Wednesday, December 31, 2008

today

I had this premonition that the year would end badly. Infact the year had started better than last year with the official end of a tag that had lost its meaning long back. But if today is any indication, I am glad the year will end in a few hours.
It begins with Ma not being well. She is the absolute pillar, I mean, the household just comes to a stand still without her being at the helm. Yes. We are a bunch of throughly spoilt housemates who depend on Ma for everything from the oats for breakfast to mosquito repellant at night. It is another matter that she loves her part and would get offended if we ever learnt to fend for ourselves.
So today, thanks to yours truly, the oats got overcooked and the bread under-toasted (yeah!) and all sat sullen quiet at the table. Then since both the cars decided to take a break (one was out of fuel, the other a flat tyre) I began the task of 'hailing an autorickshaw'. Yes. you got to stand at the side of the road wearing a sorry look so that the auto fella might take pity. But no, they don't fall for it. After begging for half hour one of them said yes. Halleluiah! But joy is shortlived. As it turns out he has a mysterious 'starting problem' half way through at a traffic signal. So began the task of 'hailing' one more autorickshaw. Pain doubled. Finally, an old man agrees.
Despite the trouble I reach office early. For once, much earlier than my boss. Someone should have warned me of the explosives waiting in my mailbox.
Day's not over yet....hmmm!
Everyone is asking what's the plan for the evening. Well. I wonder why we make such a jamboree on last day of a year? Tomorrow we are all back at work, groggy and bored. So why bother? Infact my father had planned to take us out for dinner but I thought the crowd will be noisy. He had given me a 'what's wrong with you' look and walked off. Old old old...that's me.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

when we get lost somewhere...

there is always a stray piece of lonely cloud that grabs one's senses. At once everything else is momentarily irrelevant.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I watched ‘Dil Kabaddi’ yesterday after scooting from work early. It wasn’t planned (I hadn't even heard of it till I entered the theatre) but turned out ok. The benefit of recession is that at least in Bangalore one can now land up in a theatre and buy tickets unlike earlier. This, despite yesterday being a holiday for most people. The theatre was empty and the popcorn crisp. I had my best pal for company who turned round and said ‘This is about my life!’ every 2 minutes. I agreed and we promised to write a radio script someday soon. Otherwise a forgettable film once you are out of the theatre except that I LOVE Rahul Bose. Eaah. The dark circles and his slow Hindi nothwithstanding.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Two images from Kolkata.
First was the Jethro Tull & Anushka Shankar's concert in Science City Auditorium on 27th Nov 08. Without exception Tull concerts are lyrically enjoyable.
Second one is one of the many reactions to what happened to Mumbai. 'We cry with you, we pray with you, we stand by you'

I love the taste of stale cigarettes in your kiss. We should kiss more often.

I love the silly banter about my school. We should talk more often.

I love losing miserably to you in Scrabble. We should play more often.

just a woman

‘So what do you think of my tie?’ He throws the question at her pinning her with a dismissive look.

Grotesque. She thinks. ‘It’s nice.’ She says trying to smile.

‘Nice? Nice! That’s a bastard of a word!’ He screams. She flinches involuntarily moving back in her chair. Creak. ‘It has no meaning.’ He continues. ‘Rain is nice. Icecream is nice. Sex is nice. Hmmm!’

‘I mean, Sir. It is pretty.’ She trails off, the last syllable inaudible. She thinks of their terrace at home where the ‘achaar’ is soaking the afternoon sun in the ceramic white and yellow jars. She doesn’t want to be in this room with a white haired balding man wearing a red tie with severed horse heads painted in black. He looks at her as one would look at a crawling bug before smashing it with the tip of the shoe. She has never felt so small. He bends towards her waving the tie near her face ‘Is that what you will say to our client’s customers? Buy this Sir. It is pretty?’

She holds the arms of her chair tight. She tries to wriggle her face away. But it is too late. She feels it gushing out. Aaachoooh! The horse heads are now wet and drippy like they were dropped in a vat of glue. He goes in a paralytic shock his mouth open and looking at what was once a tie. She gets up, pushes her chair back blindly and runs to the door. Three doors later she is on the street. Stops a passing autorickshaw and breathes for the first time after the splatter. That was her first job interview.

Should she head back to her aunt’s place? Her aunt is actually her mother’s childhood friend. She has sometime heard about her from her mother but had never seen her before. When she told her mother she was coming here for the interviews, she had resisted at first. Young girl. Strange city. High crime rate. Etc. But on her father’s insistence suggested that she stays with her old friend at least till she finds a job and a place to stay. ‘But Ma, I don’t know her. I can’t just barge in and expect her to keep me!’ she had protested. A budget hotel was her plan till she found a decent place to stay. ‘No.’ her mother had insisted. ‘In a new city, it is always better to stay with someone you know and trust. Besides, we were like family when we were kids. She practically grew up in my house. She hated her step mother and spent all her waking hours in our house. She will be happy to have you there.’ So it was final. Address given. Phone numbers exchanged.

After the initial awkwardness she found Bela mashi very pleasant. She was very different from her mother of course. Bela mashi stays alone with a maid for company after she lost her husband early in their marriage. She doesn’t have any children and has a whimsical, romantic view of life. Something that she finds immensely attractive and uplifting. Her mother would have never agreed to having ice-cream late in the night nor has she seen her mother ever wear a satin nightdress to bed. In the last three days since she got here she has been very well taken care of. But staying longer would be taking advantage of Bela mashi’s good nature. No, she had to find a place to stay.