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.