28 Jul 2009

Bras, buckles, blackheads.......

This post is like peeking into the girls bathroom.....a bit of insight into our world, no matter how brash it sounds.... but I'd rather write it as myself than with a mask of anonymity.....

Ok......a girl's worst best friends are.....

1. Waxing: no, waxing isn't that bad.....unless you're sitting next to some hairy being who yelps, digging her fingers into her cheeks like she's going into labour pain. The pain is exaggerated, anticipation kills you when the evil parlour woman applies piping hot wax like jam on bread, flattens this plastic sheet against it, smoothens it.....smoothen......smoothen.....looks at your face with an sadistic grin [tongue out and all] and......shck.....ahhhhh!!!! no seriously, its not that bad, at the most I just bite my lips and cringe a bit.....

If you go to places like Lakme they give you their expert comments, "have you done your upper lip yet? no? thought so!" [it makes me feel like a gorilla, really!]. If you go to cheaper places, its like getting waxed in the middle of the road! One will be waxing your hands and the other your legs, making you stand in the position of a kathali dancer [albeit less graceful], so that they'll be done with you quickly, while other people getting threaded- beaded- whatever look on.....convos are in typical, amusing Hinglish, "aap bahut 'heighted' ho gayi hai"......

2. Blackhead removal: I just removed the blackheads on my nose once [they had grown to nearly look like mushrooms]. But seriously, after doing that just once, I'd rather never do it again! They steamed me up till I felt like an idli, and almost destroyed my nose [I really thought they intended to re-shape it], dug into them with tweezers like they expected to pull out bloodthirsty parasites! my nose still goes red merely thinking of it!

3. Tiny, t-i-n-y clasps: you find them everywhere.... necklaces, bracelets, shoe buckles. The worst kind are those in which you've dig your nail to open while desperately trying to close them on to the other end [an impossible feat, atleast a hour's task] and then while you do.....oops, they aren't tight enough.....slide.....smash! I swear, i'd break my nail, my head but never, ever, EVER manage to get the clasp in one go! why!!!! why can't you just make nice, big, ungraceful buckles? It'll help perpetually harassed people like me from getting a nervous breakdown! another hassle? there are these really tiny, tiny holes in which you have to put these...errr.....sticks.... [ok, this sounds so peverted]....wait.....i meant the really, tiny, nifty buckles.....and if they're on your shoes, you can't even use your teeth to fasten them unless you want to look completely wierd and die of a sprain....or maybe you can treat it as a dose of power yoga?

4. Delicate Bra straps: it took me a lifetime.....really, it took me a 'lifetime today' to get it right. I had brand new bra straps, transparent with brass buckles and all. It took me so freakin' long to fasten them on to the bra properly! either it came out totally twisted or bunched up while I tried to loosen it threatening to snap.....oh god! sorry, this is a beginners guide isn't it? I suppose I must explain....its sort of complicated to tighten or loosen the straps to fit you [maybe I'm just not used to these complicated ones].....the strap is double, so as you pull the buckle it becomes a single, longer strap or a double shorter strap if you tighten it....actually it may be the other way round.....trial and error! oof! I still haven't figured it out and if your not careful it kills you with complicated loops like a mobius strip, no- beggining-no- end- types.....arghhh!

5. Heels: ah! ah-ha! you were waiting for this weren't you? 'heels'....rhymes with 'jail'? no? no! guess not! I'm just really ungraceful! really! I mean I should know where to wear them right? certainly not for mall walking, which was first just supposed to be a get-together followed by quick dispersal. I'm brave though! I ventured out with [fairly] large wedge heels [large by my standard of shoes, a large 'stage' than flats surely]. I had everything to comfort me, a strap in the front, one at the back, semi-closes to reveal a toe-and-a-half, wedge heels [really wide, fat].....but I..... tottered.
But before you shut this window in disgust, I have my excuses, really, hear me out! Some really sadistic people had made ramps [ones that would make me half-slide and fully fall] in 'strategic' places where I had no way but to use them or get elbowed by some boors.....the pavement was cemented with tiny rectangles, the ones with tiny gaps that tip your heels over and since they're making the 'world's largest parking lot' close by, everything was uneven, first I was walking in cement, then stone, then jute, then someone's toes.....ouch!

And why do we do all this? why face torture when you can wear flats and loose shirts and jeans and tie up your hair? I dunno? guess it makes for good photographs and impressions that you can look back to all your life.....and memories of growing up into a woman, memories of the sweet-sour pain of shoe bites, and the digging in of straps and elastic and all.....and home grown, feet- grown corn [yuck!]......or maybe we're just masochists?

19 Jul 2009

CORNERED: tweet fiction

I attempted to write really short stories.....shorter than flash fiction.....lesser than 300 characters, just a small experiment. The theme I chose was 'cornerned' from the perspective of different people, situations and things because whenever i read about someone in the newspaper, like MJ or Shiney Ahuja, I keep thanking my stars that I'm not in their place, reaching a dead end, totally cornered.....every person will interpret what I've written in a different way, that's why I've not specified whom or what I've written this about. Please drop in ur comments along with what u thought each one was about [each small paragraph is about a different thing.]


1. I sail down amongst the boxes, alone, with just me and without me. Silhouettes cheer me, stamp me, judge me, but I grapple alone in a corner, living on prescribed air. The air aches of me, the 'me' I struggle to grasp and slip from. Escaping left me with tags of me….. It’s the tags that cost a lot, the tags which come with a price.

2. Smother, smudge, a red burst, spread, bulb out…..fight the smothering, more than the layers, the smell of a strict fight, squeezed corner. I branch out, hide, die, and come out when you turn your back. Fight me teen, the heats with me; I’m a part of your forehead destiny.

3. Shock smudged eyes; they saw it as smoky black make-up. Murmur, rumour
Twitch, tangled
[ft]. Its sealed as you escape with me. Door vs. air, a thread with the dead.

[if u want to know what they actually are about to match with ur interpretations, read the first comment :) ]

4 Jul 2009

all thrown in

I'm still recovering from the wedding.....a wedding that I had been excited about for seven months...... and its over......like the end of some grand festival......

The bride: Sanjana Govindan.....she remembers me since when i was zero [or so she says]. I remember her since when I was a pesky toddler and she was an exasperated pre-teen, jealous of the extra holidays these insect-like five year olds get......and we've been in touch since then because our moms are best friends [i'll leave the details and webs of stories for later]. So when I heard she's getting married *gasp*, i checked my own scalp for grey hair [none] and pondered over this suddenly apparent generation leap [yeah, K-serial style].

I always thought 'the bridal glow' was way too filmy.....but when I was greeting by this flushed pink face of the bride I was forced to believe it......mehndi wasn't a large affair but thanks to those little building kids who practically bombed the place, dried shavings of mehndi and a clogged basin were what we were left with. we did attempt to dance a bit till the bride's mom began getting palpitations about the noise and excitement and wedding and decided that we must quiten down a bit. Our mehndi had dried up.....pretty designs but obviously nothing as intricate as the bride's. They had even inscribed the groom's name, each letter somewhere in the hand, but she only managed to find the J! [check pics on fb]

Edit. Cut. Let me jump straight to the wedding. Murphy’s law vs. Rheaa’s law. What? Not very philosophical, believe me. Murphy’s law: if anything can go wrong, it will go wrong [pretty pessimistic if you ask me]. Rheaa’s law: if anything can go right, it will go right [yeah, call me a cheap imitation]. Why am I mentioning this instead of the wedding? Oh my followers, you should know by now, drama, drama!!

Supporters of Murphy’s law:

Traffic signals [if you catch one, you’ll catch them all…..especially when you’re in an infernal hurry to get to the wedding site]

Trains [on the day of the wedding, after all that pleading of those Lakme women to come early….yup, the electrical wire holding the train in Mulund collapsed, so did the entire western line…..and we were late!]

Rain [I’m a monsoon baby, but I would get crabby when the rain caused traffic jams and wet my sari]

Supporters of Rheaa’s law:

Rheaa [thaaaaaat’s me!]

The lakme girls [at least they managed to drape me in sari in a jiffy]

Our neighbours [even though there’s this India-Pakistan hostility between us, they did help me drape the sari (even though we got the lakme people to re-drape it)]

So I stumbled in, pushing all the people on the boy’s side who were getting ready to burst in and snatch the bride away. I was supposed to hold a plate with a diya and flowers and walk around in a line of young, unmarried girls and then around the mantap [stage] but alas there were no more trays left so I walked around pretending I was holding a tray and shielding the flame from going out…..when it began to look absurd I walked around flashing my million dollar smile and politely ‘namaste-ing’ all those poor, harassed dears around me.

Enter the groom…..with a polite smile looking rather please and slightly embarrassed at the ‘shenai’ people going complete beserk with loud, extra-dramatic typical Indian wedding music and everyone grinning at him with that ‘ah-ha, caught you’ look. But he has that poise, that calm way of reassuring people that everything was fine and that he wasn’t going to run away.

Enter the bride from the other side amongst the gasps of admiration and the convulsed head-turning of those shenai people giving in all that they had to hammer into people, “marriage, marriage, marriage!!!!” with that single…..single…..haunting tune……I still hear it…..

Decked was the word. If I say that her face shown more than all her jewels: her ornate necklaces, ancient family lion claw necklace, her armlets, her shimmery delicate red sari, her sexy blouse, her hair done up with flowers from end to end…..*gasps for breath*…..if I say this, you may call me soppy, but its true. I’ll never find the perfect word, the perfect phrase to describe the bride…… “ there were tears in my eyes when I saw her” my mom attempted. Its like seeing a completely different person, the beauty you may not have given much thought to earlier, the features sharpened by the glisten….and then you think……do I know her? Have I known her all this while? Okay….stop! too mom-crying-in-hindi-film-types……

Soon we [the ‘bridesmaids’] were circling the mantap…..the garlands were exchanged, the couple did their rounds……over……blessings were taken, they were fed bananas-and-milk…..touched everyone’s feet…..over…..over!!!!! In five minutes!!!!! The whole wedding!!!! Sealing a commitment of a lifetime!!!!!! Sealed…..finished….. [No, I’m not commitment phobic; I was just trying to sink it into my head]

Now for the juicy titbits……
1. My mom, in her excitement of clicking pictures came in the way of the couple while they were doing the ‘pheras’ [rounds] around the mantap [its done that way in Malyalee weddings instead of around the fire] and instead of 7 rounds, its just four according to their rituals [parle 20-20 khao, short mein niptao, huh?]. Anyway, they couldn’t stop, and she didn’t realize she’s in the way despite my screaming [some people never listen do they]…….*dramatic pause* *turn to shocked faces of everyone, going pale*…… until a bob-cut-aunty saved the day and pulled her aside. Whew!

2. some sadistic person had placed lots of wires around mantap…..making it difficult for sari-and-heel-clad souls like me to walk around……a little later, I had to run to keep up……

THE FOOD: now you know my history of gluttony! We were seated at long tables with rose petal spreads and served malyalee food on a plate with banana leaves!! Normally I don’t like south Indian food much…..but who can refuse rice with ghee and rasam, beans with grated coconut, lots of things I couldn’t name but were oh-so-delicious…….and the desserts!!!!!!!!! The desserts beat ‘em all……piping hot jackfruit paysam and hot and sweet kheer [someone help me with the technical names]. The jackfruit paysam was thick, yellow-occur and tickled my taste buds [even the bitter, sour, salty buds begged for an extra serving], complete with small pieces of tender jackfruit, the overpowering essence of which had spread all around the dish, naturally. The sweet kheer was creamy, of perfect consistency with vermicelli blended in so well, not like large worms like I feel when I’m eating some other kheer…….yum……to die for…….competes with chocolate for the top ten tastes of my life <3

The reception had great food too…..a mix of everything for people of all shapes and sizes….. and I just couldn’t wait to dig into eat but for some pesky old ladies who tried to remember where they met me, and how small I was then, and blah blah while THEY were eating while depriving me of the same…..argh! No one comes in the way of Rheaa and her food [specially desserts], otherwise I love endless chattering. Anyway, the reception food. There was thai, Chinese, live dosas, Punjabi……but nothing beats our afternoon malyalee lunch! I’m a fan, I swear! I piled myself with a plate of mixed kulfi! Hmmmm….creamy, fruitilicious…….and walnut halwa, crunchy and g-o-o-e-y……

And then I felt sorry for the newly wed couple……they could only get their paws on the
food after saying hello to the lot……and you know how long the hellllewwws
can get here with dollops of gossip and a pinch of salt and the chatter of old

in the meanwhile my heels began to pinch me.....its a sign.......time to get home! ;)

23 Jun 2009

u'll never know

people surprise me....really.....i used to think i'm the only one who's like this.....just like this...[don't ask for descriptions now, u'll get a whole epic] but then i find out 99 other people think along my lines [well almost]. everyone of them has that individuality, that exoticness if i daresay, that spark.....and what can be better, i'll be spending two whole years living with them! no, i'm not off to some reality show, though you could call it a sense of adventure: living far away from home at the MUWCI campus with people you've never even met before.....people i didn't know existed till a week back! now we're on touch through fb, the lifeline, and coming from diverse backgrounds, from different parts of India and the world , its shocking how much we have in common!

i've been warned by people....no drugs, sex, communities [like goth and all i suspect], no drinking, roaming around with people who are a bad influence on you....ya, I KNOW, I KNOW!!! i've been warned by people....life isn't fun and games, you could have continued your IB here, what if you don't like it there, what if we don't like you after you come back, what if you're too independant after you return.....but guys, like Aslan says, " no one ever told us what could have been". no one shows me what will happen with each decision I make, no one shows me the big picture.....it would spoil the fun of the whole thing.....life is unpredictable anyway, it is.....its like, pushing tables away, pushing whole worlds away......for eg, if we had settled in Australia when i was a kid, i'd have not been in HP colony, St. Anthony's, D.A.I.S., or probably even MUWCI, i'd have not met millions of people and even the important ones that changed my life.....but could i have known, would it have made a difference since i didn't know what i'm missing?

its sort of scary, but its like this......every decision you make leads you on to another path, and then another and another and....and you'll never know what COULD HAVE BEEN and you'll never know WHAT WILL BE.....

[everyone says it, not very original, huh?]

9 Mar 2009


sorry for the lapse.....i was buried with coursework and revision and yes, i did manage to meet and fight all the deadlines [the worst monster in student life. die! die! die!]......ok now that this rate of apologies on my blog i can as well be 'super- excuse woman'....tan-ta-dan!!!!!!

anyway, if you're a Rheaa Rao fan, you'll naturally know about my labrador brother Hari [well, you obviously know, he's 'world famous' in my school]......so Hari will make the saddest, deprived, pinched face you can imagine when you're looking at him and wag his tail [or rather his whole body] when you inch towards him to kiss his hairy forehead. so recently I was wondering how embarrassing it would be if humans had tails.....yup, our pants would have holes in them so our tail can come out, or perhaps we'd hide them....either way, it would be too much of trouble while going to the toilet...but i'm not on about that......imagine......there's this cute guy you have a crush on.....you're standing right in front of him, he's talking to his friends and you're talking to yours and you pretend you don't see him because you don't want to stare and make it too obvious and you don't want to drop any hints before he does...... and then your eyes meet.....and your tail starts wagging [i suspect it has a brain of its own, you can't just control it, like how you can't control blushing, and now it works AGAINST you as an inbuilt lie detector] and then he walks towards you looking past you so nothing's obvious from HIS side, and you pretend to do the same.....but......instead you go beserk.....your whole body wobbles like some sort of violent bout of shivering, and it moves faster and faster as he walks towards you, till you look like your doing this really energetic shimmy your tail toppling over lunch plates, slapping people, sending test papers flying all over the room, showing whatever your face has been trained to hide........


21 Feb 2009

must watch this kala bunder

I've always liked movies to be sort of loosely based on escapism, something that exports you to a new place and a new set of mundane problems which are solved with a few songs. that's probably why I like Dilwale Dulhainya Le Jayenge, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi...... all far-fetched fairy tales which leave you with smiles. But Delhi-6 is the sort of movie which is quite bizarre, almost crazy but leaves you thinking about it days after. here there's no place for escapism, face the harsh reality but through this really crazy, entertaining way.

its NOT a documentary, the sorts you are forced to watch at school, obliged to keep your eyes open inspite of yourself. no, its NOT a documentary, its very close, personal....like a diary full of colours, smells, people, layered with symbolism, themes. I'm not very sure if our audience will receive the movie like it should be received, whether they'll understand the symbolism, whether they'll appreciate it, whether they'll think its too preachy, too superficial, whether they'll realize that this is what is happening around them.....exactly this......we dismiss wisdom as being 'too preachy' and leave everything to God 'uppar wala sab thek karega'. We don't want to do anything, change anything but simply say that God will see that everything is okay [and which God, from which religion are we talking about anyway?] is exactly what Roshan [Junior B] says.

A perfectly peaceful neighbourhood [except for minor undercurrents, family strives] where Hindus and Muslims co-exist amicably is disturbed with the entry of a kala bunder [black monkey] which creates a scare making them fight over the religion of this monkey and for which god he could be working for. how petty! yes! the kala bunder is 'invisible' and people keep adding their own versions of him further forcing the communities apart. the kala bunder could stand for a number of things.....terrorism, political tensions which causes repurcussions amongst the common man, the fear of superstitions, of appearing god fearing which create petty biases, or perhaps the fact that we make a mountain of a molehill, exaggerate every trivial issue to make it into the sensation [courtesy, the media also portrayed hysterically here]......the fact that all these issues are faceless, don't have a religion, that we have to unite to face these problems, FACE them and not escape. there is a dialogue where the Muslim head and a rich Hindu moneylender are relieving themselves on the same street and they wait for each other and walk together [during the riots] saying that the root cause of the whole problem was the kala bunder.....exactly!

then there is this so called 'mad fakir' who keeps trying to show people their face in an old mirror, saying that God exists in everyone. Mehra doesn't want to anger his viewers, or make them feel so ashamed of themselves that they berate the film. so there is an element of the fact Indians are intrinsically good, but their biases can divide them almost instantly......we are warm people, but also keep the kala bunder within us ready to take over anytime.....the fakir says we're all the same.

i read a few reviews in the newspaper today and most of them had to say that there was too much of symbolism, an overdose of it in Delhi-6. this is probably because most of Delhi-6 was so perfectly put, critics like me find it difficult to put it all into words. we can't just summarize it because it won't do justice to its themes. of course there were many themes, the most important one being communal riots [sorted out in the joint pursuit of the kala bunder]. the minor ones included family tensions [sorted out in the joint pursuit of the kala bunder], a pigeon symbolic to a girl with dreams trapped into family obligation 'tradition', both set free at the same time [while the family decides to use the kala bunder excuse to avoid insult in their community].

so....hmmmm......there were many themes but they were all connected to the kala bunder.......while it was the root cause to all their problems, people used it to solve their problems, even for escapism.....so people use their kala bunder within them to justify their actions, to do exactly what they want to do [they can tell 'god' that the 'kala bunder' made them defy 'his rules']. the most ironical thing to this theme of the internal kala bunder was the ram leela performance, relevant snips of it shown throughout the movie. the lessons inferred from the ram-leela performance was exactly the opposite of what they did as a part of tradition, 'god's orders' [the caste system bias] which is merely their interpretation, Hanuman doesn't kill Ravan, but just sets fire to Lanka [ they don't kill the kala bunder intially, but its just used to confuse and anger the communities further]. hmmmm.......curious.....Hanuman was a monkey, a bunder too.......

of course all this isn't put as a preachy prattle but an engaging narrative.....the ram leela sequences act as foreshadowing techniques, the songs are fantastic [courtesy, A.R. Rahman's composition] all of them, from Ghenda Phool, to Kala Bunder, to of course the song which is topping the charts in almost every radio channel 'Masakali' [courtesy Mohit Chauhan's fantabulous voice]. Junior B was quite natural and fitted his role to the tee, Deepak Dobriyal as Mamdu the jalebi seller had such queer mannerisms and a scarily human character [many shades to him] which he did justice too and definitely deserves praise for! the whole cast fitted in perfectly except Sonam Kapoor.
before you come after me like I'm the kala bunder, let me justify.....yes, she's beautiful, has an excellent wardrobe, lovely eye make-up etc, etc.....but the way she walked down chandni-chowk, the way she spoke to people it seemed like she [and not Roshan] had landed from America......her mannerisms were so NOT that of a middle class Delhi-ite, instead more of a Bombay girl, according to me. the heaven sequence which had Amitabh Bachchan in it was completely atrocious and not needed for such a wonderful movie like this, but I'll let that slip by because the end, where each of them looks into the fakir's mirror was SO cute.....each of them preening, looking proud, with that beautiful song 'maula....maula' playing in the background was so touching.....it made me feel like.....we aren't that bad and we can make things better together..... a mirror just shows you your identity, not your religion and this is our identity....we are Indians and CAN be a country whose unity is a force that can't be broken or swayed......

15 Feb 2009

hari's tryst with girls

well, i'm not going to write about valentine's day, except for the fact that EVERY restaurant/cafe we went was teeming with couples- skinny girls with a slick side fringe covering their eye nibbling at a piece of cake somewhat reluctantly, unhealthy looking boys all shocked that the girl had actually agreed to go out with someone who looks like that [i'm not being mean, that was the look on their faces]. mom and me were having our regular girls-day-out [we always do don't we? even when i'm hundred i'll be watching movies, eating, drinking, travelling with my mom], we had valentine's day cupcakes so that we'd have a reason to be silent [a reason other than pure chagrin] and the icing turned out to be so bitter, the bitter,creamy feel still makes its way up my throat a day later! *shudder*

ok......stop......why does food ALWAYS seeps into my columns, discussions, everything......god! and this column is not meant to be about valentine's day, food, couples, whining, jealousy, the ram sena, pink chuddies.....ae la! now i really don't have a topic do i.....especially after you took away food and whining ;)

well.....i could talk about this big flirt i know......Hari....he just about ignores men and boys or just gives them an obligatory smell down and walks away. he looks up to my big brother siddarth like some sort of god, waiting for him in the night while he packs and doing him A HUGE FAVOUR by not stealing his socks. but with girls.......he'll climb up on the jhula with them, run around with their handbag, try to pull of their rubberbands, look at them with this look of utter admiration staring right into their faces and then giving them this ultra huge wet slobbery kiss right from their forehead to chin and cheek to cheek....that million dollar kiss can cover the whole of india!

he has this weakness for pretty girls. i thought dogs were almost blind and had this strong sense of smell.....but its the opposite for hari......he spots girls, little puppies and rats but can't find me when i'm hiding in the living room right BEHIND him. well, so if a gang of girls walking down our lane......he'll walk his famous flirty lion walk with his tail all high and proud and his ears going all funny and then run behind the girl who squeals the most. once there was this lady who was going for a party looking all decked up and pretty and mom and me causally commented that she look pretty.....hari in the meanwhile sat in the middle of the road staring at her while she walked from stretch to stretch and wagged his tail with so much vigour he could supply mumbai all its electricity and then he looked incredibly dissapointed, his ears going all low again and his tail forgetting its position in the skies when she didn't even spare him a look [forget about falling for him].....

well......he didn't get any valentine yesterday, but he isn't moping or whining or complaining about bitter cup cakes. all he was worried about was that we'd go galavanting again and desert him oh! that question mark look on this face, a slight bend with his tongue sticking out, ears cocking in that alert signal, eyes going all huge and pleading.....ready to attack, turn, dive whatever the situation demands.....

oh hari! here's a valentine tribute to you <3

8 Feb 2009

a good laugh

i wrote these alliterations in a fit of boredom a few months ago......half of them don't make sense, but could probably extract a guffaw or too......

The agonizing aunt ambled around an American anteater

The breathless Bengali babe buttered buckets and bathed with bread.

The crippled cat caught a curious chauvinist counting the calipigous asses by the cot

The devious drunkard dressed up distressed dog.

The European elephant etched eleven elves this eve

The frumpy falcon finished a full falooda

The grumpy gorilla got his groin grated

The hoaxed hummingbird hummed a hiccup

The ill Indian illicitly ironed an ice-cream

The juvenile joker jolted and jittered

The king sized kangaroo kicked a karela

The luminous leech let a limp layman lie low

The monstrous mangoose molested malicious Mogambo

The naughty nincompoop nets a nitwit

The opera Odyssey is older than Othello

The pompous puffed pancake patted his potent patella

The querulous quarter-foots were quietened with quinine.

The rounded rump gathered a roaring rumpus

The stuttering sailor shot a starry stare at the stumped stewardess

The teetering tiger gave tottering tweet

The ugly underwear undermined the umbrella

The voluminous vicar vied his villainous vices to ‘vanvas’ with vases

The woeful walnut wailed at the wicked welter.

The Xerox x-rayed himself with xenophobia.

The yacht yelped at the yawning yam

The zebra grew Zamias at zenith.

3 Feb 2009


well.....what does unite the world? globalization? bah! too commercial......well suffering and compassion? nah! too phylosofical [never mind if the mucked-up spelling reminds you of floss, you get what i mean right?] hmmm...... cruelty.....ah-ha! now you're talking......actually no.....whining!
the world's too big, my pants are too small, its too cold, its stiflingly hot, my boils have turned green......whine, whine......the more sophisticated term is bitching....nah-ah! don't you deny it, we all LOVE doing that don't we?......especially whining stuffed with sarcasm through poker-straight faces which does become funny. well, this column is getting nowhere! i was going to write about the manglore pub incident....but thats going to take a lot of time [BECAUSE MY 'FEMINIST RIGHTS' SPIRIT IS FLAMING] and i'm living on borrowed time. chill! now don't go dropping that 'puja ki thali' like tulsi and parvati.....i'm not terminally ill.....i've just borrowed time from my mom, 'break time' i call it to take a break from all those useless formulas flowing through my nose. yup! you guessed right! i have my mock exams going on [RHEAA YOU HAVE YOUR MOCKS! GET OFF THE NET THIS INSTANT!]. i'm done with my pre-mocks and my 'break-between-mocks-tadpole-tests-and-projects' and all that faff.....so much preparation.....geez, we're not going to war! talking about slow torture, it really doesn't help having ten million papers in each subject....orals, listening, writing, walking, sleeping, mistake-finding......and what's cruel about this is that its during a time when we're terribly restless [harmonal changes I reckon] so that really doesn't help guys.....
in the meanwhile i'm craving to read a new book, preferably 'the last lecture' or 'Q and A' [oh shut up! so what if i haven't read them, i've read some books you probably haven't even heard off].....most of dave barry's american humour is going over my head perhaps because I DON'T LIVE THERE AND DON'T KNOW WHAT THE SHIT HE'S TALKING ABOUT.....and i'm binge eating, i can't sleep, i'm tired of the same songs on radio, i can't stop fidgeting, i don't want to watch anything......i don't know what will put my restless spirit to ease......

P.S: does anyone have a straight jacket i can borrow?

18 Jan 2009


by now you'd know the sort of filmy buffoon i am.....carried away by sushmita sen's saris in 'Main hoon na', Priyanka Chopra in Dostana [looking sexy in one of my favourite songs 'Desi Girl'], i attempted to be a heroine myself. I had this keeda to wear a sari since i was an infant, my seventh grade navari sari was kind of like cheating.....[it had a zip and was pre-folded] and wearing a sari for one of our casual 'dress as you like' days at school would be too much.....

then i was presented with this perfect opportunity......my uncle's 60th b'day puja!!! i was firm, i had strongly made up my mind to wear a sari.....if I couldn't wear one now, then i never would. mom tried dissuading me, "you won't be able to sit", "you won't be comfortable the first time", " are you sure you want to wear a SARI for the PUJA?" she tried to convince me into wearing an angarkar. now normally i'm not that stubborn [atleast that's what i believe], but this time i was. no one could drill their finger of sari-phobia in my mind the way they drill their finger into a firm idli! this way, mom was forced to wear a sari and so was my aunt!!!

i loved the colour combination.....a bottle green sari with a lovely, rich border [mom faked a heart attack thinking it looked too heavy] and a maroon blouse [thankfully not holding my arms ransom like hand cuffs]. draping it was difficult......you couldn't switch on the fan and you have to pleat it carefully and now which side becomes the pallu and how to drape it and make the pins stay in place [they're as disobiedient as Hari :P ]. mom did everything for me while i stood with my hands in the air [literally]. but it was confusing for her because its not the same as draping a sari on herself [or so she said] and i watched so i've learnt how to drape one [almost].....so don't u dare call me spoilt and born with a silver spoon and all that chiding nonsense adults blabber when they don't know how they can yell at you.

then putting on all the jewellery, delicate with millions of things to plug in and tighten and pull, the eye liner [with your eyes closed], cream and powder on my back [the patch my blouse would leave naked].......and then clicking all the pictures [hilarious ones of me looking like an air hostess in a namaste position, desi-girl step and sitting like someone's mom] and then.....the terror......tottering down the steep stairs which had gazillion stairs i normally skip or pace up. tottering in heels, lifting the sari, stepping out of the building with everyone watch......all made me feel too much like a heroine [arre, make-up man ko bulana! touch up! touch up!].

the puja was like a networking site, move around talk to relatives [some you haven't even heard of], smile contently when everyone says, "you've grown sooooo tall like your dad", "you look like a younger version of your aunt", " i saw you when your were a little girl/ baby/both". my cousins were the best, i saw them aeons ago and they're like cute stand up comedians......one will start their sentence, the other one will add a hilarious rejoinder......great flatterers too [which is why i'm promoting them here :P]

the food was excellent, the best South Indian food i've eaten.....served on banana leaves..... rice, saar [translation: yummy south indian thin dal], beans with coconut, chitrana [flavoured rice, nah! the translation doesn't do justice to it], sweet puri, sweet gravy to go with it, masala vada [like dahi wada, we were all betting its dum aloo or egg curry intially, but obviously thats not south indian and won't be served in a south indian mutt (temple)], laddoos, kheer, pickles, i bet i'm missing something.......and you could start after the bhatru [priest] bellows somethings loudly inaudible [don't ask] and his assistants run about serving from huge buckets, " anna solpa, solpa anna" [some rice, have some rice]

we came back exhausted from the Puja......not in a sari state......no pain at all......at first i thought the sari would rip if i take big steps, but when it didn't i was nice and comfy......i managed to sit, stand, walk with/without heels without falling/ripping/spilling [almost negligible amounts don't count right?]...... a proper desi girl! yah!

16 Jan 2009

the 'factors'

ya....sure.....go ahead.....be judgemental as usual..... u'll make this really grumpy face and shut your window [computer window ok!], put your hands in the air in defeat and say.....she's done it again.....she'll talk about one of those asine, utterly useless maths formulas..........well! ha! i proved you wrong AGAIN didn't i? i'm going to talk to you [ummmm......write to you?] about too books I loved......or liked.....or atleast appreciated [ya, definitely]......'The Zoya Factor' by Anuja Chauhan and 'Like Water for Chocolate' by Laura Esquirel.

'The Zoya Factor' is for any Indian who loves romance, far-fetched-filmy-ness and know about cricket [i won't say 'loves cricket' because i know terribly little about it: i know it has a great market in india, i can name a few players, IPL teams......but i can't fanthom the rules or what exactly we're meant to watch for! when i was in grade 5, our whole class was made to play cricket and it was my turn to make runs, so, being the 'ultimate cricketer', terribly flustered and confused.....i ran AWAY from the stumps instead of between them. ya, go one, choke with tears of laughter, call me an idiot.......Rheaa 'GATHER!' [courtesy Kate Winslet's terrible Golden Globe speech.....i'm straying now]

anyway, back to 'the zoya factor'.....i just remembered i was discussing a book and not 'the times, trials, tribulations and titrations [? ( i think i heard it in science, but oh well, starts with 't')] of Rheaa Rao'. the lead character, Zoya, her insecurites, her un-perfect way of life[ not shattering or depressing.....but just not.....complete] can be easily identifyed with, even though she's supposed to be a decade older to me: 27 years old in 2011 [set during the world cup year]. Nikhil Khoda the skipper of the Indian cricket team [in the book], handsome, exclusive, lean and mean [coincidentally (?) he's our Zoya's hero]. Khoda's character is based on Dhoni and the whole idea of him falling for her seems too far-fetched, too DDLJ types which makes silly teenage girls like Gauravi [my best friend] and me swoon with tears of joy and bubbles of hope.

the whole set up, the characters: assortment of media, PR, advertising people and crickets [some boorish, some over-punjabi], the story [zoya is presumed to be the lucky charm of the indian cricket team because they win whenever she has breakfast with them], the sequence is great for filmy buffs but may seem over baked for snobbish 'pure literature fans'. its like.......if you've had too much of swiss toblerones you wouldn't love Indian cadburies [they're still chocolate, so i still love them.... but you get the comparision don't you].....curious......food seems to seap into whatever i write......and think.....and [well, never mind]. the language, the tone is engaging......both G and me went through more than 500 pages without fatigue or the urge to put it down. the language has hindi, punjabi slangs, typical indian idiosyncrasies of talking......which makes it funny, and entertaining like i said......but it isn't what i'd call a literay masterpiece. but what's more important......the literary gyan or how much you enjoy......the latter obviously [though being a 'global citizen' would mean i'd say 'both]

Like Water for Chocolate.....yummy, yum. the way its written is what makes it a cut above the rest......the story may not be a great story one: opressions and traditions of a Mexican household where the protagonist Tita isn't allowed to marry her beloved because according to family tradition the youngest daughter is to remain a spinster and look after her mother till she dies. but the way its written......weaving in incidents with recipes and anecdotes till it sounds almost implausible.....like an ironical legend......like a fable.....thats what made G and me sink into the book [yes, we read several books together.....share a copy even! fight to read it (almost)]. its written monthly......every month there's a new recipe and a story [the continuing story of tita] in it. so everything is not written in a flow or in sequence, like a diary of recipes, tales and life. again....it may seem silly to people.....some IBs who have to study it in year 11 english say so too. but you have to see the irony, the woven fantasy with dreams of fanstasy in hope of a fanstasy.....if you get what i mean....well....if you don't.....JUST READ IT.....read both of them....

i'll be back with more scoops......if u grovel enough......

4 Jan 2009

ANNUAL DAY TIME [2003-2008]

from the left: esha, khusnum, me, aishwarya, utsav, binoy, parth [2005 annual day]: my bus stop buddies

from the left: utsav, me, aishwarya, aayush [2005 annual day]: my bus stop buddies

time....you can never capture it [only in your memories], you can never be its master, or even understand it or fanthom how it creeps up on you. yes, this is how anyone would feel at the end of a long christmas break.....mock exams *groan* and board exams *double groan* are not exactly what normal people look foward to. here i am....looking like Phulan Devi, clutching a weapon which freezes unsuspecting people....the weapon called 'Mumbai weather', something as ambigious as time, cahoots with it.....but not even this can freeze time! so i'm using my blog to freeze time, freeze my best memories because time while bribe my mind to give way ......muhahahaahhaa! fiend! caught you at last! you're trapped here!

Annual day rehersals, [ie, night school, ie, no classes or school in the morning for a whole WEEK!] top my chart of 'top ten best memories' [because i have to think what the other nine are :P]. we've had an annual day from when the school first opened in 2003....i was in grade 5 then and I remember those horrendous sadhu-orange costumes with giant slits all over [i'm not exaggerating, yes, they were way bigger than your piggy bank slits]. they had constructed this stadium like ambience and we'd sit really high up, watching the show, gossiping, cheering, clapping. after being a part of the suns rays for the 'surya namskar +sun dance', i was also in the taekwando item. i looked absolutely asinine fighting with an imaginary partner [my partner was absent in the last minute], but Shah Rukh Khan- who was the chief guest then- flashed me a smile and gave me a thumbs-up signal making me feel all better [people still insist it was a figment of my imagination and that he must have just smiled looking at the item in general.]

next year, we had our show called 'Jivtara' at Sharmukananda hall. when the other scenes were being rehearsed, we would sit in the dark upper stalls exchanging ghost stories [courtesy Alric, Ishita, Rishabh]. we'd have food on the stairs where the younger kids could come running out, point out at us and shout, 'Joker, Joker', giggle and run helter-skelter [no, this wasn't because of my mango nose, we were supposed to be jolly jokers from the 'land of colour']. since it was so dark in the stalls we were seated, we'd also use the opportunity to stare at the cute guys from the higher classes. the older 'prince of perfection' and the 'shadow weaver' were the top favourites of girls from all classes that year! ;)

ohhhhhhhh! 2005 was the year night school actually started. all these years, we had rehearsed during the day [or sometimes during weekends]. this year, we seventh-grade girls had to wear 'navarri saris', the ones which traditional maharastrians wear, which are pulled from between your legs making you look like an insect [if you aren't used to wearing it]. i remember feeling all pretty inspite of my nerdy glasses and fake mangalsutra, but amongst all the fuss and chagrin and dismay and moaning and groaning and hiding by the other navarri ladies......no one paid much attention to me......and now when i look back at the picutres, i did look like a house-maid ;) [check the pictures attached with this entry].

when i was in the eighth we had this mini-olympics in our school ground. schools from different countries visited our school and took part in sporting events. grade eight was also made to go for a movie with some of our guests [optional]. we were shown 'lage raho munnabhai' with english subtitles and we were to sit in another block in the theatre, away from our guests, so there was no interaction. the atheletes of our school did get to interact with them during work-outs and given got to where a decent looking sari and dance to vande mataram with the indian flag. the rest of our class were the 'evil elements' who wanted to snuff out the olympics flame but were defeated by the peace dove. so we were involved in this very complicated dance+ making evil faces. our make up was a lightning scar and braided hair [decent], but....uh-oh! since i was also singing the school prayer with the indian music group in a chikan salwar [oishika: "its made of chicken! i'm not wearing it!" haha] much before our dance.....our music teacher insisted on taking off my braids and make up [which i didn't allow her to do, i spent so much time and money getting it braided].
so for the pooja, i was in a chikan salwar kameez with braided hair and evil make-up [no, i don't have pictures for you to laugh at]. during the dance, we had to move in circles of three, and since i was bigger than the other too and we had to be fast, i found my partners almost flying. on stage we collided into another circle, got hit on the head by one of those wooden lightining bolts and almost got skated on [thats how crowded the stage was]. no one knew of this though, even though there were huge screens, they only showed our formation from a top view.....so we were saved.
being a secretive black sheep, i also gave my teachers a slip [they didn't think I could do such a thing] and ran off with my friends to sit in an empty lab and sip coffee [strictly for teachers], almost getting caught by our head teacher [no comments].

every year, at least one class has to do the vande mataram dance [from what i've observed].....last year, grade nine [that's us] had to do the honour. initially there was a strange group who tried to teach us puppetery, walloped us, attacked a few boys, bragged a lot about the break up of every single theatrical action and expression in each minute of theatre and how they had mastered it and we couldn't but had too [?]. they finally left defeated [or were kicked out] and replaced by another group, an extreme who knew little about these 'expressions of theatre' and tried to make us dance to 'mumbai meri jaan'. then finally we were given 'vande-mataram', transparent white salwars with blue duppattas deceptively pinned up so they wouldn't slip off and electric diyas.
during the rehearsals some of us even sang and danced to 'silsila yeh chahat ka' [from devdas] with these diyas. this was the year of pagal-panti. we weren't small now and didn't get dinner bags to eat quitely in class, but instead were allowed to use the dining hall like we do during the day. we were also allowed to romp about the school......so we raced off to the 'social area' in the girls toilet [a huge dry area+ a comfortable marble bench] where we acted scenes from om shanti om and saas-bahu serials on camera.....NAHIIIIIIIIII!!!!!!

this year, grade 10 did a broadway dance, armed with golden hats, golden tailcoats, golden pants [ringmasters from fairyland according to me]. my cheeks were flushed from the excitement of night school and all the make up made me look rosier [like Kareena Kapoor in chup chup ke]. initially, we had to all remain in class where we started playing poker [no, not strip poker!]. i didn't [and don't] know how to play this game, so i watched politely, commented, cheered. then the cards were confisticated and we weren't allowed to bring our ipods and cells [we did anyway for after the heads were gone]. our practise didn't take quite long, but the whole school had to remain in school till 9:30 so we crept out of class to watch the grandeur from a top view. of course we had our moments, i had got my binos [to spy on.....well.....you don't need to know] and we stood on the fifth floor, screamed out [name held for security reasons] and ran and hid and laughed when they looked up. we also made prank calls from our cells in the bathroom [heellllloooo, chunnu ji hai?], gossiped, gaped at the Michael Jackson dance and dodged footballs the boys of our class nearly hit us with. this year, we seriously felt grown-up, from having dinner in packets up in class, to dining in the hall, this time were dining in the front lawn! beneath the stars, in the open air out of close scrutiny! how romantic!

after both our shows got over of november 15th, i was feeling so low...both me and my friend were crying over the phone because annual day was over again......like a major festival was over......like time was speeding by while i'm standing and shouting at it to wait for me. during the night rehersals, we'd stand and watch the view from class.....the large football field glistening of night dew, the calm, calm hills, the starry Mithhi river, buildings glistening further away......i could even see this flame [HP colony flame, i used to live there years ago].....small, twitching in the dark......far, far away.......like something wonderful in the past.....glowing.....glimmering......always there......you're watching it but you've passed it and will never be back......the journey of no return.....YOU'LL NEVER BE BACK!

1 Jan 2009

GAY: the stamp.....the scar?

i wrote this article as part of the DAIMUN press application around four months ago..... i didn't get selected in press, but oh well! atleast i was in the SC! i decided to put this up because there was a comment on my blog which called both the films RNBDJ and Ghanjini 'gay' [meaning stupid and asinine] which another blog-reader didn't much fancy!

The word ‘gay’ has become a terribly ‘frivolous’ one in our daily speech. It’s often used as a derogatory term, almost a synonym for a blend of the words asinine and effeminate. We, as the youth, highlight human rights, like the right to freedom, life, work, education, expression, food, and life; make resolutions at prestigious MUN conferences against breaching human rights. But more often than not, we are the ones you use this word derogatorily or perhaps too carelessly, thus snatching the right of gays, the right to be accepted as a regular part of the society.

The Indian media dragged on the alleged gay relationship between Karan Johar and Shah Rukh Khan till it sickened the public and a section of people still abhor them because they’re allegedly ‘gay’. The word ‘gay’ has topped the charts as a reason to dislike and demean people; it has grown to be a ‘fault’ or ‘short-coming’ amongst us. People have even started being vary of friendship between people of the same sex, intimacy between friends is looked upon with suspicion.
Being gay has become tabooed, and sticks to a person like a tag, often growing into a cult and is not looked upon as a state of mind or a preference. How come straight relationships don’t form cults then? naturally, because they’re accepted by the society. This shows our society’s obstinate denial to make room for those in between. However, this is gradually changing, and acceptance of gay relationships and legality of gay marriages have become more common. Nations like Canada, Belgium, Norway, Netherlands, South Africa, and Spain amongst others have recognized gay marriages, and so have several American states. So, in this case, its not one but several countries that are fighting against discrimination of gays. On the other hand, it is strange that South Africa has recognized gay marriages, as the gay HIV rates have skyrocketed most in this country!

Still, in my opinion, gay marriages and relationships should be legalized all over the world, simply because being gay can’t be helped, it’s a subconscious state of mind for most, just like how liking a particular colour or a particular song is, you have no control over it.
However, I wonder if I’d be the same breezy, open-minded girl if my close friends or relatives turn out to be gay; would I be cautious, pretentious of what I say and do in their presence? Would I be more sensitive to gays, or would I be revolted? Would I be careful as to how close I am to them and intentionally or involuntarily distance myself from them? Would I subconsciously harp on the fact that they’re gay? These questions cross my mind, as our family friend, whose daughter is friendly with a gay keeps saying, “She has a friend…..and he’s GAY!” She personally has no qualms regarding gays, but it’s just engraved in her mind that it’s something different from what she is used to, from the regular norms.
The reaction is involuntary, just like being gay is, so we can’t actually blame the society for being intolerable and insensitive about this issue. It entirely depends on the psychological make-up of each individual....both being gay and accepting gays.