Friday, 14 September 2012

So I went out for post-dinner caffeination with the Offender and Pink tonight. While we sat there with our two coffees (my coffee isn’t really my coffee, as Pink says), we described to her our brilliant dinner.

“So guess what we had for dinner.”
“What?”
“Chorizo, bacon, ham, sausages and prawn. Nothing else. Just that.”* 
“Why can’t you guys eat some vegetables?” she asked.
To which the Offender simply said, “Coffee is like a vegetable, right?”

Sometimes, I’m really glad about my choices of friends.

* Note: It was brilliant.

Monday, 10 September 2012

I am SO high right now.

WWHHHHHHHHHHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!

Okay, I needed to get that out of my system. I’ve been bouncing off the walls all evening. Why, you ask? Well, today I spent a small part of the evening speaking to my best friend from school.

This is important. Those of you who know me, know how terrible I am at keeping in touch; I’m talking mind-numbingly, earth-shatteringly bad. So, after school, as with most of my friends (except those that lived around me), I fell out of touch when we got to college. We spoke a few times a year (I remember a year when we literally only spoke to each other on our birthdays), discussing girlfriends and the like, making vague plans to meet, which obviously never happened.

He’s been in the States for a while, and recently, I’d been trying to in touch with him, to tell him something I’d much rather say in person. Anyway, that wasn’t meant to be, and I told him over a ping that I hoped he’d see soon and respond to.

And respond he did. By calling me. Clear across the globe. We skyped for a bit, but his connection was wonky. So he called me, from his cellphone, in the United States of America. And that shit costs money. So I said I’d only talk to him for a couple of minutes. And then we talked for half an hour (no, seriously. 29 minutes and 22 seconds. That shit costs money).

And it felt farking brilliant. Through the call and since, I’ve been hopping around the house with this mad grin on my face (it’s still here, 6 hours later). Since then, I’ve been drowning in this ridiculously superawesomebrilliantastic ocean of nostalgia. I’m stuck in, and never want to get out of, a never ending stream of elocution competitions (we were both good, he more so than I) and self-made comics (I seem to remember him doing all the work, yet somehow it was our comic) and English periods and ohgod.

And, as my conversations with him in recent times have made clear, I know he will read this. So anna, here’s a few things just for you:

- I hope I talk to you at least a couple of times a week.
- I’m dead serious about helping with the ideas you said you needed.
- The Li’l Lady has informed me that enough is enough and she simply HAS to meet you now that she’s heard so much about you (I cannot believe that because of my idiocy, you’ve never actually met her, in ALL these years).
- I feel like you should know about her, too, so I’m going to bore you to death talking about her.
- You talked about moving back here after your course is done. If that happens, I’m going to hope fervently that you stay here, in Bombay, and I’d want to have you over all the time, because…
- Like an idiot, I’ve only just realised how much I miss having you around.

It’s now three am, and I’m still wide awake, too excited to sleep, and still with a stupid smile plastered on my face. So all you people sleep, I’m going to be going WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!! in my head a little while longer.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Hello again!

Yes, I’ve been gone too long. Yes, you miss me. Yes, you’re dying to know where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to. No? That last one? Oh. Okay. Be that way.

Anyway, yes, I’m back. However temporarily. And no, I’m not going to launch into a whole tirade of where I’ve been and how I’m really back now and whatnot. Suffice to say I am busy, and a LOT of shit is going down these days. What I *AM* here for, though, is to rant.

IMG_20120828_030132You see, recently, I stole from my Dad (with his permission) a beautiful Cross pencil. Now, I’ve looked for it online, and it seems to be a Cross Advantage, though I can’t be certain, because I can’t find the design anywhere. No, not even on their official website. Yes, it’s a beauty. Never you mind the crappy late night photo.

It is a thoroughly lovely pencil, heavier than I usually have a taste for, smooth as silk (though I’m sure that has to do with the lead it came with as well), and overall wonderful to write with. Except for one thing.

The lead just got over. Which is cool, it’s a mechanical pencil (or, since I’ve grown up in this country, a penpencil), so it refills easy, right?

FUCKING. WRONG.

I cannot seem to load a new lead into this thing. (Please try and ignore the slew of #TWHS/TWSSes that are about to come your way.) I’ve tried putting it in from the front, I’ve tried putting it in from the back. Nothing. I’ve looked on the official website to tell me how to put it in. Nothing. And the more I’ve searched, the more I’ve come to one shocking conclusion. There’s nothing online about how to refill this thing. Nothing. Everything I have come across seems to be about a different kind of loading mechanism. Which means only one thing: I’m an idiot. Clearly, it is so effortless to refill this pencil that no one has even bothered writing about it or making a how-to video.

Which means, simply, that I am an idiot.

I hate this. Never thought I’d see the day when stationery would make me feel stupid. =(

And yes, this is me saying I’m going to try and write more (and I mean actually write, not narrate my crappy pencil-less life). Can’t promise anything, though.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

"You there?"

Two syllables. They drop off the tongue, easy as anything. Two small, innocent words. But they're not, are they?

They're laced with so much meaning, so much promise. And they say so much in so little time. The words sound like a whisper in the dark, one that assumes your presence, almost to the point where the question is rhetorical. "You there?" says, "This is where I last saw you, and I assume you're still here. You are, aren't you?" It's almost as if the words reference an age-old contract, reminding you that you have a duty you have sworn to perform, one you're neglecting, because the question needs to be asked.

Perhaps I'm just losing my mind, reading far too much into what is actually a perfectly innocent question. All I know is, for the first time in a long time, as an answer to the question, I would really like not to be.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Hotel

It was a different place every time. He drove three hours or more, looking for a hotel he hadn't already been to. He was ashamed of what he did, but couldn’t stop. Same story, every time.

Mess up the bed, call for room service. And then just watch the maid.

 

Still writing for that top secret 55 word thing. Shhhhh.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Red

It started with crayons. She’d use up the one colour and ask for a new box. Then her toothbrush. Pillows. Wallpaper. Schoolbag. Lunchbox.

Then her wardrobe. Shoes. Dresses. Lipstick.

At ten, she found a razor. Her mother screamed when she found her, but she grinned. “So much red!” she squealed.

 

(Ssh. Secretly taking part in this 55 fiction thing.)

Friday, 2 March 2012

Anything You Want

You can have anything you want. That's what everyone says. Anything you want. How often do they mean it, though?

More than anything in my life, I have clung on to my ideals. No, that's inaccurate. I should say I've clung on to my idealism. I've always thought of it as holding on to my innocence, retaining that eight year old child in my head.

I have been called a lot of things for it. Naïve. Childish. Stupid. You just don't know how the world works, they said. No, I know how the world works. I know all too well how it takes any semblance of innocence and systematically wrings it out of you. And it does this obviously at first. It bombards you with this knowledge. With most people, that is enough. They crumble, all too easily.

But if you can weather it, that's when life gets smart. It gets subtle. From corners you'd never expect, it sneaks up on you with a chisel and hammer and politely chips away at you. At those little weak junctions, those keystones.

But I don't want to submit. This one's too close to home. Too much a part of me. You can't take this.

So, to life, and to 'them', I say this: You can have anything you like. Anything. Except this.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Inside a writer’s bedroom, late at night

A book on the side table. Novel. Towel drying in the corner. Clothes piled carelessly…

This stinks.

Dust swirls in untraceable patterns on the floor, pushed around by the breeze the fan cuts through the cold air. It has settled on every surface, almost becoming a living breathing entity with a life of its own.

Wow. That was possibly even worse.

The thing that stinks the most about being a writer isn’t the lack of money, or the apparent subconscious necessity to live in appropriate squalor, or the fact that at parties, you’re the one standing off to a side, sipping a beer by yourself, profiling, drawing character maps, gaining inspifuckingration, when you could instead be using your ceaseless wit to impress one of the more geeky looking girls the jocks aren’t going for (ones that you might actually have a chance with), or the fact that the only reason you’re not is a crippling case of l’esprit d’escalier, or even the realisation that ‘English teacher’ is probably your best bet professionally.

It’s not the fact that you’re going to spend entire nights awake, staring at a blank piece of paper or a blinking cursor, waiting for inspiration to creep up on you and slit your throat like an assassin in the dark, or even the fact that half of everything you read will fill you with the insufferable hope that you can do so much better (I mean, come on! A monkey probably could), and the other half will leave you wondering why you didn’t pay more attention in science class and become a doctor or a fucking scumbag lawyer like everyone else in school, all of whom are going to give you that pathetic smile, that sympathetic simper at the reunion, telling you politely that they thought you’d become a senator or something important while secretly laughing at you in their heads and applauding their own life choices.

It’s not even the raging spirals, when you slip over the edge into alcoholism, hoping you’ll write something sad enough to make Nietzsche cry, or when you start popping pills, snorting powder, shooting up, hoping for a trip that shows you something amazing, some universal truth so powerful, nations of people will look up to you for wisdom and guidance, or that low sinking feeling in your gut every time you’re at a rock concert and you see with blinding clarity that these sixteen year-olds are probably better writers now than you will ever be.

And it’s not the cynics, the haters, the spouses who hope telling you gently that it’s not that good will someday snap you out of this stupor and make you get a real job, one that actually puts money on the table. It’s not the publishers, telling you that it’s just not the kind of story that they’re looking for right now, or that some of the themes are too bold and if you could please tone them down a little, maybe they could do something, or that it’s a great story, it really is, but they just can’t seem to find a way to market it that’ll ensure sales that will cover the cost of actually printing it, or even editors who think they know your ideas, your stories, your characters better than you and tell you what to do, what to write, to the point where you have to look really, really hard to recognize even the slightest part of the text as yours.

No. It’s none of that. The thing that stinks the most about being a writer is that someday, you will write something truly magical, truly special, take one look at it, and tell yourself it’s crap.

Friday, 13 January 2012

The Effects of a Modified Insomnia

I have been plagued, of late, with the affliction of the most irregular sleep patterns I have ever had. Result? I'm up at 7 am, on my porch, cup of chai in hand, watching the colony wake up.

Still, I think I could get used to this.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Trying on faith for size

Imagine leaping off a cliff, into freezing water five hundred feet below. The water is choppy and the waves break against the cliff wall.

Imagine preparing to jump. Calculating how far you should push yourself off to avoid smashing your skull on rocks beneath the surface.

Imagine tensing your muscles. Your gut screaming at you that you're a fucking retard for doing this. Bending your knees and pushing off.

Imagine the moment, stretching into eternity, when your feet first leave the ground. Simultaneously glorious uncertainty and resignation.

Imagine the water. Getting closer and closer. You can almost feel how cold it is already. Rushing towards you like a hungry lover.

Imagine the moment just before you hit the surface. Where you shut your eyes and hold your breath, bracing for impact.

Imagine that time stops around you. And you're frozen there, right above the surface. Unable to move. Welcome to my life.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

When you're blind-sided

Yes, I'm at work. No, A1, this is not the post you're looking for. This is me trying to screw my head on straight. I need to think a little, and to think, I need to stop thinking for a bit. I don't know if that makes sense. So instead of thinking of something to write about, I'm going to tell you an obscure story that just popped into my head. I don't know where it came from, just that it's here in my head right now.

This dates back a few years, when I was still in college. I was participating in some or the other college festival (I forget which, at this time, and the objective here is not to think too much), and the event was a combination of a treasure hunt, a murder mystery and an elocution. (Muduu, were you with me for this event? My brain has gone all fuzzy.)

Anyway, the point is, you had to go running around for clues; after this, they gave you information about a crime and you had to decide who the killer was; and then in the last round, one of the team members had to present the story as a newsreader talking about a solved crime. Ours was the first team to finish the treasure hunt (I pride my skills with puzzles and running), and we sat down with the story. As we hashed out the details of the story and applied the clues that we found in the treasure hunt, we realised all the facts seemed to point towards one particular person being the killer. But we wanted to be sure that we had the right guy (those of you who know me know how thorough I like to be with some things. Like grammar, for instance). So we went over the details again. Same result, but something didn't quite fit. And you know what happens to me when something doesn't quite fit.

We went over it again and again (did I mention we were the first ones done with the treasure hunt? We had extra time to solve the crime). And that's when we found it. I don't remember the specifics of it, but there was one little detail that didn't sit with the rest of the incriminating information. Most teams discarded it as bad data, but we went to the organisers with it, telling them that the person that the data was incriminating could not possibly have committed the crime. They were a little taken aback, but refused to admit the mistake (from an organiser's point of view, I can still somehow bring myself to understand this), and told us to make what we could of the data we had.

So we did. While everyone else presented how the case has been solved and the guilty person apprehended, our team's newsreader read out the report of how circumstantial evidence was being used to hold an innocent man guilty. The last round was judged by some special guest, who had, of course, been briefed about the case and told that one person was guilty. Needless to say, we didn't win that event (this, I don't understand. After we had broken their facts and proved our case, we should have been the winners if they wanted to maintain the illusion that it wasn't a mistake). But we walked out of there happy. The scorecard didn't show it, but we bested what was possibly a couple of weeks of an LA team's work that day, in less than an hour.

I don't know why I'm posting this, or even why it's in my head. But there, I got it out. Now, back to work. Hmm. Pleasant distraction. And a mildly clearer head. I like.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Every time someone tells me they're proud of me...

...in my head, I hear, "Wow, I totally thought of you as a loser who wouldn't ever be able to that."

Good to know you think so highly of me, thanks!

Monday, 5 September 2011

Beginnings

My birthday just ended.

A lot has changed in the past year. I got out of a five year long relationship, spent six months simply not knowing where my life was headed, then got back with The Li'l Lady. Job scene was tense, then looked better, then got questionable again (more on that later).

And just yesterday, I moved. Packed up my stuff and left the house. Just so I can know what it's like to grow up, to run a house by myself. Here's what I'm going to be calling home for the foreseeable future:


(If you don't see a pic there, leave me a comment; I don't yet know how this blogger app works)

This is scaring the shit out of me (not to mention burning a supermassive hole through my pocket), but that's the point. I want to be scared witless. I want to get to a point where I'm terrified and hungry (possibly sick), wondering what the hell I was smoking when I thought I could survive on my own and wanting nothing more to run back home and let Mommy keep house for me.

And then I want to endure. I want to entertain the possibility that I will crumble, fall apart and then I want to rebuild myself.

So hello, Andheri E. Be nice to me, okay? I promise I will bitch less about you. Okay, maybe not. But I will try. And I will do this. No matter what. So, Universe, Murphy, I know you're reading this. Do. Your. Worst.

This post was written after a 4am cleaning session. Also, discovery of a new species: Ninja Ants.



Yes, that's a sealed, airtight bag of sugar.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Resilience

Yet again, last night, Bombay was tested. Three bombs in meter boxes and a car at Zhaveri Bazaar, Opera House and Kabootar Khana respectively.

Our brilliant news channels dazzled us with their complete inability to see the point, yet again (and frankly, despite all the practice they've had). We didn't want to know when the previous attacks were (we remember, jackasses) or the 'science' behind their dates; at that point, we didn't care if it was a failure in intelligence; and we most certainly didn't care what Israel would have done had this happened there (seriously, Gul Panag, wtf were you thinking?). All that mattered was if everyone you knew was ok, and if they were out, getting them home safe.

And twitter came through beautifully. I have never been so proud of the fact that I'm active on twitter. Almost without exception, everything else was dropped and the prime concern became connecting those who needed help to those who were offering it. And there were SO many of the latter. People willing to let strangers into their homes and offices, offering lifts to anyone who needed them, tracking down people who couldn't be contacted, traffic updates, information on hospitals, lists of the wounded, numbers to contact for blood banks, links to public spreadsheets with numbers for people to contact by area... I must make special mentions of @sidin and @b50 for rallying information, quelling rumours, matching up the #needhelp and #here2help hashtags, providing accurate, up-to-the-minute traffic updates; essentially keeping twitter from turning into a large group of headless chickens. I'm glad that in whatever little way I do, I know these people. All their efforts went together to ensuring many of us got home safe and sound.

And all through today, I've heard one word being tossed around. "Resilience," everyone is saying. Yes, I saw that resilience take the form of ruthless efficiency last night. And I can't help but think: is this what it's like for people in Kashmir? Is that the degree of desensitization we've reached in this city? Yes, despite how we all acted yesterday, I choose to use that word. Because as a city, as a singular unit, we have reached a point where three bombs were detonated in crowded areas and literally within minutes, we were rallied and ready. We're like the broken woman who's reached a place where she knows that at some point, the wife-beating husband is going to come home drunk again and has a first aid kit hidden in the bathroom because she knows there's no way out.

And just like that wife will patch herself up and go straight back to making his dinner, we've gone back to our lives. It's been a day. One day. And we're back at work, sending each other angry emails; back online, watching videos of cats with bowties; talking about gigs and haircuts and Harry Potter.

I want out. I don't fucking want to hear about the unbreakable spirit of my city. Because you're making Bombay out to be that wimpy kid who picks up his bag and quietly walks home after he's blind-sided in an alley by four bullies.

I don't want to be that woman. I don't want to be that kid.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Resume

So I've been away a while, yes. Lots has happened in the time I've been missing:
1. My team of eight at work dwindled to a team of three.
2. I stuck around, plus I've been slogging my ass off, so I got a promotion (not what I was hoping for, but I still took it)
3. As a consequence, work has become more hectic.
4. Turbulence in relationships (euphemism of the century)

I may be missing a couple of points, but that's irrelevant. In good news, I've just bought a new phone: the spanking Nexus S. Being an Android, there's a truckload of apps on it, and being a child of Google, one for Blogger, too. Hopefully this means more writing on the move.

I sure as hell hope so, anyway.