Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Belgian Chocolate it is

I never knew I have a thing for Belgian Chocolates. But turns out that I actually do.... ;-)

Hmmm this is the third sentence that I have typed. Am not sure what to write, there is so much to gush about and so little of it worthy of words. lets start from the beginning; usually tends to work out fine.....

saturday evening, i decided to rescue someone who was spending his limited time in India in a hell hole of a hotel surrounded by Chinese electronic stores. Being in blore the only thing that made sense for him to do was to head to a geek party.. .. so that is exactly what we did.

A coffee, an ice cream, some vodka shared with geeks, a movie in the night, a lazy morning, a movie, a dinner with another earnest smart geek. (this one actually attended quizzes on Sunday and would get upset when he got the wrong answer and gave us stories about his colleague getting slapped by his mother, as his most memorable 30 seconds of life, when he fell into the indian commode) a night of talking about Peru, art and history, what made Belgium belgium, the best things to come from there.. ( there are like 2.5 things.. Sax, chocolate and beer), a monday morning that began at a time when most people have their week chalked out, a yoga class, lazy walks, heated fights, bowling and fights over french fries...........

The days mingled into one another, as we peeled off the onion layers to understand the other.

How does this work? when 2 people from totally diverse worlds meet and are able to find common linkages that makes the other person seem like an old friend? 

Been thinking about that.. and think a lot of it has to do with the person themselves. Humour and wit, a sense of ease around them, openess to eat crap like baigan ka bharta and puchkas (water balls) with as much enthusiasm and making omlettes the Indian way. 

ENGLISH.. the common delayering tool helps immensely. Hollywood, shared music and Google the handiman that you reach out to every now and then to show each other pictures of your favourite food or hear that song that seems suddenly so very apt

Bonds are created over shared conversations and more than the subject matter of anything that is discussed it is the sense of meeting someone without any expectations whatsoever. 

That is the suspended beauty of meeting a person in transit. 
A bubble land. 
A bubble that you know shall be bursting, vaporising into drops with different destinies
but for the moment the bubble is just to be lived. Truly lived

Belgian Chocolate has managed to teach me a lot, already. The biggest learning has been not about his nation or beer, or trivia about the crusade to be vegetarian but something far far subtler. The act of being. Just being. 

For a traveler he is very ZEN. There is no hurried frenzy to visit places and see things, there is no camera or sharing of pictures, there is no plan to the day, there is a lot of simple flow. Being with the flow just letting it all out. 

I cant imagine going to another country and not agonizing over the map. Wondering bewildered how to see it all. Each day would be ticked off as accounted for only if there was enough seen, enough done. Yet, after each such travel the memories that are sticky are the ones that were the spontaneous conversations had with someone at the curb. 

This is the beauty of meeting someone just like that
i dont think i shall ever tire of it
each of these encounters is a memory is something i cherish; 
taking little smiles with me to my grave.  

Monday, March 29, 2010

Avatar that fictional?

It took me three months, several oscars and a host of convincing from close friends before I subjected myself to the three hour drama that was AVATAR!. 

Despite sharing the cinema space with a nauseating child, who chattered like one of the chattering monkeys of Pandora throughout the movie, and having my cellphone ringing incessantly because some asshole called Suresh, wanted to learn yoga from me exactly at that point of time and messaged me 34 times to ask how long the movie was. In between this, sweet shall not give you work person wanted to know right now right then how the movie was going.....Wheeewwwwww

Despite this, there was a legend there, of 1000 years that took 10 years to make,  a place where the people believed that there was someone higher, the ancient mother would protect the balance of life, that the ancestors whispered secrets, there was a harmony that was above any and everything and certain places were sacred. This was the land of Pandora; supposedly fictional and alien. 

Ironical isn't it.
The way of the Pandora that seems so alien to us, with its customs and tribes, whispering trees and demons is very close to some of the civilizations that we seem to have lost. 

Was almost weeping towards the end, pained by the loss and helplessness that seemed to besiege them on the devastation of their home. But the very makers of this movie, were sitting in a land that was built on the collapse of a very similar civilization. The native Americans lost the battle between gun powder and well aimed arrows. The African colonization was built on trade of worthless trinkets for land and in the end wiped up the century old traditions that came with the place. 

So complete has been this cultural replacement that in the entire continent in South America, the languages spoken are Eurpoean. 90% of the population was wiped out by the died by the diseases got in by the white man. 

Action against terror. 

hasnt that been a often enough thrown about line by everyone. The bush says it. then the laden states it. then the new version of bush wants to state it without stating it and in the interim the pakis and the indians try to focus all the energy of 2 nations on 1 Headely... to me sitting in a city, where I see IT come and entrench everywhere, the few things that are little and purely Indian seem to be seeping out too.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Couching we are !! ;-0

So Jungle 82 had pushed it too far. He had gone from here to go be at ivory coast, why?? to make money. The unwritten rule was that he was to be miserable, unhappy and spending all his waking moments dreaming of soft idlis and pining for home cooked food.

Instead!!!! The douche bag is doing this

  • Seeing real live chimpansees in the JUNGLE@!!@!%#%#% and they came up to him and took bananas from his hand... what ever! 
  • is eating sushi, and that too with chopsticks
  • dances the night away doing the perfect head rolls on the floor that the yo boys are capable of doing on the dance floor 
  • has 4/5 gorgeous female flatmates and is always off having a blast all the time
This is just the tip of the ice berg, add to this the havana drinks, crocodile meat, getting pulled by cops, love lessons, some indian movies and cooking pancakes on the beach while drenched from a volley ball match and you have a heady life combination that seems to be working out ! ;-)

So what if he deserves each and every moment hands down, has worked for years and years to get there, I can and still retain the right to be jealous (J82 u know i looooove u)

With all these experiences being thrown at me, i had little to compete with. The mumbai trips and eating a dosa somehow just did not manage to cut it. I hate hate having my life being DRAB! Drama  must be the corner stone and adventure the pillar it is placed next too..... 

So last night i became dramatic ...or decided to. For some random reason draped myself in a PINK dress and went to test drive cars. Pink dress, and high shoes I went for showroom to showroom asking the critical things that make me choose a car- mileage, safety n ability to zoom over speed breakers. Forgot all about the car engine, the torque etc etc. But was floored and how by the Mazda!! Superb ;-)

Then decided to beat Jungle 82 on his own game and met/hosted my first couch surfer.. 
Name - Wicked Boy
From - Belgium
Does - Grows organic potatoes, makes electronic music, flirts with the sitar, travels to south america, studies history and gets skin peeled off by baking on the seashores of burning Kerala 

Wicked boy was shown Bangalore by being escorted to his first Geek party, where he was assaulted by men wearing Royal Challengers T shrits, who explained in painstaking detail the role played by milk in creating lactic acid that covers the stomach lining as a result of which the indian version of marijuana, takes a longer time to react giving a high that has a duration of several hours and is natural in its body waste disposal method. So this reaction makes the equation of body and bhaang very powerful and he as a traveler must share some. 

Needless to state, we left and fast......... 

So wicked boy is chilling at home, and am trying to roll the corner stone of drama a notch closer to the adventure pillar. The drama is def there.. building up already..

Am off to swim today and then see a movie. Life is all right again I say

Saturday, March 27, 2010

wisdom from a blue butterfly

have a butterfly friend in my life. Is a lot like the blue smoke spewing caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland, sits on a toadstool and looks at the world through wise knowing eyes. Speaks in a language borrowed from Neo of Matrix and leaves a lot open to the fluidity of life and destiny.

GR saw me upset 2 days ago. very upset. and one of those things that I could not share yet not not get impacted by.. Yea too gol gol.. anyway he is not a probing kind of a guy. Steps back and without going into the details balms the feelings instead.... how do people do that i wonder... I am a pest.. Tell na? What happened? your mom said something.. u took your weight? and then and then and then.. I can go on and on till someone spills the beans on what happened .. the feelings are usually brushed aside like bread crumbs.

Anyway.. so little GR sent me a present ... a story. The moral of the story has not been spelt out just yet, you choose your own interpretation.

There is a great difference between what gets attracted towards us and what we choose to get attracted to. 

Going back to the butterflies... there was this small girl with lots of butterflies sitting on her and showering real love. All seemed fine till she she noticed a cockroach nearby. Failing to realize that it is different from a butterfly, she expected it behave like the butterflies. She wanted it to show love and affection. But the roach being itself kept running away into the dark. With all her friend butterflies advising her that its a roach, she still chose to chase it. The butterflies found it difficult to hold on while she was running. Her pursuit of roach was so pure from her side yet absolutely senseless and insensitive for the butterflies. They could not help but wonder. In the process she forgot to nurture the butterflies - tender beings. Some found it difficult to hold on - some died and some flew. She became oblivious to the passage of time and events. 

She managed to catch the roach - only to realize that it is not a butterfly. Only to realize few are still holding on and other have left. 

Who made it? Was it her? Was it the lack of patience from butterflies? Was it the roach? Was it the circumstance? Ah...was it fate?  

Friday, March 26, 2010

mumbai only city worth it.. says CG

I love travelling. Anytime anywhere.

The moment you return you look at your city and space in a whole new light. During my last day in Mumbai, was travelling with a business associate and she said something uncanny.

A die hard Mumbai-ite, she looked honestly bewildered at how anyone could choose to live in any other city. Her rationales were even cuter.

  • Chennai as we all know is not a city. 
  • Bangalore has good weather, hence she felt incapable of getting out of bed. Result no work done
  • Delhi- this is when she nearly spat out of the auto in horror. Chee she squeaked, that is a horrible horrible place, the auto guys are all thieves and they steal. Agreed the roads are good but what is the point when I cant walk on them in the night the only time when it is cool enough to walk there in the first place..... 
Well the logic was so tightly cast in steel that I could only mutely nod my head. 

She closed her statements to the jury consisting of me and the auto guy saying, you know was flying over Blore in the evening at about 9 and saw only a few lights on, she thought there was a power failure.... and shuddered when over the next few days the power failure became the 11pm deadline that paralyses this city weekend or weekday.

Then she took her flight back to Mumbai. Late night flight, the landing was timed at 12.30 in the night, sitting on the window seat she glanced at the city she calls home and GRINNED...... The city was ablaze, there were lights, traffic, movement and even from the air the city seemed to be signaling to her. Or as she put it 


Slurping Mama Mia ice cream at 2 am on the Bandra Bandstand, watching the moon dance on the waves as a couple tries to be discreet between the rocks can only smile at that statement

actions not words

Dr Brain L Weiss, is the author of the famous Many Lives Many Master book, amongst the other books on regression that he has written.

For the uninitiated, he was a trained shrink a certified doctor, who while treating one of his more difficult patients happened to regress her and heard spell bound as she narrated incidents from her past life. Its a fascinating series and real live cases of people who continue to live today.

For me there is/was one thing that stood out starkly in each book. As a patient died in their past life, they entered a tunnel of peaceful warm welcoming light, this light guided them into a period of rest and reflection. In this zone, each "spirit" would be asked what they had learnt during the course of that life. Interestingly, at the time of birth there was a mission that the "spirit" had set out to accomplish and it was time to do performance evaluation ;-)

The missions statements were the surprising things. It was not about changing the world or building the ozone layer but simple truths

- learning to trust
- love is important in families
- betrayal is ugly

lessons in these were what each life set out to teach. Taking these lessons as examples, in my experience space there is only ONE lesson that seems to be stuck on repeat mode.

           The lesson is - between actions and words choose actions. 

Simple lesson. Very tough to implement in entirety. 

Last year a specimen came in my life. A nice enough person, his actions however defied logic, am not even talking about the larger than life incidents that are dramatic. The small ones, the way you react when I am choose to see a movie with friends than meet you, demanding to be fed and served, subtle gender discrimination...

These are the small actions that are so tiny in the space that they consume in our lives that you let them slide. Focusing on the bigger events. The small ones break the foundation and leave you nothing to build on. 

Took me almost a year, to cease to have any interaction with that person in question. Wished had had the balls to cut it earlier.

Even at that time, what enabled me to do so was simple in its innocence. Made a laundry list of all the incidents that stood out for me in the time we spent, both the happy ones or the unhappy ones. Listed the actions, what we did or did not do forgot the words and was baffled at how the deep desire to be in love was clouding basic sanity of who you were choosing to be in love with.

Am revising the lesson now- aim to score full marks- Actions win over words

i am scared of me

Love is a complex game. 

The moment it turns us into blubbering fools. Keen to talk, to share to be validated. The same person we could have a back slapping conversation with, and sprawl on the bed with while seeing movies becomes someone we are conscious about. Every gesture gets a deeper meaning, every mail and text sent is read and re read looking for deeper meanings.  

Because somewhere in all this it becomes difficult to have a really honest conversation with ourselves and the  other person. We become scared to open up. Scared of the happiness of believing that it is here, that what we wanted for so long, the brief glimmer of hope that love may actually be knocking on the door makes us scared silly and we hide under the blankets dying to open the door and scared that if we did and let love in she would eventually up and leave.

That’s why I think we marry, its like a big lock that we can place on the door and say nopes, the flight out is available but u got to clean a lot of mess before you can choose to say the goodbye.

Why the hell am I talking in circles?
 Don’t know or maybe I do and am hiding from myself……

Someone once asked me two interesting and probing questions.
1.  Why do I seem to pick crash-burn-run relationships?
2.   Why is the attraction for those people who are taken?

As I type this out, I am taking a deep sigh and looking at them anew.  In the past year or two have seem to developed an art form of magnetizing in life some incredibility good and some useless people who are almost always stringed.  Good human beings, well then again everyone is a good human being for me but each with a story of how they had to go.  A fact that was not hidden but obvious from the moment go.

Hmmmm the problem then is obviously me and what I am choosing to attract towards me.  A cocktail of commitment phobia,  not having a ready made exit route ready or maybe the simpler scarier truth of the matter is that if there was someone who was there, really there then I would actually have to consider marrying that person.

The wisps of smoke, the illusion would solidify.
The dreams or the mental checklist I carry about who and what the person should be would become solidified to represent him.
Whoever that him is

Even scarier is that there may be a self esteem issue. Maybe and I think this is truer than I would care to acknowledge at some core cellular level, since I am prone to immense restlessness and get bored easily, I assume that is how every one else also thinks and feels. And so the fear is that when someone marries me, we shall get bored… eventually and that shall be just terrible. For him and for me.

What an absolutely silly way to think na……. that the institution of marriage then shall have to be re-crafted to allow the individual to shake themselves awake.. much like a dog post a shower and to reassess life post marriage. To get up and say, allright then this is sailing as is, but is not a kicker, so what else am I to do to get there… and this then gets the fuel going for more money, sailing, golf scores, some travel, chase and new conquests.

Am digressing into generic bullshit because talking about me is painful
So here is the bitter admission

I am not only blonde but also a woos. Trust easily and then look for love and reassurance in the wrong parameters. Get hurt and swear not to repeat this. I care and get invested, like meddle in your life invested super fast and then get confused when others are not like that.

But this is a sham. With the departure of each person, I re affirm my own limiting belief of how no one would want to spend a life with me, because somewhere am petrified of spending a faithful life time with someone.


Saturday, March 20, 2010

mumbai meri jaan

Saturday afternoon am sitting in the AB's  adorable house that he and only he could have converted into this creative coulourful expanse of himself; its adorably done and I slip into being with him after a year like we never ever left at all.

But like all good things we must be patient and commence ruminiations from the very begining. So hitting the pause button and rewinding to the Blonde me entereing the train compartment.

Think it is a media thing, but each time without fail when i travel there is a secret desire in me that I shall bump into someone interesting and the journey shall be memorable for the interaction that happens. So, lugging the rucksack and looking exceptionally blonde in a slightly clevage showing bright orange T shirt, jeans and huge glasses perched on head, I travessed the length of the platform to reach the berth that was to be home for 24 hours.

Disgusting. Passenger 1 is a toothy non talking baby who gives me a wide gummy smile signalling the duel that is to start. There is nothing worse than a baby to share a journey with, they cry, poop, demand to be fed and display thier butts shamelessly and assume that one smile at the end of it shall make life seem completely all right ;-(

Being the only women the mother gives me expectanct looks her forlon eyes looking for support in child care, little realizing that I am about as handy with kids as a grandmother with a foot ball.

anyway the remaining passengers were dotty as well. 1 was the quitessential tamil man who had all the buttons of his shirt closed till his adam apple. and squirmed each time the women fed the baby .... hahaha he made freinds on the basis of caste and subcaste even on the train journey. The other man was an IIT geek and examined every grain of rice before he ate it and the last person was sort of like me Dad, who explained to me in graphic detail what each of his children were doing in life, what he was doing, what he read, had 2 mobile phones and gave free gyan to all and sundry.

Needless to state, I spent the remainder of the journey standing by the door where there since I was clicking using my camera there was immense amusement caused on the platform.

But all in all was all right as a journey, though the heat has nearly beat everything to a dirty brown. Am feeling lazy and sleepy shall sign in later in the day to post about day 1 in a city that  i can never figure out i enjoy or not. Mumbai cant leave u numb, that is definite, it impacts you with its constant bustle at 3 am or 3 pm the sheer diversity of lives here is unparalleled.

Coming up day 1, the tales of the teacher jis house ;-), my welcome in, the place, the evening the new faces seen ... all this and more

sound like a commercial

Thursday, March 18, 2010

train trips

Am taking a train to Mumbai and more than going to Mumbai I am excited about the train journey. It is an instant childhood recall button that I can press. Standing at the train door, watching the fields stream by, marvelling at the odd shapped scarecrows all make me smile.

The most favourite part is to open the door wide open, specially when travelling in the Ac compartment, sitting on the stairs and just letting the wind play havoc with your hair. Can spend hours just observing the world.

One of the oldest games that I play with myself is to wonder what i would do if I slipped off. In my dream world, of course there is no injury sustained, but more of a "rubbing your eyes" and looking around you pretending that you are alice in wonderland. Have gone and imagined the entire cycle, of stumbling across fields money and cell phone less. Going to the next source of light and then hoping like mad that the village has a STD booth...... Calling dad, hoping he picks up (hoping that I remember the number as well) and then the image fades. Each of the possible solution that comes to mind has a zillion issues.

Solution 1 - get him to send me money- how? where? which bank? no atm? no atm card what shall be done?
Solution 2- borrow money for another train ticket - who shall be the kind benefactor? and wonder what I can do for him in return. The idea of making little flat gobar things to plaster on the wall seems abhorant.
Solution 3- Stand on the train tracks and flag a train down - hmm... doubt if trains have a lets give them a lift system ;-(
Solution 4- Talk to the station manager and hope he is a nice kind of bloke....
Solution 5- Reenact scenes from Jab we met and hope a millionaire kind of a guy happens to be ambling along...

Hmmm as u can see my overactive imagination makes for frightfully interesting train journeys.  Manage to be entertained very well with all the people around me. Happily so.

Also its fun to cook up stories of who i am and why I am alone on the train. Stories range from running away from home, to being a refugee, to being a biryani maker in hyderabad. Everyone believes anything at all. To seeing the specimens that appear today.. shall narrate later

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

octopus withdrawing

I feel like an octopus, that is about to sleep or hibernate. Not sure if octopuses hibernate, but if they do then that is what I feel like.

In the calmest way possible am retreating from a lot of worries, and issues that would consume me earlier. Truly feels to me like i am living the last few days here and am mentally bidding farewell to this place. Not just the city, even people where ever there are lingering emotions, whirlpools made vide the past the present the future, feel like revisiting that person, those moments and the bidding farewell to let them sail off in the path that they need to.

Am closing. Was mentioning this to Jungle 82 and he asked me if i was dying, hahaaa well not that i know about. But there is peace in these actions. Am finally travelling been a while coming. its only to Mumbai but the city was where last year I went cuckoo in several ways.

Its also Ab's birthday. Last year we were all happy, blown and sining songs with the Leela guards while getting his cake at some insane hour. Each of the people from that day have left, be it yummy mummy, AB, the house mates .... living their own reality. All is well. The flow carries on

Cant wait to meet AB in his teacher costume. Too cute ;-)

our lady knights

A friend fired his cook yesterday, because she was taking way too many days off and the food sucked. I am about to fire my maid too, if she shows up that is. The maid too has been missing in action, arbitrarily changing her reporting time of showing up at work and not been reliable. By all standards of performance, both are to be assigned to the CIP- Continuous Improvement Program – a term I heard some organization use recently and thereafter be asked to let go.  No matter where I was employed, would have been asked to leave as well.

On the flip side, the cook being asked to leave is only about 55 years old. Ready for retirement for a life time of pursuing leisure, hobbies and smiling at the doorway as you see grand children skipping in the courtyard. Instead she wakes up early, hale, rain or shine waits at the bus stop for the illusionary bus to appear, pays her fare and comes to the door step of my friends house. Repeats this day after day for a month to be paid Rs 600/- only with the added benefit of a saree for Diwali or something.

 Can vouch without hesitation that my friend is amongst the breed of the gentler employers, never questions leaves asked for is wonderfully non interfering, non critical, the invisible kind of employer.

(the lady in the pic wrote a best seller -her tale

The maid I am firing is younger. Married to an alcoholic she has spent several nights below our roof with her only possession being 1 extra saree. Reason she was homeless, needed 1000 rupees to buy a new roof and had not got the savings for that to be put up. Being a migrant from Chennai meant that even acquiring a mobile to talk to her children, studying in a school far from her was an uphill battle as the basic documents of voter id/ration card/driving license were not there, since the house was not there. Such was a plight that often she would be trudging to the railway station to seek a roof over her head.

My cook is better off, relatively speaking that is. She has a pukka house. A no nonsense women she is efficient, verbose and makes no bones of getting her way in any argument.  This hard exterior is not hard to rip apart to reveal a young girl who got to Bangalore from Uttar Pradesh. The husband turned out to be yet one more monster, domestic violence was the norm and drinking her wages away an entertainment.  Managing several children she did the bravest thing she could. Sent the man back to the village, got the elder daughter to nanny the younger ones, while she cooked in several houses.

Interestingly she ensures that everyday she wears all the ornamental markings that go with being a married women, lest someone assume she was available and take advantage of her.

These are not isolated cases. Each house has a ramu/basanti/deepa/uma didi and variations of them cleaning, frying and getting the machinery of the house humming. Think more than the booming economy it is getting a Ganesh to clean the car, the Meena to cook the dinner and the Tara to wash the clothes that is the BIGGEST attraction for the return of a not so pampered NRI. 

“the maid has gone to the village”

This statement is greeted with as much anguish as someone being struck down with a heart attack. Frantic calls are made, the days to her return marked off on the calendar and trepidation filled moments lived in anticipation of her return or her disappearance, with both being equally possible as events.

Yet for all that they let us do with our lives, they get back precious little. No pf, savings, benefits or paid leave. 0 bonus or increments, at best some cast off clothes, good meals and some financial assistance for tiding over a tough patch only if there is a sympathetic boss and rightful pleading done.

What then is the solution? Get them to form a union? Get a commission to study the matter? Form something akin to labour net, that protects their rights … Maybe they are all ideas worth considering. But that is the easy route. In one stroke takes away the responsibility away from us to some third entity – the state, the workers themselves or some activist someplace to make a huge hue and cry about it.

Nah.  Don’t think that is an immediate solution. Get the alcoholic husbands to be made to work for their drinks; no drinks till you have a job??? Hahahahaa can almost hear the gongs of the state wide protests against this idea across dear Kerala.

At best, maybe what we can do is to do onto others as we would like to have done to ourselves.  Loosing a job is never easy. Heck, I for one know that and the financial impact for everyone no matter what the level of earning is a setback that takes time to get adjusted to.

For now all I have is empathy, treat your help as you would want to treat a peer in office. Free coffee and tea, some basic pay guaranteed to be on time, an increment, some praise, savings and a sense that you shall be taken care of because at the end of the day- YOU BELONG. No matter where you work, it gives u a sense of belonging to a larger community. Maybe its time we open our hearts not just our door to them.

My Miss Universe moment of the day is now over. 

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

dizzying realities

I sat in my bosses house, drinking a warm happy mug of coffee from a pretty blue mug. The coffee was well made, the bantering engaging. Yet something was wrong. The room was too hot, the walls seemed to be closing in, roommate called and I could barely concentrate. Went to the loo, washed my face and sat down.

the room swirled. the table wanted to come and greet me without my doing anything at all to encourage that. Trying to be all composed in front of the rest, went clutching the steady wall for comfort to the loo and retched  my lungs out.

What is it about the act of vomiting that is extremely repulsive, completely uncontrollable and very purging. See any one do it wants to make you take at least 10 steps back, yet you have no sense of control when the waves of nausea come over you.

dizzy and faintish, i collapsed on her couch immobile for a long while. Called Mom - no matter where you are the minute you are sick the one person you have to have to reach out to is mom, even if it is to hear the basics that you already know about what to eat and what not to eat. Having her voice, trickle into my ear shall be comforting no matter how old i get.

Drove home in  a daze, only to pass out in an power less house. the transformer had busted itself and we had hours of blackness to contend with. It was amusing after a while to see the different reactions around us. Almost all the neighbors yelled at the security guards, then zoomed off to friends houses. Me and ND chatted about Hum Aap ke hai kaun for some reason, and the cute bong ppl below, lit the stairs with candles got the guitar out and hummed the night away.

Got me thinking, without a functional mobile, internet, power, fan the sense of powerlessness creeps in so very fast. Wonder what life in a electricity free village for 10 days shall be. Depressingly boring?

lost tribes

 Now is the time to open your heart. - Alice Walker, the author of Colour Purple has held me captivated for the past few hours. Read her spell bound as she took me deep into the land of shamans, the concept of "ethnobotanist" plant healing from the jungles of South America, where there are herbal intoxicants used as a medium to free the spirit - called Ayahuasca -vine for the soul ( MUST READ!

The above link, delves well into explaining one of the experiences that someone goes through through energy healing. But that is not what I wanted to delve into. Alica Walker, in her book travels through some memories of the native americans, the shamans of South America and the Hawai culture.

To me the very terms seem so incredible. The fact that you need a term like native americans or abrogines to refer to people who were native to the land they belonged to. For me it is akin to someone coming to India, wiping us all out and then our nation being home to white skinned people and the scattered population left being called native Indians. ! what a joke that shall be.

A native american, in this tale comes every Thanksgiivng to this guys ranch in utah. The ranch is super duper massive, covering acres and acres of land. The native american has only one request, to get water from one spring on their land. Each year he appears, knocks on the door, is driven to the spot, half fills his jug and thanks them in a solemn manner. Years pass, the ritual carries on with his grandson now assisting the old man.

When asked Y he needed the water, the answer was always the same : For ma bones 

With time, a mining company discovers coal deposits and the spring is dug up to reveal a lake, the exposed lake soon dries and there below the land there was a huge deposit of bones belonging to his ancestors. he would take the water from the spring, to another deposit across the ranch, pray to the bones buried there and sprinkle some water.

People mock at these ancient lores. Death is the end there is nothing more once we die, are often lines we hear. i for one dont believe. The distressing thing is the mass genocide over the years have made these ancient customs so hidden that other than scattered people who struggle hard with their inner faith to take up the profession, the shamans, the healers, the excorcists are all becoming rarer as diamonds.

am writing this in the wake of an sex -escapade of a swami in south india. As a lawyer, am not sure what is crime is? Sex? is not a crime. Mis representation at best, but that only holds true if he advocated everyone to embrace celibacy. if that was the way it was to work for everyone. Osho said the reverse and he too was banished.

Something in this book has made me want to be there experiencing this healing for myself. When and where and how i dont know. But to explore the inner deeper side of South America is a wish that has been there for a while.

Is consuming external substances the best way to do something like this? Probably not. But then again guess it is the manner and intent that makes the difference. All i know is that somewhere retreats like you clean you from inside, making a lot of everyday feel trivial.

Am in that zone now. Quiet, calm and collected. Not morose just feel like a very slow painter on the wee end of a large huge canvas. Have no rational reason but get a sense that I am closing the lid on a lot of relationships, friendships, thanking them casting off the last lingering thoughts and once that is done, only and only then shall new ties be formed.

For once, there is no haste. only chaste ;-) hehee

Monday, March 15, 2010


Noted Slip 1 for the blog has happened. All last week and ironically it was a relatively simple week overall. Slept much and became a vegetable. 

There is something very wrong about the Libran vegetating mode. One does not move a muscle when you are in that zone. You just cant seem to move. and then they become a hyper ball of activity who cant seem to sit still. 

Well the weekend was a vegetable weekend. Managed to get a lot done though in that time line. 

Read and completed 2 books

DORK: The Incredible Adventures of Robin Einstein Varghese

by Sidin Vadukut -  This is one hell of a rib tickling book to read. similar to the tale spun by the chap who wrote anonymous lawyer. Delves into the brain of a consultant who is so obsessed with the clients, proving himself better than the others, the boring work and the perks of the job.. loved reading it and wanted to be a consultant myself- though shamefully enough only and only for the money of it. The remainder was all a bullshit kind of a life to lead. 

Time of Seige- Gita Hariharan- Visually descriptive it transported one to the world of  JNU, professors and their laid back lives that delve too heavily into the ideology of issues left me more fatigued than passionately aroused about anything at all. Pointless kind of a read, but the images tended to stay. 

More importantly it was the time to see all the oscar movies. The most moving thing about the entire movie list was that most of them were true stories. Tales of extraordinary lives. As I heard Mira Nair qoute sometime these week. Stories of outliers, is what her movies are about. Except each outlier, does not consider herself to be an outlier at all rather that is her world. A world made my making new rules, and not succumbing to the known. 

Blind Side, Invictus, Precious, Away we Go, Inglorious Bastards, Milk .... each were stories of heroic 1 person achievements.  

Started with 

- The Blind Side - Hmmm well not sure if Sandra Bullock deserved the oscar for this one but the movie was well made. The actor playing Big Mike is such a gentle giant that you want to step into the screen and hug him for being him. But a movie that told the tale of heroism without getting rhetoric even once.

- Invictus- Madela the man the human being, the leader the visionary. The patience the faith the wisdom. Who makes them become like that. How? Like really how can someone be so shanti is beyond my comprehension.

Precious and Inglorious. - Technically fiction but Precious is a tale of every day women the world over and Inglorious has a Valkeriye that was based on a true story. Courage and crime. The ability to do more ever so more when you keep hitting rock bottom was amazing to say the least.

Milk- The absurdity of gay laws and how we are still trapped in that mould remains mind boggling to me. Someone I know thinks that gays should be slapped and asked to get on with it.What ever in the world that means is beyond my thinking. 

Leaves me as a person with 2 very very tempting choices. One path leads to the MBA, the degree, the course, the money, the world seen from the back seat of a fancy BMW while I type on the Black berry, hollowish from within. The other, the world of being someone unconventional and a bit out of the ordinary, with no guarantee what so ever that I shall be the next story of courage, or someone "who tried"

Interestingly, almost each person in these movies did not start with a heroic journey to be completed but just choose different in each moment, the moments followed each other to string together a life that made all the difference.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

the start of the start?

Fingers crossed, green chillies and limes, nazar lena, dahi and cheeni eaten before an exam, the fabled kala tikka, am thinking of each of the silly superstitions and rituals that I know off and  mentally casting them around me.

The start of a new start seems to be semi peeping out this spring and checking if its conducive to blossom just yet. Am letting the little spring be, for the now. Ssssshh be careful now .................we dont want to jinx it already.

The past few days have seen some good happen, the wheel of life seems to have a new current to it.
Just watching it for the now.

A lazy oscar weekend awaits before a well deserved holiday. Am a lazy stretched cat today.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

the world from a resteraunt owners eyes

Mr. Post It and me were trying in vain to carry on a conversation at one remote corner of this nice quiet place. Each time, we reached the most interesting part of a story, the entire resteraunt would erupt into loud Ravan type of laughter accompanied by chuckles, a round of back slapping and twittering womanly noises.

Ugly green dinosaur print man, with big belly and bigger laugh was managing to drown out the conversation on every single table. Silencing him was not an option so we did the Gandhi route of exiting sans violence. Only to bump into the owner. A very good looking world weary kind of a affable mallu man, who he informed us, almost always sneaks out of his resteraunt the moment he sees either one of these enter

A.  The luncheon ladies

Come in a pack. Sole agenda to out smart the other. Only ammunition knowledge about the food they are about to eat and declare how it is so not comparable to what they ate in Toorkeey, Spain, and when all else fails say Euuurrroooppeeeee in a long sigh.

Questions asked by them include- what lettuce do u serve, the host often to have fun cooks up a variety on the spot say "Rumanian with slight olive undertones" and watches in satisfaction as lady one squirms, darts a look at lady 2 to see if she knows any better. Hesitates and ponders what shall be an appropriate reaction disgust or gleeful enthusiasm before usually venturing to order a Ceaser salad without pineapples, walnuts, lettuce, dressing, bread or tomatoes.

Spotted by - Frantic use of blackberry. Dropped exactly at the door, general air of immense anger at their lives and having to have to eat this crappy lunch. Mini war zones the battle for the cheque is a treat to watch.

B.   Oye Dude, Aur Bata
Ah! These are the ones that drive him out of the resteraunt. They dont care what they eat, how they eat or if there is lettuce or a chickens acidic stomach there.

Arrive in small groups. Make up in volume for low numbers. Ensure they speak more than the other person, before proclaiming how good their life is. Are direct off springs from the Greek Gods and blessed with the Midas touch, evident in how every single thing is always rozy and glowing.

Predominately married, with the wife/bhabhi/Mrs back home. Occasionally the female is permitted a visit to the "outside" world, provided the man orders for her and ticks her posture, eating manners, conversational skills or inability to shush the child audibly or vide the eye movement look

Girl friends are invited instantly on day one. This day almost also never happens

C.  The Married People

Married people and By Products.
Dead give aways are
---- the time taken to choose a seat (anything to give them something to talk about for 2 min)
---- silent war about who gets to feed the child
---- puppy dog looks given to the waiter, we are married please please please can u entertain us
---- obsessive silent anal reading of the menu followed by detailed carefully planned family budget order
---- post order adjust chairs to gaze at remaining people and give wistfully wobegone looks to merry ppl.



Crew on attention. This is a volcano.
Enforce evacuate mode asap.
step 1- place menu water and leave
step 2- get order and leave
step 3- watch the anger give way to hurt to rejection to first tear drop to weepy nose to sunglassed placed on face
Step 4- place tissue on table and Ruuuuuuuuuu nnnnnnn
Step 5- Watch the phone being retrieved and adoring sms sent

Apparently resteraunt's are favorite post break up/lets break up/shall we think about breaking up/this is a night to discuss are we breaking up/ so will not ever break up etc conversations. Women cry, men drink, the owner takes himself yet again outside!

Yeh hai India meri jaan

Last night as i was driving back at mid night from a movie, two little men, big boys zoomed by. The sight of them made me smile. They for that moment were India, representing the two different sides that I had seen and witnessed last evening.

The pillion with a Bob Marley haircut a jacket carelessly slouching on his shoulders. The back of the jacket embossed with a bright red Harley Davidson imprint, the rider had his face thrust into the road and was spinning probably his DAD's ancient Bajaj scooter for all the life the scooter could emerge.

I smiled at their youth, the innocent aping of the west, the Indian Bajaj scooter accepted as a tradeoff for style and the Indian bending of the helmet less driving adding to the audacity of it all.

Witnessed two Indias yesterday, one left me amused, the other touched.

MM and I landed up at this place called "HINT". Turned out to be ladies night and what a spectacle we got to see.

The table next to us had three DELHI girls. Each of whom was playing the "lets see who can drive the waiter mad game" by shrieking. Dressed in their best heels and glittery clothes they sat like puffed up pigeons waiting for someone to notice.

Sadly for them, the table adjacent was occupied by a couple. The woman represented "Blore" for me. Noodle strap black dress, with the plastic straps showing, the mangalsutra dangling in between and gold jhumkis. This balanced with a lament in heavily accented South Indian English "Huuneey you left the ciggies in the car da" while she proceeded to convince him to groove for the rest of the night

Table 3 was the most entertaining. One chikna boy. Very very fair, spiked hair and body hugging T shirt. surrounded by 1,2,3,4 and 5 chikni terms (sorry know it is racist. not intentional though) who never spoke but squealed at intervals of 3.5 minutes. The exact time it took them to arrange themselves in various permutations and combinations around the chikna never shaved boy man.

While I was noticing all these interesting case studies, MM was drooling at another spectacle all-together. His eye brows disappeared into his curly hair and he stared, stating this is an amazing place. HUH??? What? WHY? You payed 700 bucks for a crap orange juice and vodka?? what the hell are u referring to....

Then I followed his gaze.

The dance floor was empty. The "we are so cool, check us out crowd with sunglasses on head and nipples thrust in various angles" crowd glued to the bar. However, everyones eyes were doing this strange dance. Darting to the floor and the drink, sneaking glances before gazing sheepishly at the date.

Object of lustful stares

2 immensely free spirited women, who dirty danced and kissed with wild abandon on the floor!! The men were hooked and how.

Infact one brave fellow decided to convert the two some to a threesome and was promptly banished. Needless to say in all this, me with my chappals and more brains than brawn walked out feeling very out of place.

Road Movie. Was the entertainment two for the night.

India two loomed out from the canvas, grabbing you with its imagery. The silent expanses saying more than the dialogue's. Dev Benegal, said what Swadesh said in 4 hours by simply showing us the silent haplessness of the Rajasthani nomadic tribes in their search for water, in the empty eyes and the creased faces.

Abhay Deol representing the urban youth, much like the crowd I saw at Hint was ill equipped to handle the odd balls that India threw at him. Be it the caustic tounge of the dhaba boy, the overpowering familiarity that each of his hitch hikers seemed to slip into or the sheer simplicity with which his road romance accepts the inevitable. He almost always is the recipient of the journeys experiences never the creator.


The reason for this post is neither to critique Hint or applaud Road Movie.
Rather is simply to cheer the kalidescope that is India. It has not managed a very balanced growth but has allowed freedom to occur. It remains a place, where in some select pockets two women can feel strangely secure being themselves in the middle of a vast crowd. It remains a place, where in some pockets a women is raped for simply coming in the path of a drunk cop on a lonesome night.

Where 700 is spent on a drink and where that is the salary of our domestic help
a young india where majority of the youth is finding its identity in being cool
and a few are finding it in being themselves, their different selves

That is why the Bajaj scooter -Bob Marley and Harley Davidson made me smile. Was the perfect bhel puri mixture to everything the evening bought to life.

thodha Indian thodha western., total bindass.

India for me is the wise grandmother, smiling an indulgent smile as the new teenager India stands at the mirror fretting about her pimple. The granny is wise, knows it is a phase, this too shall be absorbed forming one more crease in the ever expanding saree.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Laptop errors

Was dying to blog today but the lap top is not taking power
saving power to get it to the shop
shall have to wait for tomm for the blog to be posted

Monday, March 8, 2010

dear god

Hi there. 

Been a while since i connected to you, you see had just about lost faith a while back. am not sure where i am in that department for the now, but felt like saying hey. so here it is. 

I think someone has stolen my spirit and i miss it so. apparently you are the person who makes them and was looking for a duplicate or replacement.  You see i used to be a happy person, used to laugh a whole lot and not worry to much about this or that. Would flop on street corners, talk to strangers because somewhere i knew that you were hanging about like an invisible mesh. 

Dont get that feeling these days. Am worried and anxious. about a lot of stuff.  Machku u sent like a god send to make let me smile at her silliness, but took her away as simply as u sent her. 

The only place/person I am easy around is also the only person who gets the most hurt by me. I am lost in the grey area between faithful patience and inconsolable sorrow about me. Narrow minded and shallow have become, even this was never me. 

Am not sure what to ask you for, if anything at all. 
Can you just return the goofy grins. for now that will be all.

from me to me

This one is for me. 

It is Monday morning, almost 12 am and am at home. Just typed in my todo list and aside from a few administrative stuff to close the application, the only other things left are closing loops on meeting people and securing some work, any work.

The MBA deal is almost over. feel empty now that it has been filed. scared and tensed. not so much for the admission itself but for what looms beyond that. the path i may be willingly putting myself on. The essay writing was a reflection page. Was humbled by how little in terms of external achievements I had to list, had a story that made sense to me from my heart space, but not more beyond that. 

made me feel a bit like flatulence, but that I know is not me. See me searching for a job, a course, or even at work am the quintessential excel sheet worker. Am not a work shirker nor lazy at getting stuff done. just stubborn about working at something i like in a environment i like. Will a MBA give me that? Dont know.

Was sitting in my ex office on Friday. Landed there for a lark, was waiting for some friends to complete their work and read NY Times to keep myself entertained. Writers sitting in NY, were opinionating on matters as diverse as gender divide in Yemen, getting panel discussions going, and there may be no action but the canvas of operations was wider, much much wider.

This is y i want to go. Leave India for a bit. not because i have anything against it, but just the desire to expand me, my canvas and the people i know. Yet, selfish as i am want to do all this, while securely rooted in some sense of a stable relationship that i can come home to.

The application has left me empty. Now looms the challenge of sorting out what next, filling the days with work, getting an office space to work from and enough connected dots to make me feel alive. Am crying as i type this. and really dont know y.

There is something much much deeper than this that is out of my depth. MM and I have been spending almost all our freetime together since October or even before that. He is my closest friend in the entire world. Knows me at times better than myself, my fears, my lies, my worries has more faith in me than me. is in love with me, and wants to marry. the forever n ever n ever n ever kinds. 

We are good together. We really are, in terms of trust, conversation, interest can spend time without getting on each others throats and have for years.  As for me, I love him back, for being who he is, for what we share, for the rock he is in my life. 

Yet there is only one ripple in this whole set up. We are chalk and cheese. He is utterly convinced in his DNA that this is why we work and me that is why we do not, will not work. For those who know me, this is stale news. We have been here several times. only know at 30 and 28, it is no longer funny. 

Each of us needs to be able to move on, marry, get the complete love and adoration of someone else. He so deserves that for being an super incredible human being, I do too for being a wild weird one. We cant be that for each other, or so i believe. huge huge mistake on my part or not? dont know.. 

all i know that not having the freedom to share my life with him, turns me into this. a weepy lost machine. The fact that the external world is shrinking, makes it even harder for me to let go, dont want to let go, he is my best friend and we have not even fought for the impassee to have to happen.

But he does not see me as a friend, sees me different. what do we do? how do we balance the beauty of what we share in the here and now with the different dreams we have for the tomm. Blanketing the other person seems cruel and heartless. Y, when you hardly ever get someone ever with whom you can even get an iota of this. 

The house feels silent minus machku singh. 
with the MBA application done life feels silent for the now with no real agendas to fill
painted the wall blue last night, did not realize the colour had soaked so deeply in