Monday, September 22, 2008

booked and hooked

you know that happy feeling? the one when you think okay, i'm still the same. i'm me.

i got that feeling today. found a book, i couldn't put down. ate with it in front of me on the breakfast table. fought the urge to bunk work so i could just loll on the red futon with my legs on the window sill, while i devoured it. had to resist the urge because the red futon lies all rolled out. damn.

took a cab to work. only so i could read the book. kept going to the loo at work, so i could sit on the pot, seat and lid down and read my book. read my book at lunch time. read my book between meetings.

flung myself on the bed and started reading, as soon as i walked in home. and now...just when the murderer is going to be revealed i'm dillydallying. prolonging the moment. pretending i have better things to do. looking for chocolate all over the fridge. sipping water slowly.

and just when it gets too much, like i'm going to burst, which is right about now, i'll jump back into bed and grab that book!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

so cool, it's scary

sometimes it's just hard to be cool.

most times i don't even think about it. but then someone will say something like " oh you are just so cool." and then * silence* followed by *thud*. I just don't know what to say then. Should i crack a joke. should i chew gum and shrug my shoulder and say "whatever". should i look totally disinterested. or should i start a conversation about an obscure japanese designer.

most times i just go silent. while my mind wrestles with the pressures of being cool.

Ps: I'd like to add an emoticon here ... but i'm not sure if that's cool!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

the sound of silence

experiment: no talking today.

i started at 9 am. then realised i should have started at 9.30. because how on earth was i going to tell the maid what to cook for lunch and dinner.

so after ten minutes of hand wringing and pointing to all the food in the fridge, i decided to write in hindi. voila... she understands hindi. managed to convey what to cook. then realised i hadn't cross checked with other members of the family, one of whom is down with a bad cold. the other one is 85 and loves eating junk food. getting her to agree to eat what i had suggested for lunch, that too by way of furious scribbling and gesticulating...whew. it took me about 15 minutes.

finally out of the house. no byes for a change. just a hug for everyone. in the car. no yakking on the phone. felt strange, but nice.

then i got to work. carrying a notebook. the first page of which said - I'm experimenting with silence. Can't talk. Can write.

Needless to say, it caused much amusement in office. I, strangely was enjoying not talking. I listened to everyone talk stuff, crib, discuss - without interrupting.

But here's the funny part. Most people when they'd talk to me in my silent state, would use broken sentences. It's like they could not use complete sentences when talking to someone who would not talk back.

At least three people spoke loudly to me. It's as if I was suddenly dumb...and deaf!

Then people tried rushing up to me and saying, " what happened to your car. Oh my god!" Maybe they were hoping I'd screech and go hysterical. Maybe they were hoping to win the beer that was being promised if you could get me to talk.

Finally at 1 pm, I broke my silence. Because it was making everyone focus too much on it. The thing is I enjoyed it. My head felt lighter. Things just skimmed over me. I still don't think I'm cut out for a ten day vipasanna retreat as yet.

But a little silence once in a while, it's nice. Like rearranging the furniture in your head.

Monday, September 15, 2008

they're sharing a drink called loneliness, but it's better than drinking alone

Mumbai. Crowded. Teeming. Packed with possibilities. People. Things to do. Pubs. Theatre. Work hard, play hard.

And then the other Mumbai. Lonely. A vacant seat beside you. An empty apartment. Distances. Pressure. Keep smiling. Look bright all the while.

It’s scary. At eleven thirty on Saturday night my friend, let’s call her X, called me. She sounded like her voice was coming from far away. And all she said was, “ I’ll be nice if you could come”

My heart sank. All the guilt I felt came rushing back. I had seen X spiral down and down for the last few months. And I had been so wrapped up in my own life that I had hoped it was just a phase.

There have been times when I’ve known this is not looking good. But I just haven’t been able make that connection. You see X and I used to be every close. We’ve been together through many ups and downs. Some times we’ve held on to each other. And sometimes we’ve been in the background, but always there.

Then something happened. And it wasn’t the same again. I knew things were not okay with her. But I couldn’t figure why she would not tell me. Or why she’d just try and brush it off, even when her eyes told me she was lying. I thought about talking to her, but then thought no, she needs her space...give it to her.

But sometimes people don’t need space. They need you to barge in on them and pull them out. Just grab them by the armpits and drag them out of the darkness.

So that night I knew it was my only chance. Not just to get X out of there. But also prove to myself that I wouldn’t let her down.

Anyway, that night I got X home. And this morning when I woke up and walked in to see her in the living room, bright eyed, tea on the gas, pottering about – I knew she’d be okay.

So I’m wondering. Sometimes you just need to talk. To tell someone what you’re feeling. But then we’re so pressurised – if you are not happy, you are a loser. So sometimes you’d rather lie, and try and pretend all is okay. In the bargain, getting more and more isolated.

And then sometimes you just want someone to hug you, to hold you, to tell you it’ll all go away. But then again you think, I’m a grown up adult. I can’t ask for that. The pressure to be strong, independent – sometimes does it get too much?

Finally as friends. You know when I was younger I never though about things like breathing space, barging in, not intruding. So why do I do it now? You are my friend, I think you need hell with politeness...let me just help you, whether you like it or not.

Anyway I know X will come through. We made lists yesterday. And she’s already recognised how she’s feeling, and started taking the first steps to doing something about it.

I’m glad. Because I’ll be watching her closely. Ready to barge in this time.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

life in plastic, it's fantastic.

Okay so we all know Barbie is a bitch. And she lures little girls into being thin and unhappy. And if she were a real woman her vital statistics would be 40:18:32.

Question to pervert designer: Did he think she could totter around on plastic stilettos with boobs the size of that? I bet Barbie has a bruised nose all the time.

Anyway, the point is today I learnt something even more fascinating about Barbie. Obviously the guys at Mattel have very interesting conversations in their conference room. Because after many months of research and much stress, they decided *tan tan tan* that nipples were a no-no.

Can you believe that? The stress, the anguish, the thought that goes into these things. I can just see those harrowed people at Mattel cancelling their vacations and burning the midnight oil till finally they could find an answer that would change a million lives:

“Barbie will not have nipples.”

But then life is full of challenges. And here’s another one those brave people at Mattel faced, “What do we do with Ken’s bulge?”

Should they show it? And how much? Would it like “Oh, but Ken’s got a great heart at least” or would it be like “ ooh Ken, you are happy to see Barbie.”

But of course how could little girls, who were being spared the trauma of nipples, be exposed to the evils of the bulge. But then, if Barbie had breasts, Ken couldn’t be all smooth and enuch types either.

So then more stress, more anguish, more cancelled vacations, till finally they had their answer. Ken would always come with his pants on.

Whew. The world has been saved. All’s well that end’s well.

Except for Ken and Barbie. Rumour has it that they’re breaking up. She’s sick off trying to have sex with a guy whose pants can’t come off.

Monday, September 8, 2008

you have sex. and then you want me to coo at the result?!

So lot of people i know have been having babies. And some of these people have been kind of upset that i haven’t gone to see their babies.

The thing is i don’t see the point in going to see little babies.

There’s not much you can do, except say a few stock phrases. 1. aaw...he/she is so cute. 2. oh, he/she is beautiful. 3. isn’t he/ she lovely?

Sometimes you can innovate. And say things like, 1. ooh...he/she is a big baby. 2. my god...he/she has so much hair. 3. he/she has lovely eyes.

That’s it. Conversation over. Then you’re just wondering when is it polite to leave. Because their house is looking like a hurricane just ran through it. The parents are looking pretty wrecked themselves. In fact at times they look so manically happy to see human company, that you want to run away even faster before they imprison you in their kitchen. And ya, the slightly sour odour of baby puke and pee are coming in your way of enjoying the samosas they’ve put before you.

You want to leave. And you know the poor tired parents want you to leave too.

So what’s the point? I’m usually wary about cooing over a baby too much, because if he falls sick the next day, the parents are going to be like, “ It was her. She has bad nazaar.” The next time you go over they're scared to bring the baby out, or then you’ll suddenly spot at least one kala tikka on every body part.

So what’s the point? It’s not even like you can say things like, “ hey, you baby looks even uglier than your husband.” Or then, “ ooh, he/she looks just like your driver. Because people get kind of touchy about these things. And if they have parents/in laws hovering around in the background, you can never tell. The samosas might never show up.

Now if it was a new car, it would make sense. At least I’d get a ride. Or we could compare features. If it was a new house, there are a million comments you can make. Or if nothing else you can ask for the broker’s number. (I’ve noticed that always makes new owners very happy. Why, search me!) And before you think I’m a child hater, if the kid was old enough to respond, it might even be fun. But a tiny little thing that can’t even recognise its own parents... what’s the point?

I think it’s the samosas.
Next time I’ll ignore the baby, and go gaga over the samosas.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

hundred bucks to get high

i just got back from the matinee show of rock on.

i liked the movie. inspite of the predictable storyline. and the obvious resemblance to dil chahta hai. really, in the end, i was hoping they would do something different. anything. like the band gets electrocuted during the final performance. or arjun rampal would get too close to one of the blower fans that were so obviously positioned to make his hair fly. i was hoping his head would get sucked in. and instead of us sobbing over luke kenny, it would be arjun we'd be sad to see go.

but alas, no such luck. though it wasn't that bad. farhan akhtar has hot. steaming hot. so that kind of made up for the thin storyline.

the other good thing was i came out of the movie hall bouncing. now i don't know if that happens to you. but if i see a movie about rock bands, i want to come out, shake my curls, move my head and jump up and down.

i want to leap on to a stage, or even the top of a car, and burst into song. the auto feels like a packed stadium. my elevator feels like a rehearsal hall. and i want to curl my lips, throw my fist into the air, tear through a riff ....

get the drift?

it happens to me all the time. if i watch a movie about racing, i'm dying to get into a car and drive fast. everything feels good. the electric lamps, the snaking roads, i can feel the pedal under my feet, the wheel in my hands.

if its an action movie, i kid you not. i want to jump across aisles. hurl my self off stairs, leap across cars, skid down the hall.

maybe i'm crazy. because this lasts for about two hours after the movie, sometimes even a whole evening or day.

maybe it happens to everyone. does it?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

dirty linen

i always pee in the shower.

Friday, September 5, 2008

have you ever...

A friend, usually a woman has walked up to you. And exclaimed, “ wow...nice bag/shoes/top. Where did you buy it from?”

Have you ever looked like a rabbit caught in the glare of headlights for a minute. Then blinked rapidly and said, “ Oh, a tiny little shop behind my house. So tiny, that they don’t even have a name ya.”

Or a variation, “ Oh... just off one of those shops... what’s the name...that to Mc Donalds, or was it KFC. Or...maybe Barista.”

Or then, “ This old thing. It’s been in my cupboard for ages.”

I’ve done it many times.

Liar. Liar.

Q & A

Always fall in love with someone, who loves you more than you love him?

I saw this on sex and the city last night. And i remembered a similar conversation a friend, M, and I had few months back. We both discovered our mothers had given us the same advice.

I think it stinks like the sulabh sauchalaya on tulsi pipe (how i know that is another story. Something to do with traffic and a failed attempt with a plastic packet) First, it goes against all my romantic notions. Not the Sulabh, but the question posed on top. Two, how do you measure this love equation?

What if you slowly start finding yourself falling more in love than you want to? What if the balance starts getting disturbed? It’s no longer 20-60, it’s now inching towards 50-50 – gosh, what would you do?

Start reminding yourself how weird he looks when he snores. Stop laughing at his jokes, and instead concentrate on the blackhead he has on his nose. Hope that he gets a cold, and you can catch him with snot running down his mouth?

Really. It makes no sense.

And what about anticipation?

He calls, and you yawn. He writes you a letter, you forget to open it. He wants to take you out to dinner, you’d much rather watch a rerun of Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki.

How sad is that. No waiting for calls. No has he messaged me. No dying to see him. Just ho-hum, I’m in love with him, but not as much as he is.

So then the answer is, it’s much more fun to be in love and be slightly manic about it. It ensures you’ll wear better clothes. Wax more often. Do your eyebrows like clockwork. Listen to sappy songs like “ You’re beautiful” and actually resist the urge to throw up.

And then there's always that ... if you’re madly in love and are just a little insecure, you’ll at least try and suck your stomach in.

Don’t know about you. But that’s incentive enough for me. : D

Thursday, September 4, 2008

friends and s

I have this notion of close friends.

We must share similar interests. In movies, or books or music. Or we should have similar backgrounds, the way we’ve grown up. We should hang out once in a while. Go to movies, dinner, meet up in the evenings. Talk work, talk shit, that kind of thing.

And most people i consider close friends fall into this slot.

But the thing is, there is no one i work with who seems to fall into this slot. Of course i have friends at work. But in my head they are work friends. Meet them at work, hang out, chat...and that’s it. I don’t hang out with them after work. If one of them left or got another job, i’d probably miss them for a day or two, and that’s about it. Life would happily go on.

but today, i realised all this close friend- office friend distinction aint that easy. and that's mostly coz of of s.

s and i work together. in fact we work as a team. and it's been like that for over two years now. we hang out together at work all day. we crib, we cry, we laugh. we talk about our childhood, our relationships, home, love, friends, parents. and now we've reached a stage where we can complete each other's sentences.

don't get me wrong. there's nothing faintly romantic about us. he's just the opposite of me. we don't have the same taste in food, music, books or movies. we never meet outside work, or for a movie or coffe or anything. we stand at opposite ends of the spectrum as far as our political views are concerned. in fact we have nothing in common, except we both love sweets and design blogs.

but ... that's just it. inspite of all this, we can't do without each other. if i go on leave, he's so glad to see me back. and if he goes on leave (which is hardly ever, told you we are different), i'm like "office feels so boring". we stand up for each other. we look out for each other. we know what the other person loves, fears, wants the most. and ya, if one one of us wears something new, the other one would notice straight off the bat. actually i wouldn't. but then told you, we're different.

then - we must be friends. not office friends, not close friends, not home friends. just really good friends.

so s, this post is for you. my most unlikely-to-be-my-friend friend!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

size musings

two things.

first i bought a new top. olive green. well, we are talking agent green glass here. so it's olive green, with tiny straps. And it shows off my shoulders and my collar bones. which i have come to the conclusion are my A listers on the body parts scene.

i knew it was the find of the month, the minute i wore it to work. " you look hot!" was the general feedback. tra la la. shopping successful. point to be noted - from now all tops should show off the above mentioned body parts. though in practise this might be difficult. because i'm a notoriously impulsive shopper. and even worse, a compulsively impatient one. i have been know to buy a top i like, in three colours. which somewhere at the back of my head is positively a very non-fashionista thing to do. sigh.

second thing. my lack of boobs.

all tops that highlight the shoulders fortunately do things for the boobs. maybe they play with light and shade or something, but they manage to create an illusion of boobs. which makes me happy. because i'm convinced that though i can take on J Lo in matters of the derriere, there's no hope in hell for me in the boob department.

then yesterday, when i'm wearing my hot top, i read an article in GQ by a man, who is now fast becoming my most quoted man, on the pros and cons of silicon boobs. he talks about how his flat chested (really i hate that word. how about reasonable breasted?) girlfriend got silicon implants.

and the verdict was that they sucked. this is sounding like thinly veiled porn. but his point is they don't feel squishy and real. they just stay hard and plasticy. and refuse to move and fall around and get squashed...and you get the picture. so finally he realised that big boobs don't make a girl. and she went back, got the silicon out, and they are all happy... and squishy i guess.

so i'm thinking, big deal. why make a mountain out of a molehill. let me enjoy what i have. at least i can wear halter necks, tie ups, little scrappy things, bikini tops and tight T-shirts without worrying about how lopsided i'll look.

and the silicon story, well that's a weight off my chest.