Friday, August 28, 2009

can't get no satisfaction

I don’t know what I expected. That they would break down and cry perhaps.

But naah. This is how it went.

Me: Okay, I just want to tell you guys, I’ve quit.

Pause. Where I hope they’ll go white and faint.

Them: Oh. Okay. We knew.

Me: whaaat?

Five minutes later. I try another set of people.

Me: Hey, just thought I should tell you, I’ve put in my papers.

Pause. Where I’m hoping, please, please, let them screech and tear their hair in horror.

But no.

Them: Ya. We heard.

What the fuck. This place is worse than a sieve. I told two people a week back, and now the whole office knows. Robbing me of my moment of glory.

By the way, I just tried the canteen guy, hoping the tea tray would slip from his hand. But he just nodded and said, “Bahut pehle malum tha.”

Bloody hell, are they all taking classes from Hugh Grant?

Not even one upper lip trembled.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

three songs, two days

Part Yellow, Part Me Gustas Tu Wednesday

Yellow, because i went on the Sea Link, and it is absolutely the best song to play when you're driving towards this glistening-in-the-sun, reflecting-in-the-water island city, with rows of buildings waiting for you as you whip across the sea.

Look at the stars
and how they shine for you
and everything you do
yeah, they're all yellow.

Coldplay rocks this song.

Also Manu Chao because Me Gustas Tu is the sunniest happiest song ever. The lyrics go all easy and amazingly child-like.

I like airplanes, I like you
I like to fly, I like you
I like the morning
I like the wind, I like you
I like dreaming, I like you
I like the sea, I like you.

With Or Without You Thursday

What can I say? From the happiest to the most haunting song ever. I first heard this song in grainy Grammy was the only thing on TV time. And if I ever had to do a top three, even today With Or Without You would feature in that list.

See the stone set in your eyes.
See the thorn twist in your side.
I wait for you

Sleight of hand and twist of fate
On a bed of nails she makes me wait
And I wait without you

Woo hoo. Watch and shout along.

And, thanks for all the cool stuff you guys said about Project Dress to a Song. But I'm totally bored with it for the moment. And so back to the blog, without having to take pictures every morning. Phew. Been late to work every single day.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

shut up and dance

Bird Flu Tuesday

First, enormous respect for all those who have (or have had at some point) three year old kids.

Bloody hell. My cousin and her son came to spend the day yesterday. And he is my nephew. And a mighty adorable one at that. And an extremely peaceful kid too, since I was all prepared for him.

I gave him all the jenga blocks and all the dogs’ toys.

But when they left I felt like I had just survived hurricane Katrina or Andrew or both put together. My legs ached, I felt so wrung out that I skipped dance, ate two dinners and then wrote a blog on hospitals.

Whew, Mims if you’re reading this, then you should know that you are up there, right up there. Gallantry award goes to SB – sorry, now SS.

Second I had a feverish restless night. The kind you have on the eve of chicken pox or typhoid. So the only way to get through the day was with a heavy dose of MIA in my head.

Note for A: Even on my deathbed if you put on Bird Flu, I’m gonna get up and dance. Don't freak okay.

And, if anyone here doesn’t like my hands and feet, they can fug off.

The village got on the phone
Big on the underground,

What’s the point of knocking me down?

Everybody knows I’m already good on the ground.

Monday, August 24, 2009


She sat, holding her urine sample in her lap.

It was nothing. Just a stomach ache that kept coming back. But the doctor had insisted on a number on scans and tests. Just to be sure.

She looked around her. It was eleven in the morning. And all the benches in front of the little window were full. Behind that window you could see flashes of white, as the nurses bustled around cool and detached, drawing blood, labelling your urine, cracking open the syringe.

The hall had large overhead fans that groaned at their own weight. The room was hot and humid. She could feel a string of sweat beads on her upper lip. She was tempted to lick it with her tongue. Just to taste her sweat.

But she didn’t. She hated waiting rooms. They seemed swollen and sluggish with illness. She wondered how many bacteria must be flying around that hall. She even thought of holding her breath for a while, but then she didn’t know how long before they called her name.

The bottle of urine felt warm in her hand. She tried to hold it such that it wouldn’t be possible to see how full it was. She shifted in her seat, holding the bottle just a little away from her.

And that’s when she saw him.

A worn out T-shirt, jeans, sneakers and a mop of hair. He lay fast asleep on the sofa inside the room. His arm was thrown on his face, shielding his eyes from the bright tube lights that stayed lit twenty four hours in the ICU waiting room.

She wondered who was inside. His mother or his father?

She looked at the sneakers, still laced up. The T-shirt that looked like it had been worn for a couple of days straight.

Just then he woke up with a start.

She looked away hastily. It felt wrong to stare at someone who was so – so asleep.

She stared down at the urine sample in her hand. Brown bottle with a white lid. And then, looked up again.

He was sitting on the sagging sofa, looking down, his arms on his side. He ran a hand through his hair. And looked up.

Their eyes met.

Hers were curious. And apologetic.

His were tired, with deep shadows around them.

They stared at each other.

“ It’s my father. He has cancer. I don’t know if he’s going to live through it.”

“I knew it was one of your parents. You looked so sad when you slept. “

“It’s my fifth day here. They say he’s sinking”.

“I don’t know what to say. I’m not good at it.”

And the girl, clutching her urine sample, suddenly stood up. The lady next to her frowned. Patient number 13 was still inside, this girl was 34.

But the girl was already across the hall. She entered the ICU waiting room, hesitated for a second at the doorway, and then crossed over in quick strides and hugged him.

He crying in his rumpled four day T shirt. She crying with her brown bottle of urine.

Stick your tongue out baby

Okay, Project Dress to a Song is back. The rain and the weekend kind of derailed stuff. But this week i'm going to do it all seven days for sure. So here goes.

Jumping Jack Flash Monday

There is no better way to start the week than with the stones buzzing in your head.

I was born in a cross-fire hurricane
And I howled at my ma in the driving rain,
But its all right now, in fact, its a gas!
But its all right. Im jumpin jack flash,
Its a gas! gas! gas!

I was raised by a toothless, bearded hag,
I was schooled with a strap right across my back,
But its all right now, in fact, its a gas!
But its all right, Im jumpin jack flash,
Its a gas! gas! gas!

I was drowned, I was washed up and left for dead.
I fell down to my feet and I saw they bled.
I frowned at the crumbs of a crust of bread.
Yeah, yeah, yeah
I was crowned with a spike right thru my head.
But its all right now, in fact, its a gas!
But its all right, Im jumpin jack flash,
Its a gas! gas! gas!

Jumping jack flash, its a gas!

Check out this best ever opening or riff (isn't that what it's called) and the fabulous Mr Jagger. Ya, I know, but Sir Jagger just sounds really weird.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

bother, it's blubber time

What is this thing about let’s have a beer? Am i missing something here?

I’ve known him for three days. Three days of talking on the phone, trying to co ordinate how do we work together on this project, what’s it going to cost me etc.

Then this morning we meet, so I can hand over my part of the stuff to him. He turns out to be bright eyed and pretty mad . Versus the strange racoon eyed, monosyllabic person i was expecting (don’t know why, that’s the image his name gave me).

Anyway so we get along just fine, and I hand him the work. And he says cool, i’ll finish the rest, you come to my place and see if what i’ve done works for you.

Which is the done thing. See the work, discuss it, and split.

Then in the evening he calls, “ Come at six tomorrow, and I have beer at home.”

But dude, I don’t drink, hardly really. And beer, hate the stuff.

But I don’t say it. Thinking maybe it’s just the polite thing to say.

Then again we talk at night on how far the work has progressed and he says, “ Okay, see ya tomorrow and we’ll have beer okay. I'm chilling the stuff”

Okay. No, actually not okay, I hate beer. It makes me feel burpy and horribly sleepy.

But again, I laugh like I’m so cool and drink gallons of beer all the time and say cool.

Shit. What is with this beer thing? The other day I go for a recording, and the voice over artist says, Let’s meet in bandra for a beer.

No, no, no.

Let’s meet in Bandra for Sula Rose. Let’s meet in Bandra for Ivy Chenin Blanc. Or heck, if it is that bad let’s meet in Bandra for a rum and coke, so I can peacefully pass out after that.

Damn. Working class people and their preoccupation with beer.

check savagechicken for cool sticky note cartoons

Friday, August 21, 2009

cafe del mar. somedays way too far.

sorry, no music today. i woke up to the sound of rain. but i'm going to leave you with my favourite song.

All I can say is that my life is pretty plain
I like watchin’ the puddles gather rain
And all I can do is just pour some tea for two
and speak my point of view

love no rain by blind melon

Thursday, August 20, 2009

f ko f

Dhan Te Nan Thurfday

aaja aaja dil nichode, raat ki matki phode
koi goodluck nikale, aaj gulak toh phode
hai till till taala meri teli ka tel
hai kaudi kaudi kaudi paisa paisa paisa ka khel

chal chal sadkon pe hogi dhan tan

why are they having a cow?

People are so sanctimonious

I’ve been reading about how shocked some folks are because Rakhi Sawant is going to bring up a baby on a reality show.

What makes her unqualified? The fact that she’s got silicon stuffed boobs and sodium nitrate or whatever filled lips?

Okay, what do you need then? A masters in ‘accidental pregnancies’. Or a BSc in ‘pressurized to have a child.’

Sure, I agree, not everyone has a child because they fucked up, literally or have to bear the burden of keeping the family name going.

But if there are a billion people popping out babies, I don’t see us standing in front of any of them with a questionnaire.

You Sir, I hear your dream in life is ‘Mera beta Doctor banega’. Sorry, no baby for you.

And you ma’am, you’re grumpy in the morning, have a foul temper through the day and think Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki is the guide to modern living. Sorry, no baby for you.

And you, I hear you drink too much. And you there, you smoke like three packs a day. And Sir, in the corner there, we know that you don’t have any time for anything but your work. And you, looking to have some fun on the side. And yup, I’m talking to you, I hear you beat your spouse. And you, you still call your mom every time you fall down. Come on, strike them all of the list.

Fine, so it is an exaggeration. But the point is no one is more or less qualified than the other person, when it comes to raising a child.

And the second point, about how nasty are the parents who’re giving up their little babies, only so they can stare into Rakhi’s heavily bronzed bosom. Well, what can I say?

Some folks push their kids into acting. Some push them into academic careers they don’t want. Some don’t let them marry people they want. Some dump them on doorsteps. Some force them to live a lie about their sexuality. Some manipulate them, some emotionally blackmail them. Some even give them ghastly nicknames! Let’s round them all up.

It takes all kinds. And I suspect the problem is not Rakhi Sawant, the problem is anyone can have a child. It’s free. Without any questions, without any qualifications.

Some make good parents. Some don’t. And you can’t tell, not by the size of the boobs, or by the size of the wallet, who’s going to be on which end.
picture credit:

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds Wednesday

picture yourself in a boat on a river
with tangerine trees and marmalade skies
somebody calls you, and you answer quite slowly
a girl with kaleidoscope eyes

cellophane flowers of yellow and green
towering over your head
look for the girl with the sun in her eyes
and she's gone

say hello to my kaleidoscope eyes. all the way from london. they are fly eye and you feel like you're on acid when you wear them.

everything breaks up into a million smithereens and it all dazzles your eyes till they hurt in delight. and when you extend your hand, you have no idea what distance means anymore.
because your hands disappear, dissolve, reappear, bend and dance in front of your face.

i wore them as Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds and i must say I'm high on fly eye!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

blast, that's playing in my head

It gets weirder.

After spending considerable time in a glass cabin, I’m back to sharing office space with three other folks.

Before you think I had a fancy cabin, nope, because I worked on some confidential stuff, I was relegated to a dungeon. But at least my dungeon was mine. Now they are breaking down half the office, and it’s like being back in the hostel. We’re all huddled in a single room. Damn. I shall fight this by blasting music. Right now it’s Man in the Mirror, on full speaker shaking volume.

And while I’m on music, it’s been buzzing in my head through the weekend. So I decided to do Project Dress to a Song for a week.

This is based the first song that comes to my head as I wake up. The rest is simple, I dress to the song. There are no rules. You just have to feel like you’re wearing the song.

So here goes:

Something Stupid Monday

The time is right
Your perfume fills my head
The stars get red
And oh the night’s so blue
And then I go and spoil it all
By saying something stupid
Like I love you.
For more go here.

DAY 2:
Powerless (Say what you want) Tuesday

Paint my face in your magazines
Make it look whiter than it seems
Paint me over in your dreams
Shove away my ethnicity
Burn every notion that I have a flame inside to fight
And say just what is on my mind
Without offending your might
For more go here.

ps: links for dummies credit: slash

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


"You like Chuck Palahniuk?"

She looked up. Brown eyes, long eyelashes.

“Ya. I’ve only read this one, and Snuff.”

He shook his head. “He’s insane.”

She smiled and noted his dark black eyes, with an iris that glittered like countless board pins.

“ I’m Fabian.”

“ I’m Neha.”

“Hi Neha. Sorry I can’t shake hands. Don’t want to end up dead”

Her eyes twinkled; he could tell she was smiling.

“It’s okay Fabian. You’re forgiven.”

“So what’s a girl like you doing in a place like this?”

He thought he heard her snort. He liked girls who didn’t try and muffle their amusement.

“Okay. Don’t tell me. Let me guess. You have fever, a cold, may be even a cough and a body ache.”

“Wow Fabian. What do you do? Read face masks for a living?”

He laughed.

“No, hang around government hospitals, hoping to meet girls with brown eyes and a hacking cough.”

Her eyes went from twinkling to guarded in a second.

“Sorry. Don’t panic. I’m just bored. And happy to have someone to talk to.”

The brown eyes went warm again.

It’s okay, she said

They both looked away.

This time she broke the silence. I like your eyes, she said.

He looked around in surprise.

I’m talking to you, she said.

“Oh me. Whew. I thought you were those kinds.”

“What are those kinds?”

“You know. The chicks who are into let’s draw the line at hello, what’s your name, where do you work.”

“What crap. There are no women like that.”

“Okay. I like your eyes too.”

She paused, the conversation had shifted.

“Isn’t this bizarre?”

What, he said.

“Having this conversation, here.”

This was his cue. His eyes looked shy for the first time. “We could have it somewhere else. You like Vishal Bhardwaj? Kaminey releases on Friday.”

She wanted to say yes. Instead she coughed. A long bout of short coughs.

He thumped her on the back. She drank some water from the Bisleri bottle she was carrying.

He wanted to ask her again. She wanted to say yes. But between the coughing and the drinking, her name got called.

“Neha Shrivastav”

She stood up frantically. The ward boy was scowling. Six hundred people had already landed up, and it was just eleven in the morning.

“Aye…madam…jaldi karah.”

She slipped her bag over her neck. Adjusted her mask, took a deep breath. And turned to him.

“I’ll see you in quarantine. Or I’ll see you at Globus, eight thirty, Friday.”

He smiled. “I’ll be there, wearing a mask!”

He thought he heard a snort as she walked towards the doctor’s chamber.

This is my version of Love in the Time of Swine Flu. Apologies to Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Love in the Time of Cholera.

Monday, August 10, 2009

forever in blue jeans

Bloody hell. I haven’t written in weeks. (thanks blog gore for missing me…you are my only true frand!)

So the flu is upon us. My mum calls this morning asking, “What’s the shame in wearing a mask.”

“But what will my office people think?”

“Why are you worried about what they’ll think? When you wear those strange clothes, and those terrible pants where the crotch is at your feet (she makes ali baba pants sound like pervert pants), do you worry about what they think?”

How does she do it? How does a conversation that starts at swine flu end at my appalling taste in clothes?

Anyway, my mum just got her own cell phone. I now have to call on the landline and instruct her how to pick up the mobile. And then call her back on the cell. Hopefully, in another week her dread of the cell should go. Or else like her last phone this one too will disappear into her underwear drawer.

The only bright spot in the newspaper has been the whole Tata initiative of letting women who’ve taken a break from work, rejoin the workforce.

I read an article about it this morning and spotted the ad a week back. It’s brilliant, just the sort of thing you’d expect from the Tata’s. So it got me thinking. Why can’t someone do something similar for the retired?

Take my dad. He’s about 64. He plays a sport every single day. He’s full of beans (touch wood), drives 30 kms to work (touch wood), looks like a movie star (hey, not just because he’s my dad because he just does okay!). He loves his drink, loves to work…and used to be a kick-ass fighter pilot, who had to retire because he turned 58.

Isn’t that just crappy? Here we are saying 40 is the new 30. 50 is the new ‘let’s get up and dance.’ 60 is when you’re just beginning to let go of your hang ups and enjoy life – and then we’re just retiring a whole lot of people because they hit 58.

Why? How old is the guy who runs the country dude? How come they don’t have to retire? So why this babu rule for the rest of us? An outdated rule and an outdated retirement age.

And before I go, a quick update on the dance class. Someone there thought I was 22. Tra la la. Okay fine, he’s not a particularly bright guy. But who cares, he still thought I was 22. Tra la la.

those are my senior citizens. when i see them, I always think of the neil diamond song 'forever in blue jeans'. probably because it always played around the house when I was a kid. or probably because " I'd like to say, We'll do okay, Forever in blue jeans" kind of captures what my parents are about. happy go lucky, crazy kids at 64! *Touch wood*

Dude, these are my parents, of course I'm superstitious!