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.