Monday, July 24, 2006

This Time, for Longer.

I wanted to get back to blogging, but it’s not really working out. There are too many things I don’t want to talk about, and much to explain before anybody has any idea what I’m saying.

So, till I’m ready, this is goodbye.

In another way too, I’m letting all of you who read this blog (and I understand quite a lot of my friends do) know that after Friday (28th July) I will not have access to the internet once more, and this time I anticipate a break of some months. So, please call me if there’s anything to say.

The first week of August I’ll be in EEDF (a nursing-home here in Cal) while my mother goes home to Madras for a bit. Afterwards, I hope to return to my own flat, if possible. If not, I’ll be back wherever my mother stays.

So long, and thanks for all the fish.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Hush

Sometime after I came to Calcutta, I stopped singing. I often wonder why. It used to be my one real talent. Everything else I was only ‘good at’, or interested in, but as a singer I was better than most, even if I say so myself. Actually, why the false modesty, everybody who heard me used to say it too.

Something about this city, the loneliness, the peer pressure (not knowing the right music, the in songs), the lack of things to sing about, they all somehow put an end to it. Time was, when I not only had a song for every mood, but could almost conduct entire conversations purely through songs. Now I hardly remember any of them, and the ones I do remember I do so in parts.

I used to sing even when I was sad. I actually had a song to sing when I felt low (no, I’m not going to tell you what it was.) These days though I only sing to V when his sleep is disturbed, and since the whole point is to get him to stay sleeping, I’ve forgotten how to belt ‘em out. My voice just doesn't do it any more. The other evening I tried singing Animal Instinct, and suddenly I realized my voice was wavering. You can’t sing The Cranberries with a wobbly voice!

Staying in apartments does make a difference. I don’t feel very comfortable singing as loudly as I used, because I don’t want the attention. Since when did I become so adult that I minded unsolicited attention?

TO THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA

I really am too busy having my child to spare the time to bomb Bombay these days. I fully anticipate even after delivery I shall be much too occupied with far more important things to be able to give my time to "subversive activities". So, even though my blog has been judged too revolutionary to be viewed in my country, I do assure you my intention was not to bring down the government.




TO EVERYBODY ELSE:

I have received the following message a million times today, but just in case there are any people out there who are wondering how to get around the ban, please read on:

In the wake of the recent terrorist strikes in Bombay, the government of India has covertly started blocking access to all blogspot.com, typepad.com and geocities.com pages. Many of the leading ISPs in the country are doing this, and although governmental intervention has neither been acknowledged nor confirmed, calls to some of the ISPs have confirmed that the government has asked them to do this. Should terrorists wish to use the internet, there are much better and easier ways of doing so than blogging, which is a very public space. Do spread this message throughout the world so that everyone gets to know about this subversion of the right to freedom of speech in what is supposed to be the largest democracy in the world.
In addition you can go to www.pkblogs.com and type in the name of the blog you wish to access, if your ISP is blocking direct viewing. All those who have blogs should post extensively about the ban so as to reach as wide an audience as possible.
Also send by snailmail a request under the Right to Information act to the Government of India querying the block. For details on how to do this go to http://groups.google.com/group/BloggersCollective
Calcuttans, Lansdowne PO will accept these requests. You will have to pay Rs 10 at the PO.

ALSO:

V and I have been using Torpark (a proxy browser that works via the Firefox engine, I believe) to access blogs since yesterday. Download it from http://torpark.nfshost.com/download.html

UPDATE:

Techies or would-be techies might wish to check out this page for more ways to circumnavigate the ban. I'm enjoying this!

Monday, July 17, 2006

The Princess Returns

The Daily Journal of an Elephant

0630: Woken up by the lorries thundering past my bedroom window. Wondered, for the hundredth time, whatever happened to the quiet locality this used to be.

0634: Poked V awake.

0635: Went back to sleep myself, with the quiet satisfaction that comes of a job well done.

0730: Disturbed by phone alarm. Turned it off and went back to sleep.

0757: Woke up in a panic and reminded V-the-sleepy I needed to be bathed and generally attended to, before he could do his morning stuff. (Which is why the alarm had been set for half an hour ago.)

0830: Bathed. Feeling clean and fresh I contemplated the morning mug of milk. V went off for the morning nose-bag.

0900: V set off for work, casting one last, longing look at the inviting bed.

1000: Having done with breakfast, I fell asleep.

1353: Woke up and considered calling for lunch.

1415: Called for lunch. Was served.

1500: Done with lunch, settled down for a spot of surfing. Got nothing done, since all I did was hop around Orkut.

1813: Wondered what happened to the afternoon. Decided to lie down for a while.

1830: Surfed the net, flicked over various tv channels. Read some. Contemplated my room. Decided contemplation is not the road to nirvana, not for me.

2035: V came home so I got my first kicks of the day by poking fun at him. A girl needs some occupation.

2200: Dinner

0000: Bed


That, more or less, is how my life has settled down. The story is as follows:

A week after I left my job, my mum (who had come down, if you remember) took me to the family gynaecologist. That traumatic interview led to me being booted out of my dear little flat and being installed in the family vault indefinitely. I was ordered strict bed-rest (not even a visit to the bathroom, I ask you!) and that meant Mum having to stay back here in Cal and looking after me. So the family furniture was again pulled out from under the dust-sheets and the utensils hauled back to the kitchen, servants interviewed and hired, and voila, the Princess was back in her bape’rbari and hating it. None of us live here, you know, this is the guest-house where my parents stay when they visit Cal.

V shuttled back and forth between here and the flat for many weeks, but eventually gave up and brought his beloved Mac over and now is more or less an inmate of the Roy residence.

I threw a million tantrums, endured one horror of an ayah after another and wondered miserably if it wasn’t really possible to kill oneself by willing it. Because, with the best will in the world, I was still alive each morning and that meant yet another horrible day in bed.

In other words, I was miserable and gave nobody else any peace either. Hah!

Ok, you can mop up your eyes now, though. Now it’s a bit better. I have a cable tv connection, my laptop’s (finally!) on the broadband and I’ve decided that enough is enough, if I wish to sit up I jolly well will sit up. I still feel like an elephant, but it bothers me less.

Things are due to change at the end of this month, but more on that later. In the meantime, if anybody wants to know more about placenta previa, ask me! I have had a thoroughly nasty time purely because most docs are too busy covering their own butts to think of their patients’ comforts (which has much to do with their general well-being, thanks, Doc) and am perfectly willing to help another poor soul escape the myths and superstitions. Do you know, after 2 months of being told that I had a life-threatening condition, I only found out last week that till the 28th week of pregnancy (which I haven’t yet reached) one can’t even say with any degree of certainty that it is indeed a case of placenta previa or not!

I end in indignation but will be back with more. The 'Journal' above was to reassure all the people who've been worrying over misleading reports of my hospitalisation etc. I'm fine and in perfect health, barring the boredom. So not to worry, folks.