Sunday, December 19, 2004

It’s early in the a.m. and I’m nearly out of water. Was ever a maid so by troubles beset? Which reminds me, I really must learn another language someday. English and a smattering of everything else cannot be considered enough.
It’s now one day short of a fortnight that my insomnia has set in. Looks like a new phase of it now, though. Initially I couldn’t sleep till dawn and then I dozed all day and was no use to man or beast. Now I fall asleep early and wake up before dawn. Now why didn’t this happen when I was in school and needed to not fall asleep over my books?
I have decided to utilize my time resourcefully and therefore I shall now nip off to do my French homework. But before that I shall give a short summary of the time it’s been:
I’m teaching a guy called Dhrupad French. One class done so far. Five more to go.
George is getting married on 26th, at Vizag. Big party at my place on 24th. Right after, will leave for the sleepy ol’ hometown. Esha’s a bridesmaid, btw.
Learnt to tango at Dana’s yesterday, with Ifti. Well, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. Let’s put it like this: after a bit more practice I will be able to follow Ifti smoothly while he leads me across the floor! Maybe I’m being too hard on myself. It wasn’t too bad by the end of it. And Dana’d made a yummy chip dip.
Came home to find myself being called down to dinner by Mejopishi. She’d had guests and so there were fish fry, mutton and pulao leftovers. Oh and it was Mithi’s birthday, which party was dutifully attended by Baba. He had been invited, a few weeks ago. I did not receive any invitations, and I am her cousin and therefore have greater claims than the previous generation! All this buttering up… they must have picked it up from Chhotima! :-)
Both terms papers have been submitted for the term. One more class test tomorrow (Lit of 1800-1900?) and the sem will be over. Exams from 4th to 10th Jan. Am wondering whether I’ll go to Allahabad for Ma’s baperbari’s annual retreat after that. Probably not. But it does sound fun. And I want the diversion.
The verdict’s out: ‘Measure for Measure’ is officially not a hit. (That’s called diplomatic lingo.) But it has received some wildly varying criticism. Some hated the costumes… Subhro loved them. Some couldn’t stand Karma… others thought he was hot. Some were intrigued by the gender change… others thought it didn’t work. What can you say, it’s tough to please them all. Arup K Dutt wrote about it in the Sat supplement (Statesman) yesterday. He was referring to Andy’s Companion to Indian Theatre and mentioned how Andy doesn’t shy away from hands-on theatre himself… experiments, often with disastrous effect!
French beckons, so toodle-oo.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

The Battle of Sue’s Flat (Calcutta 2004)

I tell you, it’s a sad day when you can’t even feel safe in your own bed. There I was, looking for some poetry to send me to sleep (a most praiseworthy intention, I’m sure) but what do I get when I reach forward, not getting out of bed, to pull a book from my shelf? A big fat cockroach quivering with readiness on top of aforesaid book, no less. After uttering the customary feminine shriek of horror I shook the book as hard as I could and had the satisfaction of seeing the creature fall to the floor on the other side of the bed. I ran for the killer spray but by the time I got back it had disappeared. I optimistically sprayed the environs nonetheless and got back in bed with the book. (A slight tremor in my limbs will kindly be passed over.)
And in a minute or less I heard a fluttering noise on some wood. With mounting trepidation I looked at the bookcase, to be rewarded by the sight of the foul being ascending to its very top. It did so with some difficulty, I was pleased to note. Evidently the spray had reached it somewhere. But no sooner did it reach the top than did the loathsome creature take a flying dive onto my bed. This time the shriek was a scream while we both struggled to get out of the bedclothes and into a clearer position for our fight. If my exit was a trifle ignominious we shall pass over that too.
We feinted around my bedroom floor, it looking for cover among certain items left on the floor (my bag and the discman) while I pulled them away. Finally it collapsed under my bed, where it now lies panting for breath and – hopefully – dying.
I have concluded from its behaviour that the rapacious beast indeed has no mothers or sisters at home. Then again, considering that its home was where I store my beloved books, that is probably something to be grateful for.

Friday, November 26, 2004

’Allo! I am back, if I ever really went away… been a beastly couple of weeks. Have no proof they have ended, to be sure, but at least tonight I feel reasonably perky.
Went to Dana’s birthday party tonight, where we all cooked ourselves Chinese hotpot soup. Yummy. And doing the egg-drop thing through cute little sieves was fun too. Not mention watching your own portions of fish and chicken and veggies cook in their little sieves. I was so excited that I had two bowls of soup and had to have only a reasonable dinner. That was good too, btw. Afterwards we danced. They danced before I arrived (cos I was late, but things were slowing down till the soup began). Tanaji and I improvised a dogems waltz wherein we bulldozed everybody else off the floor. Before anybody frowns, let me add that we deliberately did so in retaliation, against this particularly inconsiderate couple who were bumping into all the others. I will of course mention no names.
Told everybody about my plans for a day-long party around Christmas… invited everybody present. I considered it and then decided I would call everybody I cared to know. Vicky can do the same. They can drop in as and when it suits them and bring mutual friends I suppose. That should keep it going. Movies all day, popcorn and chips along with the booze. Lunch and high tea I guess I can serve. Former can be pasta based and latter cold cuts. All the meat should keep us happy.
Oh cool, I haven’t planned a party in too long.
Gadawful telephone bill reached me last night. I rather think I’ll have to pay this one. But I’m convinced there’s some jiggerey-pokery afoot. Could I really have spent all that time on the phone?
My life has been so quiet of late, thanks to my ill health and fits of depression and consequent lethargy. I really should do things. Might cheer me more that somewhat.
Like, last Sunday I taught Dhrubo French. Now that was fun. Maybe because he’s so keen to learn?
Good night world, I will end with how I feel viz, that Vicky is an absolute darling. Not too blessed with the smarts I think(!) but a darling beyond all other possible darlings.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

I’m back in town and sticking around. Trip to both Delhi and Chennai over. In one I suffered, relatively speaking (if I’ll be allowed the pun) and in the other I just suffered. Picked up a respiratory infection, V and me both, and that kept us at home the entire week we were down south. I lost my voice too, which is always a downer.
We did make a couple of quick sorties to neighbourhood cafés. And on Sunday we went for a drive on ECR. Got stuck in the beach and finally had the car lifted out by these strong Tamil men. And I mean strong. That was followed by an indifferent lunch at some Oasis Dhaba – whose misleading sign had sent us to the beach to start with. From there we went to Spencers where my companions indulged in mindless consumerism. The joys of malls :-)
Now that I think of it, we also made a trip to Lifestyle one evening, where the parents landed up with the largest shopping bag I’ve seen Lifestyle ever give out. Vicky bought himself a white jeep. I tried on shoes and drooled over the hopelessly expensive socks. I did not drool over the wow of a cream leather sofa set but that might have been because I was lying in it. Dinner that night was at the club, a very nice beef roast if my ageing memory does not fail me.

And so my happy-go-lucky days wear on. Poor little girl, got everything I could want and nothing that I need. Only us rich girls get to say that, though.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Off to Delhi tomorrow for about ten days. Doing the Bong thing by inflicting myself on the non-Bong world during Durga Puja. At this rate, I'll soon be the Bongest of them all.
See you later, world.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

My mid-sems finish tomorrow, thank heavens, so I can back to a relatively stress-free existence. I tell you, being an Arts student ain’t easy work. You obviously do not study till the last possible second (in my case the rickshaw ride to Uni this afternoon) and it’s all very taxing on the nerves. If I die of heart failure at a young age you’ll know what to blame.
I participated in a theatre quiz on Friday. Had gone to watch but since there weren’t enough teams, they pulled me into one. The only person more clueless than I in the entire setup was my partner. No, that’s no true. Another team actually scored zero. We managed a five, thanks to a class test I’d ‘studied’ for earlier that day (I got a four on ten in the test in case you’re wondering. At least the fifteen minutes spent flipping through my class notes came in useful somewhere.) Anyway, I think they shoved my mug in the dailies today. Probably cos I kept asking the quiz-master – Dhruv, a friend of mine – to give us a ten out of sheer pity for a pathetic performance. I must add that when we finally scored that 5 on a passed question my team practically got a standing ovation… I wonder if I entirely lack all sense of shame?
Oh, and on Sunday I cooked. If you’re wondering what the big deal was, maybe I should mention my culinery accomplishments till then had been maggie and rice. Occasionally, when I felt a bit more daring than usual I fried eggs… once or twice I even made French toast! Anyway, now I can boast of having made chicken kofta curry and a fab dal. Learnt how to roast yesterday, so roast mutton next I think. Or Irish stew. People, you can boast of knowing a famous-chef-in-the-making.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Some times are delightful and no matter how sadly they end, you will still have had them, lovely, lovely moments that they were.

So, I will always have my moments by the sea and on the hill, and in the halls and on the roads. They were all of them beautiful, so how can I honestly mind them turning out differently from what I wanted them to be?

On the other hand, life is rather beautiful right now too. It was lovely being sixteen and seventeen but I must say I’m happy being twenty-two and in love. It’s different this time around but I always knew this one would be. What I want now is so much easier to accept and wanting so much less is also more acceptable. If only I could stop speaking in allusions and say out loud that this is a delicious feeling and that I wouldn’t trade for all the kisses in the world (because kisses in the end are the only monies I’m willing to accept. Every other form of barter seems to have too many drawbacks.)

But allusions are the closest I’ve ever permitted myself to the truth and it seems to me that I can’t break the habit any more. My feelings are too private for me to be entirely comfortable with telling everyone at large about the whys and wherefores. I don’t mind telling everybody I’ve had a good life – for I have and it’d be lying to say otherwise – but I cannot make myself tell them in which ways it has been good to me.

It’s good to be alive on some days. And never mind cranky knees and pesky tests and cussed relatives. They contribute to the general joy of things, like it as they will. After all, my knees may hurt but I can still run if I’ve a mind to and I may have test in two hours (which I haven’t studied for) but that’s two hours away… and cussed relatives are funny. Quite, quite funny.

Or maybe it’s me who’s the funny one?

Monday, September 06, 2004

Another motto: Do unto others as I would have them do unto me. But sometimes, do unto others as they damn well deserve.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

If the Dr. can do it, so can I. And I will, at that.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Now I know how to make jhal frezi and dal with drumsticks. I even have my own recipe book!
Am wondering whether I shall put my poems up here in my blog from time to time. But the threat of plagiarism bothers me. I don’t mind so much if people I don’t know read what I write, but it does bother me that somebody might take something I have written and loved and pass it off as their own.
I don’t know…
The workshop is ok. We’re supposed to socialize tonight, after the session’s done, over drinks I think at Tolly Club or something like that. Am not as involved in it as I was last week and I know why. The way they’re doing this has bothered me to no little degree. Dana hit the nail exactly on the head when she said that they’re afraid we might contribute.
Am at home trying to laze away a fever, which is why the blog’s going up in the middle of the day instead of the usual midnight posting.
Have a weird day, everyone!

Monday, August 30, 2004

Went to watch ‘ Beyond the Land of Hattamala’ by The Action Players today. Quite enjoyed myself. That was preceded by a display of mindless consumerism by V and me. We bought me some long awaited apparel, a corduroy skirt and him a lovely pair of dark blue cords and a very nice winter jacket. Altogether satisfying. Oh, and I got the baby a pair of socks.
After a few days of uneasy balancing between tears and laughter, have given trying to figure out what gives. If I feel happy I laugh if not I don’t bother trying to hide my intense dissatisfaction with the world around me at that particular moment.
Hopefully, will be going for a cookery lesson with Aunty Hy. tomorrow afternoon. To be followed by a workshop at Tolly Club. Those of you who are wondering what that is, it’s a part of the ongoing British Council-Konkona Sen Sharma affair. Three weeks will culminate in a show on 10th Sept.
Beq, stop cribbing. If I can’t flirt with V I’m sure I don’t know who I can with. I don’t complain about you telling me about your women, do I? Besides, it’s MY blog.
I’m quite sleepy tonight, so my much-awaited return to bloggin will remain thus short and pungent, ending with Sonali’s hymeneal ode, commemorating her wedding next Jan.

(Written while teasing Sonali about her biyer menu this morning in Sobha’s class on Modernism.)

The Bride Ate Capsicum

We find this girl tænsh
Not to mention quite rash
To privilege the cuisine Lebanese
In an attempt to please
Like-minded guests and cut a dash.

But Bengalis we
Prefer at weddings paturi
Over such exotic fare
Only Sonali’d dare
To fob us off thus at a wedding bash!

Sunayana Roy
20th August 2004

I hope everybody worked out the “tænsh”. It’s the Bangla word, of course.

There’s no getting away from it. Bono has the sexiest voice in the history of voices and that no body can deny.

Wednesday, 25th August 2004
Am currently down with a bit of a cold but apart from going around with a richly pink nose and occasionally giving vent to embarrassingly loud sneezes I’m none the worse for wear, you’ll be happy to know.
Am doing a series of workshops (with an eventual show in Sept. in mind) with a British Council group involving Konkona Sen Sharma. Those who can’t remember who she might be, I’m talking of Mrs. Iyer. That’s a lot of fun.
Am also trying to do all my classes. Thankfully, I cannot seem to manage a cent percent attendance. I say thankfully because if I did pull such a thing off THAT would be a surefire indicator of something drastically wrong with me.
Have found myself out of the play-reading but it’s ok cos I’m kinda busy with the British Council workshops. The team includes Konkona [Sen Sharma], and Royona, who I last worked with for ‘The Way of The World’. All in all, it’s proving to be a lot of fun. Actually, it’s so much fun to be doing workshops at long last with a view to actually performing. Haven’t acted in so long.

Sunday, 22nd August 2004
Life goes on. On a (relatively) more academic tone, for a change. I have been doing all my classes and except for the SMC ones, enjoying the lot too.
Went this morning for a play-reading audition. The Red Curtain’s monthly playwright presentation at Oxford Bookstore (that’s a mouthful) features Vijay Tendulkar and we’re doing excerpts from ‘Mitra Goshti’, ‘Kamala’ and ‘Silence! The Court Is in Session’. I’ve to read up the part of Sumitra in ‘Mitra Goshti’ by tomorrow. And I’ve to read up Shoenbaum on the life of Shakespeare by Tuesday. And I still haven’t written reviews due a month ago. But I did watch ‘Shrek 2’ yesterday, followed by ‘Spiderman 2’ (for the second time) in the evening. And Vicky’s coming over with ‘Kill Bill 2’ in a bit. Lots of sequels.
Beq’s finally got some and even that came with a sequel. And Esha called from Hyd, sounding extremely chirpy and high on life. Was fun to talk to her. Last time we didn’t have much of a talk. The woman is an incorrigible flirt, I have to say. Actually, I almost feel a shade wistful. Wouldn’t entirely mind being in such a position myself. Not that my life isn’t fun the way it is!
All in all, everybody’s having fun so that’s all good news. The Siblings (pater and co.) have fought themselves to a standstill and are right now in the process of a tenuous peace. The king is dead, long live the king, say I.

Nothing beats martial arts flicks. Nothing. Maybe Edward Norton in ‘Fight Club’ but that’s a close finish.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Have been unable to update blog all summer, don't know why. Am getting bored of trying. As of now, don't even have internet at home, cos landline's dead. So those of you who're looking to be amused, sorry pals. Will inform you when I get this thing on its feet again, always assuming I ever do so!

Monday, June 21, 2004

Been at Vizag five days now. Reached Wed. afternoon, tailed by parents at night; Didima and Chhotomama (a.k.a Funnyface) followed on the next afternoon. Sushmita Khurima, Tapashkaku (minus the daughter of the house) arrived on Friday which also saw the kidnapping of Beq on his way home from ACJ interview in Chennai. Baba and I persuaded him (enticed with chocolate boat pastry would be closer to the mark, one suspects) to break his journey by a couple of days.
Jamai-aspirant (cough cough) reached on Saturday afternoon, coming in only for the remains of the Grihapravesh – the reason we’d all congregated – and after most of the people had left. Was a trifle annoyed but have now concluded that it was all for the best. Don’t want too much curiosity, do we?
Poor baby, both he and Beq wanted to stay over for a little while more, but Vicky has office tomorrow while B has exams, family and girlfriend anxiously awaiting his return. Squabbled with him all the two days he was here, incidentally. V has stopped trying to make us act our age. E settled for looking bewildered at our on-again, off-again animosity.
It was awfully nice, having the two boys here. Wish Vicky could have stayed for longer, but as I have mentioned before, things do tend to happen for the best. As things go, parents checked him out and are tending towards approval. Dada likes him, but I do think he’d have done so anyway. Funnily enough, B bonded big-time with the family. Did a lot of the pre-puja running around and since Dada was his escort, that took care of a lot of incipient trouble, I figure.
Knees giving me trouble on and off but a lot of the restlessness and pain has been due to lack of sleep. That can be and was remedied accordingly.
Have been staying at Esha’s all this time, but last night was spent at the new flat. It was quite a little party, with B, V, E, Dada and me. We had chicken lasagna (Pastry, Coffee and Conversation) for dinner. The choc boats and Beq’s Irish cheese cake served as a post-dawn appetizer. B and E bonded all night while V and I slept in fits and bursts. Dada didn’t sleep any, from the look of things. We all found ourselves awake around four, so we woke Sleeping Beauty (familiar to her fans as the Lady Esha) an hour later and walked down to catch the sunrise on the beach. Since we were in the neighbourhood, we picked up Hemant (after startling his mother by ringing their bell at six in the morning) and had bad coffee and shared worse jokes. All the bongness is probably getting to them, cos now E has started peppering her words with stuff like ‘tokhon’ etc. which she doesn’t even understand!
Got a lot of gifts for the new flat… too bad we’re not moving in! :-) Keywords to remember so far are: Idaho, Beq’s a “mei” (girl i.e.), “I didn’t do it!”, Agarwal experiences for all three, midnight clumsiness, darling kids, docks, Teneti Park, CMR, midnight plumbing, “stupid little pinky little no-nosed kid” (who’s on my lap as I type), first prizes, Little Misses, alu parathas and avvakkai at Jaipur Restaurant.
Lots of things to do tomorrow. Maybe I’ll get some ironing done tonight? Nah, I didn’t think so either.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

The middle of the night is never a good time to feel lost in. Of late I’ve been craving the missing ingredient in my life. No sooner did I start to feel like I was in the process of putting a root down than I have the craving to move on and move NOW.

Frankness is all very well in its way but I do think I’ve been painfully frank of late and wasn’t that avoidable?

Mid-sem on the Romantics tomorrow. Well, today, if you want to quibble. Must start studying bright and early.

I like making people happy. Themses around me should mind that, they should, because if they seek the key to me that is the only door any key will open.

Why am I so angry? It’s strange, there’s this helplessness forcing me to the ground and somewhere inside me I know it comes from an anger, not the other way around. Why? Aren’t I supposed to be all peaceful and sweetly happy now that all the ends are neatly braided together in my life?

I’ve been canceling hurtful sentence after hurtful sentence because I know other people read what I write. Now if only I could do that when I speak, huh?
Oh and before I end for the day (Oh all right, night. Whatever.), must mention that says my zodiac match is a Gemini. Tua, you listening?

Sunday, May 30, 2004

From a mail to Rishi (I’m putting it in cos it’s about all the things I’ve been getting up to):

Taking a break of sorts from theatre for the mo. Finished the last scheduled play a fortnight ago and am now on my study leave/sabbatical. Actually, my end sems start from Monday so I suppose it should be more the one than the other but you know how it is. I said a break of sorts because there is actually another play being discussed right now. We haven’t decided which one (of two) we want to do, but the production should be around September sometime. As you can see, a break is a very relative term!

It has been ‘raining’ (something halfway between a mild drizzle and a nothing) for the last few days which is a relief. It was so hot last week I spent several days feeling rather ill in bed. When I heard from Srinivas that it’s been around 28, 30 degrees in B’lore I nearly at down and wept!
I saw a few movies recently. Funnily enough, two of them were Hindi, which has become rather rare for me now. I actually saw ‘Main Hoon Na’ and ‘Charas’. One left me holding my sides (I’m sure more than was intended) and the other filled me yearning for a smoke. Oh, and that’s another thing. I’m told approaching domesticity is supposed to tame me, and it must be true because I have been smoking up less and less frequently, almost only at big parties. Otherwise I drink!
I’ve been reading a lot of late, mainly SF, cos that’s an optional subject of mine. I will have to write an exam on Philip K Dick, Aldous Huxley and the lot next Friday… Finished ‘White Teeth’ by Zadie Smith recently. Not bad for a 19 yr-old. And am now reading Evelyn Waugh’s ‘Brideshead Revisited’. I have to read the latter because it has been recommended to me (via the Voices recco column) by a 13 yr old and it would be way too embarrassing to admit that I have not read it before.

Saturday, May 29, 2004

The last one month has moved so fast. Vicky and I progress by leaps and bounds. I have been over to his place for dinner and to meet his Chhotopishi. Though it wasn’t half as formal as it sounds and in either case, I was feeling to ill to appreciate the ‘solemnity’ of the occasion!
Esha is back in Vizag. Chatted with her a couple of times. We discussed the effects of gravity upon the female bosom and aimlessness of our respective lives, among other topics equally important to our individual well-beings.
Prudhvi leaves for Dubai early tomorrow morning. I will miss him and she will miss him more than I will. Oh well, I at least have Vicky.
Hey, there’s a thought. All those little ways P used to pamper her, I finally have all that! Aww…
Had biriyani for dinner. For some reason, have been craving it for the last few nights.

“It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important”, said the fox to the little prince. And he was right. One is rightly responsible for what one tames and teaches to care for one. One is doubly responsible for what one cares for. I wonder if I take the trouble to honour this responsibility. I hope I do.

End semesters from Monday, and a party at Debo’s tomorrow night. That makes three parties in a fortnight, counting Beq’s birthday bash last Saturday and the ‘Rhinoceros’ cast party the Tuesday before. Was it only a week ago? Tomorrow is Debo’s farewell, because she is going to MICA right after, to join her new job there.
ACJ entrance for Sreetama and Beq tomorrow morning. It feels so strange, them making plans to leave. Surjo, who has been away working in and around Bombay for the last four months, is home on a short sabbatical. He is already finding things very changed and is taking his time adjusting, says Beq.
Didima is coming to town… help! What am I supposed to do/wear/say around her? It will be doubly difficult being the traditional, dutiful granddaughter here in the very den of my sinfulnesses. Nobody, but NOBODY ever considers me!

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Elvis has left the building. And I'm so scared. There should be a special place where people this scared can hibernate till the world gets better.

Hey Beq, I forgot to say, welcome back.

Monday, April 19, 2004

Ok… where do I begin? (The next line of the song could very well follow, now that I think of it.)
Having kept Vicky at bay for all this time I finally caved in on Tuesday – New Year’s eve for us Bongs. No doubt a certain CA I know would approve, even though the timing was entirely unplanned.
Blurted it out to Aniruddha. By now rumour has probably decided the sex of the kid that must be on the way. If it hasn’t got so far yet it soon will. Katy asked me to work out marital finances yesterday morning. Shuktara begged me to consider the effects of an ‘early’ marriage (at 23???) on my fledgling career.
Apart from that it’s been a good week. Lots of Vicky, lotsa fun. ;-) [Yup, that’s what I meant. :-) ]
Best of all, I’ve been forcing myself not to keep mum around him. It’s tough since I’d got into the habit. But talking to him is getting easier all the time. Besides, there is much that he understands without needing explaining, so that helps.
Taught Speech and Drama at the Future Foundation School at Arabinda Ashram yesterday. Class 3 and 4; 5 and 6; 7 and 8. It was tiring but I must say I had fun. Was filling in for Dana, who has exams at the mo. And funnily enough, I bumped into two of my one-day students this evening at Oxford and Crossword. Oh oh oh and that’s something else… Crossword has finally opened at Cal! Four years after I’d asked them at Pune.
Dana and I are thinking of doing the rounds of BCL and the assorted bookshops to see if they want children’s events hosted. I could do that. I rather enjoyed filling in for her at the Oxford Kids’ Hour this evening. I could do with the money and if this works out, it will be a pleasant way to earn it.
Dadubhai passed away yesterday afternoon so I’m off to Pune next weekend. Now I know why they give that ten-day gap. The relatives need time to gather for the funeral! Tickets are at a premium, thanks to the competitive exams, so it looks like an extremely uncomfortable journey.
I wonder if working with kids is my forte. Probably not. But it has its attractions. Vicky came in while I was reading out “Fee fi fo fum” and distracted me by whooping with laughter at the next table. But I completely forgive the dear man because afterwards he bought me coffee (with fresh whipped cream… mmm…) and buttered croissants at Flury’s. Then we popped over to Crossword and checked out their model car collection and the obscenely funny Wordsworth anthology of limericks.
Talking of obscene, I caught a pseudo-arty Bong porn serial on some vague channel half an hour ago. Two overweight women pawed each others’ breasts and kissed. Black bra straps showed. Later the married one pulled out her collection of naked women pics from the back of a drawer and compared them to memories of her lusty lesbian awakening. And after all that, the one who initiated the married woman into it all wound up matters by launching in a diabetre against heterosexual sex and called her lover “Boudi” into the bargain!

Monday, April 05, 2004

Syllogism 1: I’m tipsy.
Syllogism 2: I’m a whole lotta fun right now.
Conclusion: I’m a whole lotta fun when I’m tipsy.
Hey that wasn’t too hard.

Man I miss Hemant tonight. Dunno why. Maybe just because he’s so much fun to be drunk with… nah, all I really wanna do is go dancing, drunk, and he’s a whole lotta fun for that.

Like I told Shuktara, I’m pretty proud of myself for having stayed single so long. Little Miss Independent. Does without a man’s shoulder to cling on to when the nasty world turns on her. No comforting chest to hide her face in when the view outside isn’t the way she likes it. And without a quiet voice telling her she’s perfect the way she is.

Little? At my height that’s perhaps too much of an exaggeration.

Who am I kidding? On the other hand, if I want male company, what keeps me from going out and getting me some? It’s pretty silly depending on two men just cos they’re so safe. The truth is, I like to play dangerously. From time to time. It stands to reason. If I didn’t, no way would I have fallen for the men I do fall for.

Hmmm… that’s an interesting line of thought.

Another is: do I never write of anything apart from men and food? Ok, make that nourishment. But seriously, do these aspects sum up all there is to me?
“I dunno man…” Ideally said with a slow drawl and a bemused expression, this is a highly effective line from the Mouse.

On the other hand, what else would I write about? Rehearsals and the wart on my hand? They ain’t half as exciting.

Saturday, April 03, 2004

Mick’s back in town. Looking a little thinner and much weaker but it’s good to see him around. Beq is trying to cut him some slack. Not trying very hard but I guess the mere thought counts.
Vicky’s sitting around in Sriganganagar (my god what a mouthful!) getting all morose and lovesick. That boy needs some fresh air and exercise.
And Esha’s been buying “funky panties” for ten bucks in Tiruppur. I want some!
Work goes on as usual on ‘Rhinoceros’. Shuktara’s a director who frequently forgets to be on her dignity and rehearsals have a distinct tendency towards anarchy. But work gets done and that’s the idea innit? I feel like an outsider (so what else is new) and do my duty as when I feel like it. Oh, and Dana’s officially on leave for her exams. So I’m stage managing in the interim. I rather think I’m in charge of costume as well. Or so I’ve been told.
Beq’s the latest addition to the cast.

Monday, March 22, 2004

Do you know how some nights are more haunted than others? When you can’t let the past go… or perhaps, when it refuses to cut you free.
I have been remembering all day today, things I try not to. Mostly, I push painful memories into an over-used staleness which blunts their power, but these remembrances refuse to give in. I wouldn’t want them to, perhaps. I recall them to focus on the happy side, I hide them in mists of forgetfulness, I get high to let it hurt less. Sometimes these things work. Tonight though they don’t.
The memories don’t hurt exactly, they are far too sweet. But what does then? My weakness?

Friday, March 19, 2004

I feel so romantic today! It’s not just today I think, have been feeling all peaceful and lovin’ since yesterday.
I just want to pick up the phone and sing a perfectly mushy song (Unchained Melody, why not?) to the man of my dreams. Write the silliest love letter so that I can imagine his loving-foolish grin as he reads it.
Lie in bed and dream up things to tell him and yes, do to him to. Play a foolish prank on him, just because.
And instead, here I am, dreaming of the man who will not tell me who he is. He will look over my shoulder as I type all this out, walk next to me when I’m on the streets by myself but he will refuse to tell me who he’s with when he is not with me. I don’t even know if I should be jealous. A pretty state of affairs!
I tried to watch ‘Dangerous Liaisons’, but I couldn’t. The way I feel, I cannot handle somebody being so very cynical about love. I know that’s how it can be – but it doesn’t have to be like that! That is how I felt all this time. Then I was weary, fed up with the pragmatism that seemed to the universe’s reply to my pleas for some crazy loving (and I don’t mean sex, boys). And now, here I am, deeply in love and darned if I know what the dratted man is doing now. Has vanished into thin air, he has. I do not understand why he does this. Every now and then, it’s like he never was. No replies, no acknowledgements even, of my presence in his life. Is that any way to treat the woman he plans to marry?

This is one heck of a silly letter to match a silly mood. Might just be the heat, now that I think of it. It’s been far too hot to want to do anything remotely active or exciting.

Sunday, March 14, 2004

Confessions of a Junkie

‘The Kindly Ones’ have just changed the course of my day. Probably of the days to come as well – but who can tell, perhaps by this time tomorrow I will be asleep once more and forget what it was like to have touched awakening. Already it seems like this was the dream and not the other way around.

Were there no books I would die. There are no turks, no withdrawal. I would beg around for shampoo-bottle labels, read the sides of crates, write endlessly, mindlessly, just so there would be something to read. This is addiction at its highest. And unlike other kinds, at the darkest phases I withdraw from what gives me the most comfort.

I follow other addicts around, ignoring their dark sides and give in shamelessly to their demands just so they may allow me to touch their equally jealously guarded libraries. I sit all day in a daze after a particularly strong hit and wonder if I should just curl up and will myself to die so I never to lose that feeling.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Met an old friend today. We talked for the longest time. She pointed out some very salient facts to me… the truth is, I have not lost the girl I was looking to be. Lost sight of her, I mean. I am not saying I am her, because there are things to do before I can be that. But she is in my head, a clear idea of where my life will go should I get to direct it. And however many cul de sacs blind me and digressions distract me, at the end of the day the truth is that I pick myself up, brush the clinging dust away and walk on.
I suppose that is why I cannot give myself. I am too much my own person. I talk about myself all the time, but I don’t think that is because I am selfish exactly. It’s more as though I’m continuously trying to unravel the threads in the mixed-upness that’s me and talking about it as I go is communication aimed as much towards myself as to any person I might be addressing my thoughts out aloud to.
Isn’t it strange? In earlier times I would have taken a succession of lovers and tried to content myself with sex. Married as a child and have children of my own to distract me from my strange thoughts. Being a girl in these enlightened times and of my liberal background means I do neither, of course. I read and attempt to educate myself and take lovers and keep seeking because I have always been assured that there is an answer. To be sure, the search is no little fun.

Saturday, February 28, 2004

I have a date. Am going out with Mick for lunch. Feels strange. Have been talking to the guy for hours on the phone of late but what will it be like seeing him again?

Had a superb lunch at Banana Leaf. We started with idlis and vadas and then had a cheese dosa each. After wards I went off to GDBS to prepare for ‘Sakuntala’. The show was a genuine disaster. Only Raashi, Sudeshna and Beq saved it from utter ruin. Nilanajana did not. ’Nuff said.

So maybe they are right and I am in fact a little girl getting her hands burned in the grownup world. I suppose it’s necessary. I need to know, if only to protect myself from similar circumstances.
Chased sugar today. That was a new experience too. I think I liked it but I won’t pine if I don’t do it again.
What am I looking for? Not to get hurt? That seems impossible. I seem to go through life looking for the hurtingest places and plunging right in when I find them. What am I really looking for?

I should learn to keep my mouth shut. That apart, I set fire to my hair. Was lighting a fag and suddenly felt the locks on the right side of my face go sizzle and then my eyebrow smarted. When I touched it bits of burnt hair came away. It was quite freaky. I’d burned my hair, eyebrow and eyelashes. So I cut all my hair off. I think I like it. It’s definitely très chic. But I won’t have flyaway locks around my face for years now.

WPY (Will Party Youth) finds expression at Debo’s place tonight. With my new haircut I have to, if only to give rein to the newfound joie de vivre coursing through my veins.
Oh, and I have a dinner date with movie thrown in for tonight as well. Hope that works out. That’s really funny, me with two dates in one week and with a different look for each. I think I like this new me.
Have decided to take V’s advice and make myself, using force majeur is necessary, to take a chance on life again. Which obviously translates into taking a chance on les hommes. Am taking things slow but will not let myself get thrown by reverses of fortune. No sirrah!
Somewhere out there I hope there is a certain cute junkie who approves. ;-)

Sunday, February 22, 2004

Mejdadu passed away today. I need to remind myself every so often. I’ve seen him lie there and felt his forehead icy cold under my palm and I still forget. Ma is being a rock but I wonder how long she can keep it up. He was a second father to her. In certain ways I wouldn’t be surprised to hear he was the only father she ever had. As for me, well, he was the only proper grandfather I had left. Perhaps I shouldn’t say that.
He has led a good life. Never heard any bad of him and have certainly never seen any. Wonder how things will be now. Nothing was ever the same after Dadu died.It’s funny how I miss him every now and then. I didn’t when he died. I mean, I would have liked to see him but I didn’t allow myself to think about it. And nowadays I’ve taken to wondering occasionally whether he would have liked to see the woman I’ve become. I think he would. I like to think he’d be proud of me and have protected Dada and Didi from the hell they’ve been through. But then, I’ll never know for sure.
Missed you, Vicky. Was finding it really tough to keep from doing the broken hydrant imitation, and I really needed not to cry. Dr. D gave me the only genuine laugh of the day. For that alone your sins will be pardoned, Doc.
Beq, thanks again for dropping by. The family appreciates it.

Perhaps I’m going around giving the wrong priorities importance. Why do I get involved in all this theatre? What does it give me in return?

Monday, February 02, 2004

I didn’t write about the biggest thing that happened in Chennai. Oh well, in brief then: Esha, three of her friends from college and I went to Sparks(z?) which is a once-a-week disc in Chennai. The men were H, Ravi, Curly, Arjun and Raghu-who-must-not-be-called-by-his-nicker.
Entry was costly but entirely redeemable at the bar so no complaints. Danced with all nine others, individually and collectively… sometimes I amaze myself. Lost count of alcohol intake very early in the evening and didn’t make the mistake of trying to tot up later. There was a lot of herbage appreciation (not at the disc, obviously). I remember a settled preference for unadulterated Vitamin G but we all later agreed that that had probably been a mistake.
Went home in “wee hours”. E took couch, the girls one room and the guys another room. H and I formed a floating population, wandering from sitting-room floor to guys’ room. Ultimately shoved them aside and fell asleep. Woken up by Baba’s call at six, found Nancy on the floor, poor man.
I can’t remember the last day I spent in the city because I think I slept a good part of it. Was extremely hungover although not painfully so, thank god. Part of it was spent driving around for breakfast. There was an actress involved in this somehow. Some more time was spent making my peace with E. Will she forgive me ever? Don’t know.
Good trip though. No regrets on all counts.
Am entirely over S. Mailed him to tell him so. Will he want to keep in touch with me? I don’t know. Am not losing anything I didn’t throw away three years ago.
And now there’s another mail on this doc telling another ‘perfect’ person I vant to be alone. Beq is the only one willing to play along with the mask, bless his soul. But then, he’s seen the worst side of me, so I guess he knows why this could be important to me.

Nicely pensive tone to end a blog. Finally this feels like a diary.

Saturday, January 24, 2004

Seems like a crazy two days. Yesterday I spent more or less entirely at the IIT, as far as I can remember. There seems to have been a lot of substance abuse too, going by the general haziness of the picture. Oh wait, now I remember. Met up with Hemant and Esha to go for a movie, but H and I ended up taking Esha, Hema and the kids out to lunch. Afterwards, H and I went to his room and that’s when things got hazy.
We did go for a movie in the evening, ‘The Last Samurai’. Esha skipped cos she had to run to Central with stuff forgotten by Hema and family (who were on their way to Vizag) so I ended up going with H, Ravi, Curly, Arjun and Raghu. Raghu must not to be called by his nicker in public, so I have to constantly remind myself. I think I might just get more embarrassed than he will.
The movie ended around ten and then we went to some bar called Bikes and Barrels. Hemant went to pick Esha up on Arjun’s bike. The joint was weird. For the first time ever I was herded into the stags’ section of a bar, because they said there were too many stags in our party for us to go the mixed section… whatever. Didn’t like it much, and went to some other place nearby which was much more to my taste.
H and E joined us. Was a fun evening. Was drinking (beer) on an empty stomach so I went easy but the rest of the guys didn’t quite hold themselves back. Later it struck me they were on empty tums too. E did not like the shandy I made her. Finally packed up around midnight and packed ourselves off to the IIT. Spent a peaceful half hour wandering into the OAT and helping a couple of joints fulfill their karmic destiny. Guards shooed us off so H and Arjun dropped us girls back at Hema’s flat.
Had a long overdue chat with E before falling dead asleep.
This morning saw me back at the IIT (after quick stopover at home to eat and bathe). Ravi, H and I tried out for the entertainment quiz, as did Brandy, Curly and Arjun. Got a Le Carre ans right, so felt like my MA was finally proving to be of some use. Finally returned home in the afternoon and slept like the dead. Was supposed to meet Soumya at Central (between her trains from Vellore and to Vizag) but woke up grumpy and fought with E over the phone instead. Pity. Hadn’t fought with her since the basketball tournament in ‘99. Made up since, of course.
Spent the evening helping Ma make pati shapta. Dinner was roast chicken. Lovely cinnamon and butter tea cake when Baba returned from B’lore at 1 a.m. And now I suppose I should be going to sleep. Been quite an eventful two days.

Nancy is quite cute.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Woke up late today. Passed an extremely peaceful morning with some breakfast and gin and then spent an hour watching Suryanarayan’s marriage video. Caught Lakshmi and me in it. How young we look. I was thirteen and she was eleven and I must say our faces have completely lost that innocent look which characterized our youthful visages. Worked on the book after. Really must hand it in. Am awfully overdue.
Spent the evening with Esha, her sister Hema and her nephew Arvind and niece Amrutha(?) at Spencer’s. It was fun but at the end of the day I find I’m entirely fagged out. Speaking of which, what I wouldn’t do for a quiet smoke…
We attracted no small amount of attention, what with the kids being as cute as they are.
Prudhvi called up a lot today. He’s coming over to Chennai day after tomorrow, he says. Flirted exceedingly with him. It was a lot of fun. I hope we can make it to a movie while he’s here.
I’m afraid my tastes are getting more and more posh as time goes by. Am getting spoiled for life. What with being used to a large house, so much spending money and all this extravagant living, it scares me to think how we’ll manage should anything go wrong.
Oh well, let me not brood in a public place. Suffice it to say I’m happy. When you have everything, who cares if a little loneliness finds its way in through the back door from time to time?

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

I’m in Chennai again. Seems like I do most of my blog-posting when I’m down here. Wonder why. Not as if I spend more time online when at home. Or do I?
Went to a fantastic concert tonight. Jugalbandhi at the Taj Coromandel between Pandit Jasraj and Dr. L. Subramaniam. The dinner afterwards was almost as heavenly. The dessert tables were the (meal’s) highpoint… I managed six different kinds of tarts and a pineapple crepe and a lovely mint parfait. That was obviously after I had done my duty by the main course, devoting myself mainly to a pasta, devilled eggs, idlis and a scrumptious chicken thingie. There were lots more on offer, but I was distracted by the desserts.
One of the serving chefs very kindly went into the nether regions and procured me a recipe for the parfait.
The best thing however was the concert and let us not forget that. The Doc rocks. The violin is my favourite instrument anyway, and he gave his a lovely human voice. That was in the solo. Later, in the jugalbandhi, he took a little time getting into the swing of things but once he got going, he was magnificent.
An interesting thing happened this evening. The dancer Chitralekha was present, looking every bit as dashing as I’m told she was in her youth (I don’t find that hard to believe) and as she passed by Ma, she fingered her aanchal and told her, “Whoever you are, I like your saree very much.” Mum was tickled pink, of course, but her saree was really a lovely one. Salmon pink Sambalpuri with a red and gold border. Unlikely combination but it works.
Am reading Bill Bryson’s ‘Notes from a Small Island’. Have enrolled as a Bryson fan.
Bought Lynn Truss’s “Eats, Shoots and Leaves”. Now am dead scared of punctuation goofups.
And that’s about it. ‘Saarang’ starts on Thursday and so am making and discarding all sorts of plans.
Esha is very busy with her little nephew and niece. Am not seeing much of her, so I’ll try to give her a call sometime. I’m ending with something I wrote about the kids in a mail:
“…have met the cutest male south of the equator. With a mischievous twinkle like that he will break many hearts before he’s done. Yesterday he insisted on tearing my chunni away from me in the most ungentlemanlike fashion and then proceeded to run round and round the room draped in it. Considered photographing him to blackmail in about fifteen years time. Will follow his career with much (auntlike, unfortunately) interest.
His little sister is seven months old and has hair on only one side of her head… ’Nuff said.”

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

This morning my classmate Swagatam passed away in a car accident.
I’m sorry his life had such an abrupt ending, and I’m particularly sorry I don’t have nicer memories of him. The last dealings I had with him were not pleasant and it’s not a good thing to remember.
This is what scares me about being unpleasant. What if you never get the chance to retract or make up or reassure? I’m not saying I would have behaved any differently because what he did was certainly wrong, but does that make any difference now?
This is the reason why it makes sense to be nice to people. Maybe it’s an old-fashioned notion, but it does spare you a certain degree of avoidable sadness.