time over. 🙂

What’s your news, peeps?

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Reporting Live

from my holiday in Mauritius.

I miss internet so much on holidays like these I can almost sniff a half-decent connection from miles away (I should get those nicotine patch type thingies to reduce my modem cravings).

Bullet point update:

 – I sat in this Business Centre type place (nothing business-like about it, it’s bleddy Mauritius!) and read all 74 posts on my Reader. Ah, blogland..  cannot live away from you, la. Moral of the Story: All ye, don’t forget me.

 – This hotel is like a kingdom of doing nothing. And everyone who knows me must know how much doing nothing is the way I like my days to be. My penchant for laziness  is only matched by my penchant for looking for ways to wriggle out of ways of spending time doing something. Profound a.k.a. read that again.

 – @Newmumontheblock: I cannot thank you enough for my first ever blogger award. Trust me, all of Mauritius and half of Bombay knows by now. One whole post shall be coming upon the awardee’s return (yeah, that’s just one of the 10001 sentences with the word ‘awardee’ I thought up 😀 )

 – I didn’t get my work laptop along, after all. Best. Decision. Ever.

 – Tip: Get classy BEFORE you travel business class. Or risk losing your phone to the spacious bucket seats. And then spend a most embarrassing one hour with tongs, scissors, rolled-up paper, knives to slide it out – with French stiff-upper-lip-ish crew hovering about. Longest and most embarrassing story. Might feature on this blog. Watch this space.

– I’m going scuba diving tomorrow morning. Yayyyyy!!!

 Wrappin’ up for now. The awardee will be back. There’ll be pictures. Of the awardee.

🙂

Redux

There are strange things I thank God for. Like the longish commute I loudly curse – internally, I’m really thankful for it. It helps me be quiet (as opposed to being have-mouth-will-blabber), and get a think. It is mandatory for that transit from home to work. On such a commute – yesterday or the day before, who knows? – I traced back a significant part of my life. I think I got to 1999. In between, I met the person who always wore Fab India kurtis with weird-shape bottoms. I also brushed past emotionally charged geek, and I was really embarrassed to meet her. But then I got to the person in 1999. The person in 1999 thought she had a lot of secrets. Secrets of immediate family. And those of extended family. Of boys and girls who she had to pretend were her friends. Of those who were friends. And those she imagined she knew. And those she knew she imagined. Looking back, I could really scoff at this person, because really, 16 isn’t an age to pretend to be all mystical. 24 is. But the person at 16 had an air of precocity that makes it harder for the person in 2010 to really mock her. For precocity, if pierced, is really like breaking someone’s heart. And in this case, she was all heart.

She intrigues me. This ability to listen endlessly without saying much, and still have the gall to go ahead and do whatever the hell she knew was right. To get to a point where she knows she was incorrigibly wrong. To shrug. To live again. Her clarity, even in the most immature of life’s plans, makes me envious – I almost insist she comes back with me, and nothankyou, we won’t want to take the emo-geek with us at all. The person at 16 was a school girl dealing with images, woes, joys, ambitions, perceptions, crushes and the correct length of socks. Little else. Yet, each one of those was so clearly laid out. She knew the image she portrayed – she was aware of every element of her carefully-visualized unawareness. She cried for things most people laughed at. She was happy with very little; back then, materialism was neither a choice nor a craving. Ambitions were so many and so bizarre; she would almost disrespect the person in 2010. If she had a crush on someone, he would get the royal ignore – it works. And the correct length of socks is really subjective – except short is for losers.

I’d like to think that weird-shape bottoms phase really messed her up. But no. She chose that. She chose everything. She hardly regretted. She was who they were proud of. They said they never needed to tell her what to do – she knew better. The emo geek phase? She always knew that wasn’t her. She and I can almost look at THAT one as the anomaly in the scheme of things. How then did she get to this person in 2010? Is life really so gradual that even a train-wreck seems like a no big deal in its slow progression? Girl in 1999, in hindsight, you could have done one thing better – you could have prepared the nerd in 2005 or the woman in 2008 to survive this train-wreck without letting go of the precocity.

Atleast, the one in 2010 still does whatever the hell she wants. Without the precocity, though.

If I were

a purple hammer, would you still love me? 😀

Well, this author is suffering a severe case of blogger’s block aggravated much by lack of time, so she’ll subject you to an arbit tag that caught her fancy. Here we go:

If I were a month, I’d be December. Dial December for happiness and holidays.

If I were a day of the week, I’d no doubt be Friday. Ushering in the good times.

If I were a time of day, I’d be that moment when sleep steals away all meaningful thoughts.

If I were a season, I’d have to be summer. Do I also get to choose WHERE I want to be summer?

If I were a planet, I’d be Mercury. Blow hot blow cold.

If I were a sea animal, I’d be a tortoise. Letting the world go by, and living long enough to see it all.

If I were a direction, I’d be the one where home is. That’s the anchor, the direction could change.

If I were a piece of furniture, I’d be an old antique chair in an open verandah.

If I were a liquid, I’d be chilli vodka. Or orange juice. Or green apple iced tea.

If I were a tree, I’d be a guava tree. I love the smell.

If I were a tool, I’d be a hammer. I don’t really know why.

If I were an element, I’d be titanium. Look ma, I can flyyyyy.

If I were a gemstone, I’d be jade. Love its green.

If I were a musical instrument, I’d be a guitar. That should up my coolness quotient.

If I were a color, I’d be purple.

If I were an emotion, I’d be compassion.

If I were a fruit, I’d be bananas. I already am! 🙂

If I were a sound, I’d be the sound of thunderstorms!

If I were a car, I’d be a convertible.

If I were food, I’d be cheese.

If I were a taste, I’d be spicy.

If I were a scent, I’d be that of woodsmoke. Reminds me of Delhi.

If I were a pair of shoes, I’d be the longest-worn sneakers.

If I were a bird, I’d be an eagle.

A geek and a dinosaur

One of my ex-colleagues and I chat a lot about non-work stuff, which is somehow work-related. Maketh any sense? Like “this dadgum proposal is delaying my vacation”. Or, “my boyfriend’s in town for the weekend, and I’ll be spending the Saturday canoodling with my financial model. FML!” (Explanation needed: The second example is totally her statement. Not mine. I don’t have a boyfriend. I have a husband. And no, his name is not “financial model”)

As the intelligent amongst you have possibly Byomkesh-ed by now, the poor ex-colleague is juggling a relationship and work that shall set all of us free one day – the death way. So there’s a lot of “my boyfriend this” “my boyfriend that”. But one day, she mentioned the name of the boyfriend. I was like “huh? who?” She went “Oh, that’s my boyfriend’s name”. I replied, “Yeah, I guessed. What was the NAME again?” And then she said this name that I knew! Someone I knew!

The guy was one of the most notorious ones in my math coaching class during my college years. (It’s only got to be a BIG coincidence, that he is the third person from that class I have met in the span of the last 3 months, by accident). He cracked sexist jokes all the time, and I was a die-hard feminist who had a problem with everyone and their uncles. Naturally, if we were to meet again today, there’d be no love lost. But of course, 7 years have got to make a difference. I can see now that he used to only be joking. And I was quite sure that he’d be able to see that I’m not a man-hater.. well, in case not, on the safe side, I’d carry a knife 😀

Anyway, I told this girl that I knew him – and a couple of good things I remembered from those days (very tough task, that).

One day I run into the two of them. We say hi-how-are-you-long-time and I tell them one ridiculous but funny story of our then-teacher. We all laugh. And then he says this: “I don’t remember much from that class.” I am quite relieved that the knife was going to go unused after all. And then he continues: “Only that you were always the one in the last row arguing with someone, or with your arm raised saying “Sir, I have a question…” JUST when everyone else wanted to pack up and leave. (nonchalant) haha.”

I died. End of story.

The other day, I wrote a long scarily-sounding-like-my-mother kind of Gtalk message to my brother, warning him to NOT do something or else…! He replies saying “R u crazy? I’ll neva do dat. Now go. I hv wrk, unlike u.” I was furious. I reply with “What the hell do you mean you’ll anyway do it? You don’t know who I am. I’m calling papa.” I get a very undeserving “You dinosaur! neva is “never”, not “anyway”. Jobless idiot.”

There IS such a thing as generation gap, isn’t there? And there is NO such thing as respecting your elders, is there?

My 'To Remember' List

This is being recorded to serve as a much-needed one-stop reminder of:

  1. Typing “Give me a second” or “Give me a minute/min” instead of “Give me a sec” next time because, you know, a small typo can make it “Give me a sex“. And THAT, besides being grammatically incorrect, leaves you wishing you were never born. Especially when it’s followed up with a curt “Brb”. It’s not a happy event, no sir.
  2. Calling little brother and doing a “Bwaahahaahahaha” act on him, since he has chosen to re-throw himself into the corporate stream. Which will not leave him any time to while away or to slow cook sausages for lunch. Insert the old one about misery and company.
  3. Watching with excitement the semi-finals and the final of the IPL, so as to not disappoint the husband. This won’t be entirely fake because, after all, you ARE happy that three matches x 4.5 hours each = 13.5 hours and this madness shall be over.
  4. Making it to the gym at least twice during the rest of the week. The instructor’s off on his wedding leave, you’ve had yours. Also, remember to get his wedding gift soon, before he makes a re-entry and inflicts upon you 100 more squats for being so inconsiderate.
  5. Withdrawing cash at the sight of the first ATM, because bhelpuri wallahs won’t appreciate your cashless living.

To be continued (because I’m sure I’m forgetting something)

It's not one thing. It's many.

I’m back! And what a comeback it’s going be. I haven’t a clue what I’m going to write about now.

Well, I finished reading two books last week. One was “May I Hebb Your Attention Pliss” by Greatbong, and the other was “Dork” by Sidin Vadukut. I’m totally ODing on books by bloggers-turned-writers, it looks like. But isn’t that the natural thing to do? You’ve read them earlier, and you’ve liked them. And with all the hard work that goes into getting oneself published, you can only expect a better read. On the flip side though, I’m sure some such writers regret not having a fresh slate to start. No matter what, the book will be compared to the blog.

Coming back to the books, though, I loved both of them. While MIHYAP is the snort-on-your-coffee kind of satire, Dork is more Oh-no!-he-didn’t! brand of humour. MIHYAP comments on so many things that make up our  growing-up years, and you sort of nod along, when you’re not snorting out your coffee, that is! In case you’re not a terrorist/orkut friend-maker/B-grade movie producer or director or actor/politician, this book will serve as the much-deserved bitchslap to people in all the aforementioned categories – something you always wanted to deliver. However, do stand warned that B, C and D grade movies of Bollywood get substantial airtime in the book, and if you aren’t “with it”, you would be VERY clueless for more than a bit of it. About Dork, I have not been a very regular follower of Whatay.com, but I did read a couple of reviews on other blogs and wanted to read it. Everywhere I asked for it, it was “sold out”. The Bangalore airport bookshop said “Dark naat av-label, saary mam”. The Mumbai airport bookshop said “No ma’am, whatever is there, is there on display.” The Delhi airport said “Blank stare”. Airport bookshops, with their stupid narrow aisles, suck. QED. I finally found a copy in one of the Crosswords in Mumbai.  Now, your first instinct after reading the cover summary would be to prepare yourself to sympathize with Varghese, the protagonist – in the same way you might have for Sharman Joshi of 3 Idiots. But by the end of the book, you will have – let’s just say – very mixed feelings. You gulp down chapter after chapter of the book, wide-eyed like the mother who just saw her kid throw her favourite crystal vase out of the window, followed by a grin, and then another antique piece of silverware in quick succession before she’s had the time to react. It being dangerously close to my personal experiences in “a mid-size international consulting firm” office culture, I was chuckling for the most part of it. I finished reading it in 5 hours straight, and now I’m looking forward to the next book in the trilogy!

Also, with the Dantewada tragedy, resurfaced Arundhati Roy – ever eager to beat up the Indian government. To me, she is someone who makes it a point to stand up for the offbeat because it is so offbeat, and therefore, oh so intellectual. I’m all for standing up for the littlest issue that needs recognition, but not at the cost of common sense taking permanent leave. It’s something of a disease – this urge to fight the basic common sense with its counterpart i.e. the nonsense, and oh, if it’s representing the voice of the “poor” and the “underdog”, then you’re definitely a noble soul. It is totally the mob mentality: beat up the truck guy even if the Maruti 800 made every effort possible to ram itself in and blow up. So, Ms. Roy meets the “red revolutionaries” to tell us what their side of the story is. I say, we don’t need another side to this story. It’s a planned massacre for godssake. An internal security threat for the nation. Not your ban-public-smoking-or-not debate. Sometimes, there is just one side, and you fucking need to see it like it is. As far as the linked article is concerned, what I find most puke-worthy is Ms. Roy’s attempt at romanticizing this “revolution” that is clearly not all struggling-displaced-villagers-and-capitalism-victims but an armed insurgency, with stupid details of the starry night and the dark forest under which they sing their anthems of revolution, as if it is supposed to be some sort of a famed cult. Given a chance, she would have written about how musical the showering of bullets was, at the Taj during 26/11 – a true song of justice.

In fact, sweeping generalizations seem to be the fad with everyone these days. The anti-underdog or the pro-establishment argument is so uncool, that everyone feeling less than privileged is sure to have a few others trooping behind them in a row. What might help here is if we get our facts together before we pull out our favourite khadi outfit and slip into krantikaari mode. Please. There’s nothing as painful and tiring as trying to convince an ill-informed and super-opinionated self-proclaimed world-transformer that what they’re saying is really a lot of jumbled words picked up from “various sources” that have, in fact, made conflicting statements on the issue. Also, it’s a super-tough exercise in self-restraint because all you want to say is “You’re a dumbass.”

On a lighter (perhaps not) note, I have a personal grudge to share (aren’t you lucky?). First, tell me if it is ok if I do the following:

  • I walk upto a khakhra-crunching garba-dancing Gujju, and say “All vegetarians are wimps, because you guys don’t know how to appreciate a pizza with ham.”
  • You tell me that your birthday was yesterday, and I then say “All people born in April, at least those I know are control freaks.”
  • To make small talk with Mr. Rao and Ms. Subramanian over office lunch, I exclaim that “If it’s so hot in Delhi, Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand, it must be so hot in all Madrasi/southern states, no?”
  • I finally proceed to catch a colleague who’s leaving office early today, and say, “All you lucky married women with kids, always managing to leave early early huh?”

 Those who do not think that even one of the statements above qualifies as a “ha ha let’s chat up” thing, please stop telling IIM grads that “All IIM grads / In general, IIM grads / IIM grads I have worked with earlier are soooooo arrogant, and suchhhhhhh know-it-alls.”

 If you have an issue with me, tell me directly. If you do not have, I am not interested in talking/ hearing about other people who might have unfortunately been from the same institute/ group of institutes. Also, it is not smartly casual/ casually smart to throw such statements to point out something you desperately want to (in case you have a problem with me).

Personally, I put up with a person for one whole year telling me that “IIM grads were useless and arrogant”, keeping my trap shut and rarely objecting to such generalization, and when I did, I did so most politely (lest it be considered “arrogant”, y’know. Circular reference.) It might be of note here that this person thought that they were far too busy to spend time to register for a couple of admin modules at the workplace, and routinely made their juniors book cars/ call up drivers/ take printouts etc. for them. Now, however, I tell such people that it is stupid and *familiar word alert* arrogant on their part to assume thus. What can I say, over the years, I have adopted “Do unto others what they do unto you.” (Though I know not what “unto” really means. And it does not have an MS Word synonym.)

Multiple rants end. Excruciatingly personal update begins.

Last weekend was supposed to be complete bliss. Supposed to be. I was to go home, to my Delhi. I was to park myself on the bed, not move a finger and down loads and loads of food. But life had other plans. Got hit by severe food poisoning within 12 hours of landing in the city, and have made a mental note that Delhi heat + seafood = Never again. All my plans of hogging on momos and aloo tikkis were quashed. It was cruel. And it has also managed to hit my Healthy Eating plan for a DLF maximum. I am not using it as an excuse, I was really on such a plan for 2 weeks before this, and now with all the khichri overload, it’s not really a healthy diet. It’s more like fodder for survival. Pathetic. Considering all this, a lot of staying home and watching IPL has happened. A lot. I am still supporting Delhi Daredevils, the recent debacle level performance against Kings XI notwithstanding.

In other news, between mad work-related travelling (the husband’s), insane hours (mine), and the incessant need to catch live matches (his, again), being married is something we’re reminded of, only when I have to set reminders to call up not one but two sets of parents now.

What’s up with you, bleeple? (Twitter people = tweeple, so blogging people  = bleeple. Geddit?)