Friday, December 26, 2003

Life sucks.
Very ill, can’t eat nor drink nor even stand up straight. Have taken to falling suddenly into nearest stable piece of furniture if I stay upright for longer than a couple of minutes.
Painful cough. Coughing all day. Even my voice has been replaced with some weird-sounding thing that certainly does not belong to me. I miss my dulcet tones. Sniff.
Nobody loves me. Everybody parties and they never notice whether I’m around or no. How would they like to be cellophane people? I don’t, that’s for sure. I’m definitely somebody who likes attention.
Mmmm… speaking of which… I’m back on the circuit. Am now what is called single and looking, I believe.
I don’t know about the looking. My heart’s just not in it. Every now and then I get interested but it’s not as it used to be. The guys are fun so that’s not it. Must get myself out of this uninterestedness.
All this was the illness talking. Will be up and about and doing just fine. Just give me 24 hours!
(And some chicken soup, please, love the stuff)

Friday, October 10, 2003

I had the most fabulous dinner ever at this French restaurant tonight, an entire ‘grand menu’ with the most amazing choc mousse to end… sigh… did I happen to mention the authentic French chef there who was every bit as delectable as the dessert? He was an extremely cute Frenchman with a Very Charming Smile.
But I’m sorry to say I’ve lost The Touch. All this going steady has done nothing for my flirting skills. I blushed and looked at the ground all the while he was at our table. Of course the situation was not helped by me being in a sari and my parents seated across and beside me. Felt like this lokkhi (‘good’, Bharani) grown up daughter out with her loving parents – and such girls don’t flirt with the chef, sadly. So I sadly watched him sit down with two women at another table and spend half an hour flirting with them.
I need to meet more men more often! And I need them to not get sidetracked by other women. I guess what I’m trying to get at is that I need intensive rehab before I get back into the circuit!
Realised today that I’ve spent the best part of the last five years being a girlfriend. Now I want to meet men as Me and not as somebody’s damn girl. I think my problem is, in the circles in which I don’t socialize as Beq’s girl, people don’t see me as just a girl either. They make a beeline for other women or they turn out to be gay. I’m getting a complex here, men!
Oh well, I’ve concluded I’ll probably end up this wild party animal of a spinster aunt, to the envy of my friends and despair of my relatives. It doesn’t sound too bad, if a little lonely.
I recommend the restaurant, people, La Madeleine, just around the corner from Hema Malini’s house. Nice directions, wotcher say?

I’m at Chennai now, for those who don’t know, and I will be here till Monday, after which I return to Cal.

Thursday, October 09, 2003

TV and Travel: I’m missing tv here a bit. Pay channels have been blanked out for as long as the ppl of Chennai obstinately refuse to buy STBs, and they really appear to have dug their heels in on this one issue. My parents have said they will buy only after all their neighbours have, and none of our neighbours have yet. Oh well, at least I’m watchin a lot of ‘interesting’ stuff I wouldn’t deign to otherwise. Like weird Southie movies and MTV. It’s startling how far “out of the loop” you can get being too busy to watch tv for just one month.
Slept all day – that’s my usual POA at home – and in the evening, felt too lazy to catch a movie. Tomorrow though Hemant and me are going to Vellore to meet Soumya (another schoolfriend of ours) and that will keep me out all day. It was fun, a little while ago I was going through rail timetables trying to find us a train and we’ve both acknowledged neither of us has a clue how to get ourselves there and back.
Like, in summer I went to Pondicherry with another two friends of mine (from school) and we took the worst bus possible, stopping at all kinds of two-hovel ‘villages’. The bus of course was rickety and uncomfortable and the road dusty and bumpy. The actual route is a lovely drive along the East Coast.
Did I happen to mention I’m enjoying my little vacation?

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

‘Ros ‘n’ Guil are Dead’ is having a bad effect on my morals. Not just mine, but Shuktara’s as well. We have taken to making obscene gestures and comments as matter of factly as we do, well, non-obscene ones. They don’t even quite strike us as not quite de riguer any more, I think.
Come to think of it, what is it with me and the Cal stage? At school I invariably ended up as first the goody two shoes of whichever play I was doing, and then the middle-aged, central mother protagonist. At college I have played a cabaret singer, a fairground dancer and now I’m playing a slutty fisherwoman and a mother figure of a “rabble of prostitutes”. How come directors look at me and apparently thinks clothes and conventionality can be dispensed with? I’m not sure I approve of the attitude. I did manage to get out of doing the cabaret turn in ‘Shakuntala’ (which is the department production this winter).
Puja’s starting tomorrow in all earnestness. It’s all so exciting. New clothes and pretty lights and all that jazz.
I’m glad I’ve decided to stay back this year. Was feeling a little lonely but that’s passed. It’ll be good to go home next week though.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Ok, since background has been asked for, here goes:
Kingshuk is a guy I know from JU. Vicky is his brother. Jion (i.e. Tamojoy) and DRD (aka Dr. D) are friends I met through Vicky.
The last three call me Shoe. That’s their idea of a joke. They think that folks calling me Sue is a very affected thing, and have taken it upon themselves to modify my nickname. Hence the limericks.
Beq is Bibek, my gentleman friend (I love that term!)
Barry was a friend of Vicky’s who recently got married. Didn’t know him before his marriage, as I mentioned.
Prudhvi is a friend of mine from school in Vizag. Right now I have no idea where he is and I hope he’ll let me know sometime soon!
Mejopishi is the aunt I stay with, and Jimma is her daughter. (All pishis are aunts.)
Mejokhurima is another aunt. (As are all khurimas.)
Anish and Tapu are friends… one through a classmate and the other from uni.
That’s all you need to go on right now I guess.

My schedule on Friday went something like this: out of the house at 7 a.m. for French class from 7.30 to 930 a.m. Got stuff done at Alliance Française office till 10. M.A. classes from 10.20 a.m. to 1. p.m.
Caught up on my breathing till 1.15, then sent off by my mother on errand. (Damn all cell phones.) Got back at 3, sat down for half an hour waiting for next supply of energy to catch up with me.
Dept. drama rehearsals from 3.45 to 5.15 p.m. Ran home immediately afterwards, to change clothes and unload the heavy bag.
Rehearsals for ‘Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead’ from 6.30 to 9 p.m. Had to wait twenty minutes for a bus afterwards, reached home at ten.
I’m dying of overwork. At this rate I’m becoming on of those overachieving freaks.
Well, not really. But I’m on my way there, I can just see it.
Thursday and Friday were equally hectic, as was Saturday but to make up, I didn’t do a spot of work on Sunday except to get some ironing done. Didn’t even put the ironed clothes away. So at 6 p.m. I had to cope with two reviews, some research and a load of French homework. A girl can’t have an off-day without the world breathing down her neck!
Srinivas called on Friday and we talked long and loud. I was in a bus for part of the conversation and got some quite a few disapproving looks. Guess somebody has to give the old biddies something to frown upon. Need to justify my existence, as it were. Wonder what he’s got me from his big trip abroad.
Tua (cousin) is going to Frankfurt on a Rotary exchange next month. Went with her and Mejokhurima (her mother) to the handicrafts emporiums as they bought gifts for the ppl she’s to meet there. Saw some fun sandalwood paperknives and really cute dolls. Also saw a darling baby rocking chair.
Sriram (Srinivas’ brother) is getting married end of November… have to make time out to be in Vizag then. No way can I miss this wedding! But I’ll have to be mighty crafty about it, don’t want directors getting shirty on me.

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Right. It’s four in the morning and I’ve just realized I do have a life. Sorta. When I’m not busy chasing down all the things I have to do to be in ppl’s good books, I do.
The weekend before last was weird. The weekend before that there was Beq-and-friend’s annual birthday bash. Quite an enjoyable party, mostly because I had my own parallel little shindig going on in the next room, I figure. I mean, there’s only so much you can take of people going out of their minds and strange music and cigarette smoke without wanting to be somewhere else, preferably a place where you can breathe. But this party was cool. I was happy throughout (didn’t fight with Beq, not once!) and I had my own space to retreat into. All thanks to Vicky, of course. Sweet of him to let me take over his room like that.
And that’s when I heard Barry on the phone, discussing his wedding, and decided I needed to attend it too. In that state of mind it didn’t seem important that I didn’t know Barry or his fiancée. Cut forward to last Saturday. Me and Jion at ICICI, him helping me transfer my a/c. Him on the phone with Barry discussing the wedding (to take place that night). Him telling Barry that I still needed an official invite. Bemused Barry wondering if he’d ever even heard of me, and telling me to please come.
So I went; stayed the night for the ‘bashor ghar’. Listened to bad puns and silly anecdotes and guys high on Saturday night fever (aided by shots of vodka I admit) and made some new friends. The next day, still a teeny bit hungover I was persuaded to turn up for the ‘bashi biye’ where my jaded taste buds refused to acknowledge good food. So I settled for lots of sweets instead. And then, somehow found myself at the reception tonight. I went with Jion’s mum – whom I’d not met till then, and found myself at a wedding with nobody to talk to for a good hour. Was pretty glad to see Vicky and Kingshuk arrive. Food was good as befits a decent wedding.
Have been on some amazing drives this weekend, courtesy Tomojoy Sengupta. Can’t say I know what he’s like when he drives other people but I must admit I find him far less scary than Prudhvi. And if I can take P I guess all others are small fry.
It’s been good, hanging out with people like Vicky, DRD and Jion. It was kinda like being seventeen again. It’s weird to think of how I go from group to group, folks at the Uni to folks in class to this alt group. In one I stay quiet and absorb. In another I’ve stopped trying to fit in. And in a third I relax a little, and know I will not make a fool of myself because I’m accepted the way I am. However clichéd that last may sound, it’s a comforting thing to think. It’s good to not be outshone for once by other women just because they are more outgoing or know more or have bigger boobs or whatever.

Some limericks I came up with. Just because.

There was an old woman they called Shoe
Who was fast running out of things to do
Tommy teased and Dr. aided
Vicky smiled and he abetted
Till the woman forgot whether she was herself or a shoe.

There was once a young man called Vicky
Whose sense of humour was perfectly icky
Yet he wrinkled his nose
And called my jokes gross
For a grosser-outer he can be quite picky.

There was a little boy called Jion
Who was permanently high (like freon)
He laughed all day
A kid at play
A happy little boy was Jion.

A dry taste in humour has Dr. D
His puns are chosen most carefully
He doesn’t suffer bores gladly
And can be quite madly
Rude to them, smiling through it all with unholy glee.

Vicky has a rude tongue in his head
And there’s little he leaves unsaid
If he’s mad
His language is bad
And you wish his thoughts had never left his head.

Monday, July 21, 2003

Diaries are more fun. You can’t say “Dear Blog”, for instance, without feeling more than a little foolish. And you certainly can’t put down the things you can safely say in your private li’l book for whoever drops in to read. Then why a blog? This is a question that occupies me every time I think I should add an entry. Why indeed.

We performed Jean Anouilh’s ‘Episode in the Life of An Author’ today at Trinca, a bar-restaurant on Park Street (in Calcutta, for the uninitiated). I played the part of a Rumanian journalist, come to interview the Author. Light little farce, quite easy on the nerves. It was quite an experience, performing in such a place, and I think it was worth the (minimal) trouble we took over it. It was a free show, a sort of bonus for today’s lunch guests. We ourselves didn’t get any money, but we did get to order our choice of a scrumptious lunch. And there were free tasters of Bacardi Breezer on offer. Altogether, we didn’t do too badly off a show it took us five evenings to bring together, more or less. And I didn’t even mention the press coverage we should get for such an unusual performance.

Spirits have finally revived after a couple of days of feeling very sorry for myself. Beq and I MUST learn not to get on each other’s nerves so much.

-- See, that’s what I mean. How on earth is an utter stranger going to know who Beq is and why my spirits would be low? So I might as well write all this in my diary, except it’s too much hard work actually writing all this in the big book. Typing’s so much less work. (shamefaced grin)

Friday, July 11, 2003

The question is this: given the existence of a blog that I infrequently update and which almost nobody knows about because I’m wary of letting people know what I think, what are the chances of my continuing to write? Pretty low one would guess. But what the hell, look at my diary. I’ve written maybe six entries in the last two years but it’s still in being, innit?
I’m back in Calcutta. To my mild astonishment, got culture shock as soon as I entered the city. The old buildings were so dilapidated and the pollution was so high and the vehicles were so many and the buses were so loud and the people were so noisy and well, you get the idea. And I’ve only been away six weeks. But thankfully, water is in plentiful supply. (When the apartment pump is in order of course. Let that go on record too.)
Have got myself formally admitted to JU for the MA course. My instincts say I did the right thing but nobody else agrees.
Turned twenty-one on Tuesday. Had a grand birthday. I’d been complaining of having to return to Cal right on my birthday, and I must really have bored it into a lot of people, because so many of my “friends and relations” were sweet enough to call up – mostly long distance – and others mailed. Basically, they all remembered. Mejopishi and Mejokhurima dished up stunning fare for three meals. All in all it more than made up for having to come away from home and spending the day being at the mercy of petty clerks. What more could a girl ask for?
We’re probably doing ‘Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead’ later this year. It should be interesting. Must get a copy from somewhere. In addition there is the departmental production, whatever that may be. Plus JU is starting the semester system this MA onwards. Life could be more promising but not much.

Parties tomorrow. We’re going on a binge at Oly and then moving on Someplace (Else, at The Park) hopefully later. Thank god Beq’s exams end tomorrow. Then there is a jaunt with Anish sometime. Not to mention Tapu.

Life is good!!!

Thursday, June 19, 2003

Benjarong is a very good Thai restaurant. Prospective visitors to Chennai please take note. The cuisine is interesting (not for the faint at heart) and the ambience just right. Girls, in my experience, cute males abound. The sweetest one I met personally was about 4 weeks old, and had the cutest smile ever.
We’re all going to be up tonight waiting for the water tanks to come, stand and deliver. This is the part of this city that does NOT appeal to me. I accept that buying of water is fast becoming an established urban practice but what kind of a municipality makes its citizens buy not only their drinking water but also the water to bathe, wash clothes and utensils and even water plants? Obviously the poor plants are getting the worst deal. It’s quite an awful situation, not to mention scorching on Baba’s (and by extension mine) pockets. I have a bad feeling it’s also having a deteriorating effect on my standards of personal hygiene… I wash less!
Re men, I have discovered the lookers come to the good restaurants. Now if only I had a gang to go around with maybe I could go get me some. ;-) Must start bathing sometime soon… ;-) ;-)
Must pick up some Tamil, can’t expect to go around speaking Telugu-English-Hindi in Chennai forever.

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Tests: Have got through TISS, Master in Social Work, specializing in Medical and Psychiatric Social Welfare (I think that’s what it is called.) Won’t be taking it up. No doubt I shall feel very foolish about this at some later date. Interview for ACJ over too. Let’s see what the results say.

Chennai: For the record, let it be known I like this city. It reminds me a lot of Calcutta, and I find both equally fascinating. It’s not just the old buildings and the obsession with the mother tongue and the roads with their colonial names (although there is all that) – it is also something to do with being the kind of place which would have an entrance to the city prison only a (longish) stone’s throw from the railway station. And the fact there is a darling red brick building called Victoria Public Hall next to Central (the railway stn) which cannot be more hidden and therefore more of a find. Best yet, the city has a beach. And it has wonderful shopping and cinemas. I only wish that a municipal water supply actually existed. Oh, and that auto fares were more reasonable.

Monday, June 09, 2003

Saw my first Tamil movie today, the title translates into sombody or the other's dream, I forget what the name was. It was somewhat better than I expected. (It was called 'Partiban Kanava')
Saw the Chennai Lifestyle. Have fallen in love again, I do love the chain, their consumer traps are so much nicer than all those other big shops. If only it were my birthday already, I could use that kind of money.

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

Replaced my nicked copy of 'The Invisible Band' last evening. Am still wondering who made off with my cassette.
Picked up audio CDs of 'All The Pain Money Can Buy' and 'The Notorious Byrd Brothers' on a 'sale' at one of the Chennai Landmarks. Still cost me 200 each. Now a REAL sale would be something to the tune of 50 per CD.
Am reading John le Carre's 'The Looking-Glass War' right now. Heavy going. Place where I'm staying has quite a nice little library. My hosts' son is a reader with taste! But then, anybody who reads Tolkien has to be a person who reads varied and interesting stuff. Don't know how that rule works, but it's a good rule of the thumb.
Hello world, looks like somebody has been visiting my new 'place'. Thanks, whoever it was, but do leave a name so I know.
Just saw 'Matrix Reloaded', a pirated version recorded in a cinema-hall. It was quite funny to watch the anonymous recorder adjusting the angle from time to time. Lends a new dimension to movie-watching. As for the movie itself, what can I say? It is a sexier, more worked out version. Obviously, the original charm is greatly lessened. It could be that I am no longer a wide-eyed innocent but I never was, in any living memory (was I? Your comments are invited!). The American sentiment ruins the end, but the idea is darn interesting all the same. And the fights are plain sexy. And I don't mean that in the college slang kind of way, because they are actually erotic. You work it out. Actually I'm feeling let down because now I have to wait another 8, 10 months to catch what happens in the 24 hrs to follow. Have never been the type who liked suspense.
I think I will soothe myself by a spot of shopping, nothing like a spending spree to buoy one up.

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

Dear Whoever-is-reading-this,
Do I know you? If yes, do drop me a line informing me this thing is functional. It's my second attempt and today has been a pretty non-productive day so far, all things considered.
TISS looks like a washout. Was called for the individual interview, but I think I screwed up therein... came across as sounding so arrogantly self-opinionated, I blush for myself in the seclusion of this room.
Where are all the good looking men??? Here I am in Mumbai of all places -- was told I'd get my money's worth around here -- and all I catch are the pretty dames. Hell if I'd wanted that I'd have gone and looked into a mirror. (Reader, if you know me kindly refrain from that highly rude sniggering. It's my blog and I can type what I want. So there.)
Oh well, at least IIT Powai is a restful place, not to speak of the amazing internet they got on the tap here. So what if all the future brains of the world have gone home for the summer. Nobody ever claimed engineers were good-looking, right?
Arrivederci my friends, I will end as I feel, on a highly despondent note.