Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tomorrow. Tomorrow, I say. Everything, tomorrow. This and that. Sensations. Decisions. Loving this. Hating that. Self-restraint. Work. Life. Tomorrow. Tomorrow, I say.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

It's been over a year!

Hallelujah, I've been a (lazy) bum.
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Once again, I find myself writing whilst suffering from a paralysing cold (the flu cold, not the winter cold), and upon Jayant's reminder (which Gmail gladly served upon me, with awesome efficiency).
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Much has transpired.
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The future has arrived at our doorsteps. We (batch of 2004 law students from a certain educational institution that doesn't deserve to be named) are finally in our final year. So to all you uncle-jis and aunty-jis who insist that we simply must have another year left - No. We don't. But we do mourn the end of a rather long, er, vacation. Obama's "happened" (snore, double snore, triple snore), and I'm so sick of hearing about it that I'm beginning to fall asleep at the "O" - "O" for Over-exposure, anyone? "O" for OhBloodyHellNotAgain. (But that's just me right now, being apprehensive, mistrustful, crowded, pseudo-rebellious - for all ye know, he's going to be brilliant. I just get a bad vibe, 'tis all!) I just have to say to us - Let's ease up! I mean, he isn't our President! Sigh.
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And other things've happened too. My brother's become an amateur photographer (the moon's his exclusive muse, but she's been a bit shy lately because of all the, y'know, craters and Chandrayaans). Zeta-Jones gave Carla Bruni (she's a songwriter too, by the way, in addition to being the world's "coolest celebrity", a former model, and the President's whore - I wonder if she'll ever make Sarkozy sing us an immigration love song) a breast-inferiority complex at a recent Gala to honour Sarko (the Gala was for Sarko, not the breast-inferiority complex). The Indian stock markets crashed. Delhi's apparently more polluted than it ever was (What? Seriously? In spite of the goddamned smoking ban? Gee. On a serious note, it's because of the cars. So don't buy cars. Buy buses instead - give your whole neighbourhood a ride). I got myself another addiction - watching Kung-Fu Panda. David Foster Wallace died. Elizabeth Taylor almost died. George Bush didn't die. James Dean was born again. God came down on earth.
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Believe what you will.
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Oh and it's Dostoevsky's birthday! 'Tis true.
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(Pardon the hyphens. I'm having formatting troubles. Again. It's not my fault this time.)

Friday, September 21, 2007

Gymming

Okay I'd completely forgotten about the gym names me and a dear friend (the Cookie Monster) had coughed up for another friend. Our objective was serious at the start, but degenerated progressively: till we landed up with a bunch of silly names for gyms suited to certain "types" of people. ;p

1. Pill-Up (The Hypochondriac Gym);
2. Gymmy Choos (For gay people, George Bush, and women in stilletos only);
3. Dum Aloo (Even potatoes can be fit);

Shyte. The others names slip my memory. Da-dum.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Just being a Goose, really

I don't know why I must blog about this, but I must - of late, I've been converting everything into PDF. I'm an Adobe Acrobat Reader and Adobe PDF Convertor maniac. Stories, letters, cover pages for books I don't intend to write. It's mental. Soon, I shall be institutionalised. Is there an Adobe Mental Health Centre, anyone?

I've binged on the art of formatting correctly before. It was something that prompted a fellow intern at a certain law firm to believe that I was, well, mad; it was also something that drove my supervisor-lawyer-type to shower all sorts of blessings on my oversized head. But the fact that I'm addicted to a particular type of document has me rather worried: I do, of course, have a problem with addictions, but of what intensity I ask? (My eyebrows and voice raise themselves in forbidding melodrama). It'll be newspapers next, or milk powder, or maybe even "educational material"! I'm a goose. Do geese get addicted to things? Wait, this is a literary trick I have used before. Save me, someone. Well, actually, don't. I might get addicted to getting saved. Now that sounds promising.

Let me change the subject to something less delightful. I have also, of late, discovered something that puts me to sleep better than Phenergan or Cetrizine (spell-check recommended, here) - it's a professor. I shall call him Prince Charming, for the sake of "brevity", for he is stuck-up, pompous, sweaty, Punjabi, and of considerable proportions, not to mention his speech delivery is apparently suited to test your HQ (Hearing Quotient). You get full marks if you can count his "number-of-words-per-minute", because they're usually three or four. And these three or four words stretch like some great American spandex, which makes you believe you've slipped into a Palahniuk-type alternate world where everything is, well, slow. Plus, the subject is rather intensely dull, intense like how anti-matter must be. I must not fully reveal this professor's identity, given the possibility of being made to endure his classes wide awake, which, at all costs, cannot be allowed to happen. I shall need a new drool box, though. I can't drool.

Anyway, the Unforgivable Curse has lifted. I was able to make it to college with a full four hours of sleep - in my own house. I should be writing about Hatter, Doofus and Matheran any time now. It's just that, well, the pictures have been sort of lost in the intricate world of My Computer, created thoughtfully by my brother to try every last bit of my emaciated patience (that screams itself hoarse in the smoky hollows of my emaciated outer "covering", read body). I've commenced making backups of backups of backups (i.e. pluralised and not ripped off from "a copy of a copy of a copy"), and hiding them all over the place. It's my own idiotic little world of hide-and-seek pleasures. I really have nothing better to do with my time. I do actually have a lot of better things to do with my time, but I pretend to not have anything better to do with my time. It's a time-consuming way of being, all this awareness and pretense, and consciousness and general stupidity. Entertaining, though.

It just struck me how Bollywood movies are actually quite brilliant. They know how to treat emotions the smart way. I can practically hear the stereotype scream through his haut-parleur (I'm sorry, but the English equivalent of this escapes me at the moment): "Hamne is emotion ke liye, yeh gaana select kiya hai. Total mein hamarey paas saat emotions hain, toh matlab saat gaane. Oye, woh pehla waala kya tha yaar...?"

How much simpler could it get? Just for the fun of it, try reading Exiles by James Joyce, and follow it up by a quick run of Bunty aur Bubli or Corporate or something. They aren't much different, really, though, superficially, well....

Okay then. Sorry for the bullshit.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Hatter and Doofus go to Matheran

A blog editor is a strange, strange thing. Given that it is nearly 3 in the morning, and that I'm hoping to turn severely delusional, it's absurdly annoying and satisfying how the "Save Now" link expands with the stroke of a key, and continues to do so. Who thought of this? With each autosave, the blue turns to grey. It's mental. Well, anyway, the point of this is that I'm addicted to my Vicks Inhaler. I have it stuck up my left nostril as I type; it's a beautiful thing to be able to breathe and type at the same time.

As I look for the fundamental cause of my sleeplessness, I'm faced with several options: (a) it's the mosquitoes; (b) it's the cold; (c) it's me. I can't help but go with (c). Guess what! I don't want to sleep! I want to be awake throughout the night just so I'd be able to complain about it in the morning! I want to be awake because, once asleep, I may not wake up (for class).

There, the "Save Now" link is expanding again. Am I seeing things? I think it's the inhaler. The inhaler's gotta go.

***

I suddenly realized that I completely forgot to put up the Matheran pictures! Haw, matlab...a friend from school (for the sake of simplicity and anonymity, we shall call him Doofus) and I took a trip all the way to Matheran, a tiny village/resort thing tucked away in the Western Ghats. The journey was fun, more fun than Matheran itself. We took a bus from Pune to Khopoli, then a bus to Narel, then a train to Karjat, and finally a taxi to Matheran. Gawd, this sounds like a brochure. I'm sorry, I cannot travel-write to save me life.


Note that these are cellular phone pictures that haven't been tampered with ... do excuse the quality. Also note that we haven't reached Matheran yet. I've decided to take this slowly, as went our trip. The first image is of the J.M. Road - Ghole Road crossing, very early in the morning, taken from our bus. As you can see, Pune's quite pixelated, quite the Gaussian blur guinea pig.

The second peep-shot was taken at the Shivajinagar bus terminal (we're still in Pune, by the way). At this point, Dooofus and I were contemplating getting off the ST bus, and trying to catch a Volvo instead. But since we're lazy, indecisive fools...we never really got off. Well, Doofus got off, but he might have had to pee. He pretended to get some fresh air... :)

So now we're at document iconique 3, and we've progressed fairly: We're still at the Shivajinagar bus-terminal, and Doofus has run out of that precious yellow liquid (;p); I, on the contrary, continue to take idiotic black-n-white images of nothing in particular, my bladder full and bursting. Sigh. These trips, I tell thee...

Finally, we're at Khopoli or "one-of-those-other-town-types", I really can't remember which. This photograph marks the onset of a relationship: Doofus, Abandonment and I. Note how the, er, building is called "Abandoned No. 1". Quite the Govinda fan, eh? This shall become relevant much later, though, as I shall introduce you to at least one more dyslexic aluminium structure...

That's it for now. I wouldn't want to ruin the journey for you. Me and my fantashtic Nokia phone-with-camera-that-makes-things-look-pretty shall be back. And Doofus consents too. I mean, he hasn't really consented, but what with his MA and all, I'm sure he's utterly jobless.

Alas!! By golly miss Molly!! How very absurd!! It is indeed 3.40 am. I must not sleep, I must not sleep, I msut nt slepe, i m't t lep...*dull thud*.

Barbershop (and other things)

Well, yeah. So much has changed over these last few months - for instance, I grew a beard over one entire month, only to have it hedged off in three minutes flat, alongwith my hair (which I didn't want to have hedged off, by the way). The saloon visit was quite a riot: The barbers of "Modern Hair Saloon" seem to despise me because I'm a "dallyite". They huddle together and whisper conspiratorially, and I'm like "You're barbers, for fuck's sake"! Well I don't actually say that, because I'm meek, but I wish I could say that. So I sit, looking tremendously idiotic, in that chair-contraption-thingie, a cheap orange sheet draped around me, while they decide who should have a go at my formidable beard (quite the hedge, I must concede). After a few minutes, wherein I'd counted precisely the number of blackheads on my nose, one of them approaches me apprehensively. I have the sudden urge to growl, but I don't do that either. All in all, I must have looked like a very hairy, very orange, mannequin.

"Sadhu-bhai," he says, "Hum sirf daadhi nahin kaatenge...baal bhi kaatne padhenge."


Sadhu-bhai? Now I wish to behave like Victorian novelty, turn into an elderly lady and exclaim, "Well I never!" But I don't do that either. I look around myself and realize that I'm vastly outnumbered. Sigh.


I just smile at him and tell him, "Haan, theek hai. Kaat lo jo kaatna hai." Wait, that didn't come off right. He's goggling at me and my disastrous Hindi, his lips mouthing a very meaningful, "Saala chootiya."


Anyway, he takes it all off with a mix of precision, cruelty and utter devotion, and I become a new person. I feel light, unburdened...


***

But then, about a week ago, I contracted a miserable flu that worsens in proportion to the medication I consume. There are four specific stages to this monstrosity of a cold:

Stage I - My nose runs quicker than the Nile on a slope, and I'm reaching out for handkerchiefs (always in short supply) like a kerchief-obsessed stick-insect;

Stage II - I refuse all medication with bravado and vociferousness, and prefer to restrict myself to various forms of alcohol and cigarettes (I can't have the medicines because they'll react with the alcohol...*sigh*);


Stage III - My brother (he must have left his brains behind during birth) provides me with his "home-remedy" ( a cigarette soaked in Vicks Vaporub, which I must smoke quickly for it may fizzle and die) and I feel as though I may fizzle and die. I slide smoothly from Stage II to Stage IV, with only a few puffs and a few hundred earth-shattering coughs;

Stage IV - I suddenly realize the reasons for medicine manufacture, and saunter off to a chemist. I stock up Vicks Inhalers, Vaporubs (this one, for my brother), Amoxicillin, and B-Complex "Fortified with Vitamin C". I attack these with fervour and a heretofore unseen sense of responsibility. I feel confident that I shall make it through (this is today, by the way).


***

Then again, check out Diamonds and Rust for a more complete (and hilariously subjective) account of the "things" that have come to pass. Note how the first female President competes with new Pune club rules for blog space. Kudos!


I, personally, am infatuated with a mouse:


I turn around, and she is there again,
Why does she watch me so?
She does not sleep, or eat, or drink, or smoke,
But is quite so fascinating all the same.
Her eye is queer; it is hollow and cold,
And I know she does not approve;
I drink my wine the way it is drunk,
So why does she watch me so?
I run in vain, for she is quick, this one;
And I wail in silence, for she listens;
And I wail even more, for she does not speak,
And I wail and I wail and I wail.
I would pray to the Lord, but I know she would laugh,
And mock me for my insincerity;
She does not pray herself, this one, and
Indeed, holds my God captive and forlorn!
I find the darkest corner, sit myself down,
Think how it is insufferably, cheerfully bright;
I wish to make it darker, I do!
But she always holds the light.

Do forgive me for excessive brackets, for breaking all known "Tense Rules" (improperly defined as rules that are - uh - tense), and for actually daring to write mouse-oriented poetry. Mice can't read, can they?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Water

Do we ever wonder how "water" has lost its identity? It isn't a free resource anymore; it's something you pay for. And this is important because we must know who pays how much for what...I've been reading a lot about water privatisation lately, and I'm forced to admit that there's a lot of confusion around. Some say it's bad. Some say it's the only way the poor are going to get safe drinking water and general sanitation at affordable tarrifs. How does one ever really know? Is there a solution to this at all? The only thing that bothers me is that I, who can afford modest luxuries, pay less for water than the poor man who doesn't have clothes to cover his body. It's not just a little disturbing.

It is my humble request to everyone who reads this post to please, please, PLEASE check out this link:

www.endwaterpoverty.org

Basically, 'End Water Poverty' is a campaign urging the G8 Nations to address the issue of water scarcity, poverty, etc. in the developing nations of the world, at the upcoming G8 summit at Berne, on June 8.

It takes just five minutes to sign up, and send across a brief message to the German Chancellor. Maybe it'll make a difference, maybe it won't...but five minutes is all it takes!!