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Archive for the ‘When I’m sixty-four’ Category

They all came and left in the same vein. I waited.

I don’t blame them, they had their reasons. Except, the problem with me is that everything affects me much more than the other person.
The problem with every other person is that they are as selfish as they should be.

I am really drained out. And unwilling to give anyone a chance, even this blog.

It maybe a week, it maybe a year. I might just come back tomorrow telling my stories. I might just wait for a year to collect enough mishaps

Until the time, I am ready again, this blog is going dark.

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We are, really emotionally drained out.

This post is just a placeholder to remind us how it feels to be squeezed out like a sponge.

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Mike is the most self reassured person i have ever met.
Men automatically assume the role of the protector when they meet a woman. He didn’t. He didn’t assume anything. He didn’t ask me to text him back once I reached home. He just sat and spoke to me like I needed to be spoken to. And I did too, without being scared of his stray hand wrapping itself across my shoulders and my head finding a place to rest on his shoulders. Sans the fear of his intentions and my loosened inhibitions under the influence of alcohol.

So that evening, Mike and I, strangers until then, discussed art: Man Ray, Dali and Goya. We discussed why Duchamp used the urinal as a fountain. And why I thought Picasso was messing with people’s minds. And why he liked abstract art and hated the impressionists.

We discussed music: The Beatles, Shakira and Suzanne Vega. And Indie bands. Why he liked George and I liked Paul and why 64 was a good age to die. We discussed Cirque du Soleil, and his ignorance of it.. We discussed alcohol and why Talisker is good and Tinto de Verano is tempting. We discussed Pratchett and that he has Alzheimer’s. He confessed to not reading much. I confessed to not reading much off-late.

We discussed why he considered Catherine Zeta Jones pretentious. And unpretty. Why I loved Purple Rose of Cairo. Why he hated Woody Allen. Why I couldn’t stand Sex and the city, the movie and why he liked the series. Why i found Fabregas cute, and why he thought Dravid was the best. We spoke of being dyslexic — of him not being able to figure the troupe of soldiers from the troop of clowns. And me not being able to put-i-before-es right.

We spoke of where I was born and grew up, and why it was his favourite place on the planet. And where he was born was now mine. And of the day Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated, and what we were doing when we got the news. We exchanged stories: of his punk days, and my research days. And his once-upon-a-pierced nose and my tattoo. And scars – we shared stories of how and how-old. We even laughed at how brown he was on the inside, while he teased me for being the opposite.

That was the best conversation I have had in this entire trip. It wasn’t just pub talk. It wasn’t lust talk. It wasn’t four a.m. drunk talk. It wasn’t pillow talk. It was something more. The more I try to remember pieces, the frames of that conversation, more the honesty, the unpretentiousness, the level of comfort — mine and his — amuses me.

And I realized how hard i try to fit into people’s conversation. Alter my tastes so that I only speak about things that others like. And he didn’t. And I didn’t need to. And then and there, I had it all figured.

Mike is 36. Mike is British. Mike teaches Physics in high school. Mike loves his job. Mike hosts a weekly trivia contest in a pub [here].

Even if I had allowed myself, I wouldn’t have been able to fall in love with him. Or maybe I would have. But more than anything, I want to be like him — self reassured, confident, unafraid of speaking of anything. If old age is what it takes, so be it.

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is Bluegrass….

The question, if you were wondering, was asked a while back….

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had grey glazed flooring. Nothing fancy… no marble or anything, no tiles even. Three rooms: yellow walls, yellow walls and green walls. 10 feet by 10 feet each. a foot and a half of white colouring at the top and the bottom. Ceiling fans, one soundless, one gently whirring (that was grandma’s room), and another rotating with a severe, strict taack-taack-taack. Two bathrooms, one with an Indian style commode, and the other with an European style one. A 12 feet by 8 feet dining space. an inconsequencial balcony.

It used to get very cold in the winters. And very hot in the summers. We never had AC. We didn’t have a water heater either, but there was the gas oven, where Ma used to make hot water so that I could take a shower early on in the morning. I never wore an unwashed shirt in my life before I got to the hostel. Pushpo-mashi ensured that.

There was a dairy, a khatal a little distance from the place. In the winters, there used to emanate a smell of fresh manure, blown in by the monsoon winds. It was mild, and not really offensive. Infact, this smell of manure, mixed together with the smell of wet earth, had a weirdly attractive-repulsive thing about it, something which words can never explain.

Joy-da had a small hole-in-the-wall paan-bidi shop, where we used to buy Big-Fun bubble gum for 50p. Next to it was Dr. Sarkar’s house. Dr. Sarkar was brilliant. We used to all want to grow up and become doctors. We used to all want to grow up and become Dr. Sarkar. Probably the only major diagnosis which he made a mistake in, killed my aunt.

Dad’s older brothers stayed in the two lower floors of the house. Grandma stayed with us. Since sister was born by then, i had to move to grandma’s room, and stay with her. my bookshelves came along as well. Grandma’s room was a half a foot longer than the other two rooms, it was planned that grandpa will stay there too, but he had died when I was 1. I was very comfortable there in that room, and grandma used to wake me up at 5 in the morning so I could go out to play in the neighborhood playground, football in the summers and cricket in the winters.

That place is a long way from here.

That place was home. No other place has been home, ever since.

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And what is the reverse of chick-lit? Dick-lit. Or the more PC lad-lit.

And how many dick-lit writers do you know? Yes. One. Nick Hornby.

Almost everyone agrees that the key is to crack the code mastered by the British author Nick Hornby, who in both ”About a Boy” and ”High Fidelity” managed to make male commitment anxiety quixotically appealing, both to men who identified with his characters, and to women who found them endearing. Both writers and publishers have rushed to share in Mr. Hornby’s popularity.

As the excerpt from NYT goes.

And how many dick-lit bloggers do you know? Nil. Nil.

So there. Bless your greenbacks, MW. Give me a party when you get there.

And in the meantime, we can blog. we can always blog.

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The trip of a lifetime

I skipped gym today. I can hear you gasp. Even a disciplined one like me needs her indulgence. A Khusro rehash from Aamir, the movie, loops endlessly. I slip into pensiveness, pour myself a Glen, and sit down to write after deciding on chasers as a suitable replacement for dinner. As I said, a little indulgence would cause no harm.

And so, I am about to embark on the trip of a lifetime.

I have never been scared before. I’ve traveled alone before, waiting alone at the airports doesn’t scare me. I’ve been alone with strangers before, strangers coming onto me don’t scare me. I’ve been lost before, maps don’t scare me. I’ve been drunk before, stutter-swagger doesn’t scare me. I’ve been through shit before, so that doesn’t scare me either. Mostly devoid of emotion, I am not scared even now except for the fact that I will have to inform people. I can’t just vanish from the face of the earth. I will have to inform friends and family of where I will be for a few weeks. It’s not long if you think about it. It just seems unjustified to a few who matter. I wish I didn’t feel the need to explain.

“Why?“, they ask. “Because I want to“, I answer, defiantly.

What about the money? How much would it cost?”, they question. “What am I earning for?”, I respond with another, while muttering “How does it matter to you?”. “I have saved a bit, and lost a bit with my investments. No harm if I am not under debt“, the inner-voice reassures my conscious self.

What about PD?”, “What does he have to say?”, “Is he okay with this?”, “Will he able to manage?”– the questions overwhelm. This is when I get angry. I fume, but quietly, as has become my style these days. It really is not anyone’s business. But I can’t tell my parents and friends that, can I?

Contrary to what I claim to others, this is no shodh yaatra. This is no I-will-discover-myself trip, where I chase a new experience, rough it out in the world and come out a changed person. This is a trip to take a break, because I am entitled to an indulgence. Because I deserve it. Because I want to. Because I can.

You are insane“, they say then.

I am getting tired of the insane tag. I feel like telling them that they are envious. They call me a child. They say I am irresponsible. They tell me I need to grow up. But then again, they have a thing or two to learn from me — like how to lust for life.

The song segues into the next. The tapping of keys punctuates the silence, gentle and brief. Haara, the next one says — defeated.

Not so easily.

Not just yet.

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