Friday, December 30, 2011

Change before you have to

It's that time of the year, the time for wise words, introspection, new perspectives, prioritizing, re-prioritizing, etcetera, etcetera. Though I think I am not a quote-quote person, 'change before you have to', however, stayed with me, it made sense to me, to the postponer in me. Change I will. Before I have to.

About the photo here, isn't it really good? I am not sure why I like it, it could be the sun, the simpleness of the composition, the couple's effortless energy or the lady's tiny derrière. Everything is just so perfect yet simple, easy and happy. May that's what 2012 be... perfect, yet simple, easy and happy.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

My 'stop to smell the roses' edition.

My apartment isn't anywhere near spectacular, in fact I have multiple issues with it – the closets don't close, one of the basins acts funny every time it's used, water isn't ample though leakages and damp spots are, there isn't enough light and the lights are too bright. Okay, now that I am done with my clever wordplay, I will tell you one adorable thing about where I live.

During the fall-winter season (That's so yves saint laurent no?), the trees lining the apartment buildings bloom. And bloom they do. The flowers are a lovely pinkish-purple. Google tells me it could be Southern Crabapple. I am not sure. The trees are covered with these flowers, and when I say, a single leaf isn't visible, I am not taking any poetic license. But the best part isn't the pink-purple spread. It's those tiny little things that would come visiting every morning. Humming birds. The prettiest humming birds resting on pinkness laden branches. It was beautiful. I wish I had seen more of it. But the fact that I use a getty image here, tells you I was too busy tiding up my bed, while gulping down the cold morning tea. Because I always thought I could catch the humming birds sitting pretty on the branches the next morning or the morning after that. But then the next morning and the one after came with its yellow to dos and messy closets. And then one morning just like that the flowers were gone so were the birds (yes, it was that dramatic). I stared at the bare brown branches and wished I had called in sick, on one of the mornings.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A little less love

There are things we do for love and then there are things we do in the name of love. The latter sounds more real no? Something, people who wake up in the morning and drink tea do? Here I will refrain from what others do and talk about the things I do, in the name of love.

I like to fight. I like to be bitter. I like to be rude. I like to be irrational. I tend to be incoherent. I tend to be absurd. I become totally loathsome. I become over demanding. Yes, I do all of that. When you ask me why... all I say is because of love. Love makes me do all of that, can't you see?

No, it isn't an apology-through-blogpost to my man. It is a note to self... No love doesn't give you the license to be bad or crazy for that matter. If love is the trouble, then love a little less, if you may.

above is a quote from sex and the city

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Love what you do, do what you love. Huh? Sorry, come again?

This whole 'following your dreams' concept is a very recent one no? The fact that something, which pays your bills is got to be fun, is something you and I wouldn't be able to reason with our fathers. It's work, they would say, the rule is simple, when you gotta work, you gotta work. If you are good at something [the very reason why you have the job], you keep the job, you do the job.
But then unfortunately we were introduced to doing what you love, loving what you do. Like you must, must have fun at work, like the work place owes it to you. The picture[via] above is hardly the invigorating fun job. But the women are smiling? What's with that? They don't look miffed, they are happy. Filing mail orders, for days and years. Are our expectations from our day job absurd? Yes, enough has been said about one excelling at a certain thing only when he enjoys it, has fun at it. But that's not possible, not sustainable. Even a painter has to sell his most treasured art. And selling would involve haggling. And haggling is not cool.

Note to self: The age of advertising being the most fun you can have with your clothes on, is seriously over.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The day of loss

9/11 - loss of a world that could have been. Loss of faith, loss of hope, loss of what really matters, loss of the idea of a future.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

That feeling of having arrived

Pardon the clichéd title of the post, but to capture what I wanted to, something else wouldn't have cut it. Okay, so something happened last week, something phenomenal. Between 7 change in briefs, confused clients, stale dinners, messy closets, messier minds and an unspectacular weekend, something remarkable happened. I have started to enjoy The New Yorker. Yupe, that's the story. That's about it. I'm sorry if I've led you to expect something life changing. Non. Just that I am now into the new yorker. I get it. No it wasn't on my 2011 new year resolution, but every writer I respect and love to read, reads the new yorker. No it wasn't exactly in the aspirational space, but yeah I did feel I was missing out on something. But, my attempts [yes, I use the word attempt, because that's what it was] at reading the recommended articles, would fail. Say somewhere in page 3, I would stop getting it. And then move to the lighter reads.

Everything changed in the past week. I read an article, that came highly recommended by a favorite blogger. I read the whole thing, and understood whatever was there to understand. When I say the feeling was almost calming, I kid you not. Calming like when you get your corner office with a view.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

What gives?

Last night, after having worked for 10 hours straight [for most of you no biggie I know], straightened my back, picked up my bag and got out of office. It was dark, it was raining, the roads had more potholes than it's possible. And unfailingly the auto rickshaw guys were acting funny... 'it's late', it's raining, 'traffic jam' and what jam it was. After 70 minutes of being drenched by pothole water and choked with the soot from the rickety buses that crossed me, I reached home. Switched on the television, and scouted the fridge and the kitchen shelves. While nibbling on some stale cheese balls and watching Nigella cook a cuban chicken with ingredients from the freshest, prettiest farmers' market... I feel hopeless, goalless, tired and extremely lonely. Another day gone. Nothing done apart from having earned my living. That's what most people do. That's what most people are supposed to do. Yeah, yeah must sometimes, just sometimes the whole process of earning a living seems pretty pointless, away from family and friends, with no time to do what we like, with situations that make you curse the rains, with mornings that have turned into a nightmarish routine. Hmm, but then a woman has to earn her living... so would does she do. She leaves work a little early today, ignores the TO Do list, and the unanswered emails. Picks up her bag and heads to the food market. Tonight not, the cuban chicken but some fish curry and rice perhaps.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Condé Nast Traveler I'll be gone for a while

the thought of zero network zone excites me
the idea of living without an ATM seems fine
covering only two food groups a day sounds perfectly healthy
the promise of a stranger's bed is enticing
waking up without a plan, what can be wrong with that?
living out of a backpack is cool too.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Getting people to buy stuff they don't need with the money they don't have.

Hello Clients, Account executives,

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nullam vehicula pellentesque ultricies. Pellentesque vel tellus magna. Maecenas consequat, nisl eu convallis fermentum, mauris velit tincidunt tortor, quis vulputate lectus orci et quam. Curabitur dapibus tincidunt tortor sit amet malesuada. Proin rutrum nulla et justo pellentesque non porttitor purus tincidunt. Suspendisse potenti. Donec laoreet lorem sed arcu consectetur at aliquet lacus adipiscing. In quis dolor orci. Phasellus ornare aliquet nibh accumsan gravida. Integer id nisi eget sapien commodo consectetur. Fusce semper molestie vehicula.
Donec congue felis eu est eleifend ut fermentum mauris scelerisque. Donec gravida, dui quis lacinia volutpat, neque metus mollis ante, vel pretium turpis mi quis dolor. Aenean orci velit, fermentum vel tempus id, tempor a nulla. Suspendisse eleifend porta purus eu pharetra. Nunc vestibulum eros sit amet ipsum consectetur quis tempus orci condimentum. Sed viverra nulla vel arcu iaculis molestie. Curabitur at eros sed nisi pulvinar accumsan. Aliquam rhoncus, nisi ut sagittis elementum, neque libero vestibulum eros, a facilisis metus velit a justo. Ut ut nulla ante, vitae feugiat est. Proin in est erat, vel consectetur libero. In lectus enim, facilisis ut ullamcorper a, vehicula eget lacus. Quisque egestas orci justo, ac faucibus sem. Nulla laoreet convallis ullamcorper. Sed congue condimentum mauris, vel suscipit diam vehicula vitae. Duis convallis mattis auctor.

Garbage in – Garbage out. How hard is it to understand that? Clients, why not tell us the REAL date of your product launch, how can it be 1st of next month when you are yet to start operations in this city? When you are yet to hire a team? Why not tell us who you are actually targeting at? How can your TG be everyone from Parvathy R. Kutty, part time teacher, mother of two, wife of Insurance seller from Vanandurai to nineteen year old NIFtian, aspiring bridal lingerie designer from GK? Huh?
And Account Executives/Managers could you speak up please? When I say speak up, I don't mean you asking us for 7 headline options or asking the client for money [which you do very well, and yes of course this is why you and I are around], but while you are at it, can you not tell the client, 3 campaigns by tomorrow evening is not possible. That google images isn't his property, that one more bullet point and the ad will burst. That the consumer doesn't give a dang about his vision? And, and could you please write a brief? It's important, non?

n.b. this is my 100th post. quite a feat, considering my attention span.

Monday, August 1, 2011

It's everything I had imagined it to be

And before your mouth goes :-O, the 'it' above isn't a Cannes Lion. But it is – my first advertising award. And God it feels good. Like I said, the award is everything I had imagined it to be.
Not expecting it one bit. Check.
Heart Rate 220. Check.
Knees-going-weak while accepting it. Check.
Not remembering the name or the face of the gentleman who gave it to me. Check.
Looking at the camera and giggling like an idiot. Check.
Going numb once back to my seat. Check.
Staying numb for rest of the evening. Check.
Looking for eyes looking at me, but finding none. Check.
Discovering the Monday after to be as blue. Check.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Days when you need a pick-me-up

Life or if I were to use a less dramatic word - the week so far has been less than great. Nothing killing [thank god for that], but stuff I could have been much happier without. You know nagging things... that are not there on your face. Yet lurking somewhere. Hmm that's the kind of troubles I have been talking about. There goes a saying 'don't sweat the small stuff'. How? Pray tell me how? How can you not sweat about things at work that are beyond your control [not talking about the looming deadlines]. How can you not sweat about untimely rains that make your commute a big hell. How can you not sweat about a sad roommate? How can you not sweat when uncertainties outweigh certainties?

The point is we do sweat the small stuff. Such days demand a pick-me-up. Do you have a pick-me-up? A stuff that always works? I do. Yes, sir I do. rocks my world. It always does. Try it on a day, when things are grey and sad. When monstrous clients seem like angels, and your cubicle companion plays the screaming demon. On a day when no planning seems like the best planning. On a day when waking up in the morning was possibly the worst thing you could do. Yes on that kind of a day. Do try dailymail.

After all, how can your world be difficult when in this very world Hugh Hefner's runaway bride decides to bare it all in a tell-all realty show. A world where Britney goes flab to flat, in three days flat and then back to flab again. A world where 'friends with benefits' or the 'no strings
attached' models work perfectly. A world where pretty young things sue their moms over misused funds. A world where Cheryl Cole keeps falling for her love rat multiple-time-cheater ex-husband.
Do give dailymail a try. On a day like today.

n.b. the dark brown stuff above works as well.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Mary had a little lamb

My friends who have pets now, have always had pets when they were growing up. Pet(s) featured in their family albums, vacations, birthdays, mostly everywhere. The pet had its birthday too. And gifts during special occasions. Visiting aunts and uncles would never forget to pack something for them. Dare they. Now my friends' pets have moved from the dusty velvet albums to facebook, from pretty collars to fancy tweeter accounts. And nicer names too. Hobbes has replaced snowy. Rio is the new Pluto. Harper 7 anyone?

And people with pets, are different kind of people I've heard. Quite like athletes. No it's not about them being like athletes. It's about them being a little different from the rest of us, the way athletes are. Pet owners are kinder, friendlier and kind of nicer no? Not the ones with pet caretakers. They don't count. For them I'm guessing, having a pet is part of the checklist process. Penthouse check. Picket fences check. Monthly parties check. Pet check. Weekly spa check. They don't count.

I've always wanted to have a pet, but not badly enough to have fought my mom's hygiene concerns or father's transferable job factors. And now my own issues of not having enough time or space, or that green patch, or crazy hours at work. There will always be excuses. To not have a pet. Or to not live your life.

Friday, June 17, 2011

I have to go see about a boy

i am aware that someone half my age should be blogging this... but, but, when you see matt damon smiling like that, and taking off his jacket like that, how can you not write that line and post that picture?

nb. yes i am in a black & white hollywood hunk phase. why do you ask?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

spontaneity versus being interesting, witty and intelligent

while the later combination promises more comments and followers and readers, spontaneity brings me joy. and with it a greater urge to write. where topics are not shortlisted but randomly picked based on the emotions they elicit.
i always hoped, maybe just maybe, in the course of my blogging life, i will realise that the two have merged. that i while writing things that i like to write, without much thought or care would come up with something delightful, something totally funny and intelligent. all at once. but that was not to be. blog posts were quite like the much-thought-out headlines i write at work, that's work. but that shouldn't be the case right? this is what i do for free, all i should get from it is joy. comment generated joy or just the plain old writing joy. this i have to figure out. till then, i will write about experiences that have something to write home about. at the risk of coming across as boring, dull and silly, i will write whatever i wish to.
so on a day when i l would like to write about leonardo de caprio, that's what i will do. write about leonardo de caprio, his smile, his ex gf, his current squeeze or why he is martin scorsese's favorite boy.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

How will you measure your life?

The graduating class of 2010 at Harvard Business School, was given an assignment. The assignment required the students to answer three questions.
First, how can I be sure that I’ll be happy in my career? Second, how can I be sure that my relationships with my spouse and my family become an enduring source of happiness? Third, how can I be sure I’ll stay out of jail? Seemed funny, but not so. Apparently 2 in a class of 32 had done time in jail. On the first read, the assignment sounded incomplete and lame. But on reading the questions again, I found that yeah, that's all you need to figure out about your life, to measure your life.

Happy in career would mean, you would go on to be successful and make money. Successful gets you power. Power to get back at that sassy showoff from college. Or buy out your ex-flame's dwindling business. Making money would mean, you would have all the pretty things and the comforts that the swanky malls and delicate mannequins have to over. Sometimes peace of mind too [there's nothing a spa in the Himalayas can't fix.]

Happiness from your spouse and family, well, well, well. Basically, you really can't do much about this. Being a good woman/man brings you a good husband/wifey, if you believe in that, then perhaps you also believe in good karma. Ergo, you are also into the past-life-this-life thing. Doesn't quite work that way does it? So, be good, do not cheat, and what? Keep your mouth shut?. I guess. Family, if you are born into one that's loving, caring, sharing and all things sweet, then knock on the wood. That's it. Else, it's sad and let's not go there. Alright, that was about being born into the family, what happens when you have to raise one? It's then all up to you, the aforesaid spouse and genes.

Staying out of jail. Okay sitting in our cubicles, doing extremely mundane and harmless work, looking out of the window, to a view that's as boring as the last meeting, and then walking up to the vending machine for coffee that's insipid, it's tempting to pass the last question as lame. Crazy or comic even. But in our cubicle, there's so much more we could be doing. Thinking for instance. Thinking up plans. Evil plans that involve people who are part of our everyday, every night. Or that guy who takes up the parking area every morning. Or just a momentary lapse of judgment could do us in. Thing is crap happens [Jailed abroad on Nat Geo is scary, after every episode you have to look heavenwards and say thanks. Thanks to be just getting to sit in your dilapidated sofa in your living room and watch some primetime television]. You can just not take anything for granted. But what you can do is be cautious. Cautious not paranoid. Spontaneous caution anyone?
And never forget to pray.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The need to write

write is what I do to buy pretty shoes and that bag
write is what I do to be occupied 10 hours a day
write is what I do to have a retirement plan, or any plan that I can think of

so, why don't I write more? Because what I write at work doesn't exactly qualify as 'writing' writing you know. Conceptualization and other fancy words have taken over. Paper work, ppts, client calls, targets, graphs, briefs, team building initiatives and oh yeah deadlines involved. So that isn't exactly writing in its truest sense. And because I cannot find that perfect tree, or afford the beautiful summer home in kasauli, or be allowed to take beach vacations every thirty days, guess I will make do with this seat, which is near perfect and the screen that allows me to have wallpapers from any location from conde nast traveler.
And because when you got to write you got to write. Blogspot here I come.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The day Chef Wonton died

As a 12 year old, Wonton knew what he wanted to do with his life. Though he decided to tell his father about his discovery right away, he didn't. His father, a paddy farmer, was a man of dreams. Dreams for his son. And if he were to find that all his son ever dreamt was to make the perfect dim sum, he would be shattered. So young Wonton decided to wait. Wait until he could wait no more. So he spent endless hours at the nearby local school, learning nothing. His real education came from his mother and his grandmother, at their dingy little kitchen. “Nainai, can you show me how to do that again? ”he would ask his grandma. His 80-year old Nainai, loved his enthusiasm. And often chided her son , for mocking Wonton about his culinary passions. And then, the day had come, when Wonton could wait no more. His father was enjoying his daily evening drink with his friends, Wonton thought he was better off waiting for his father to finish his drink, and for his friends to leave. But he could wait no more. Waiting is what he had done all this while, so Wonton summed all the courage he could and said, in his shaky adolescent voice, that he was leaving home. To be a chef.

In the years that followed, Wonton spent his days learning and perfecting his culinary skills. He later joined a group from Nanxun to a crowded city in India. Which he later found was Kolkata. Here he worked in a restaurant in Tangra, the Chinese locality of the city. Adjusting to city's dirt and grime, wasn't easy. But luckily, his love for dim sums never faded, not one bit. One of the guests at the restaurant, noticed his extraordinary skills and offered him a job as a head chef, at his restaurant in another Indian city. Wonton, wished his grandmother could see this. And his father too. His dim sums were certainly leading him somewhere.

Upon arriving in his new city, Hyderabad, Wonton wasted little time. He got the place as Chinese as he could. Manchurian was knocked off the menu, so was American Chopsuey. Cartons of cornflour went down the drains too. Much to the shock of the Sous Chef Lucky Lee from Gurdaspur. Sinova, was born again, as the most authentic Chinese restaurant in town. The owner joined in the enthusiasm, pretty butterflies and dragon table tops were included, so were little lights. Chef Wonton had no clue what branding was, but his real take on Chinese, made Sinova at Road No. 12 Banjara Hills, the non-glutinous Chinese Place.

It had been over 2 years since he joined Sinova, a trip to his hometown had been on his mind. March-April-May was off season, with exams everywhere; he thought perhaps this was the perfect time for a holiday. Hearinghis holiday plans, his boss asked him to wait for a couple of days, he had plans he said. Wonton loved nothing more than work, holiday could wait. Wonton had his plan ready, he would suggest province based food festivals. And then maybe something for the vegetarians – Something like Tofu in Town! Or a cooking class maybe. The anticipation of the days ahead gave him a new burst of energy.

There always are some signs, signs that try to tell us something. But signs in the current scheme of things are often banished. Sous Chef Lucy Lee, was humming, he was in a better mood than he has been in the last two years. The store manager ordered cartons of cream and butter. Wonton was confused, did he not make this very clear on the first day that cooking medium is always Peanut or Sesame oil and Chinese cuisine requires no dairy.

The owner was fond of Wonton, he begged him to stay, Sinova, would now, with Chinese will also serve Indian cuisine. So, he could continue to be the head chef, and manage the Chinese section. But Wonton knew better. The new Indian restaurant was inaugurated. It was called Ghazal. Guests were pouring in, the smell of chargrilled meat filled the air. It was a busy day at the kitchen. Wonton sat in a corner. The owner game him a half apologetic-half understanding smile and asked him if he could step in and take charge of the Kebab section. Woton nodded. Kebab section it is. The marinade could do with a little more zest, decided everyone. So, what would it be, what would it be? Chef Wonton headed to the pantry, where Lucky Lee gave him a a bottle of spice. He walked back to the kitchen, amid oil, saffron and cardamom. Wonton stopped for a moment, images of his village, of his father, of Nainai and of the dingy little kitchen flashed in front of him; he took a deep breath and
returned to the marinade to add a pinch of Garam Masala.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Never trust a guy who draws a pyramid, and thank God for outlook express.

Hello yellow-blue-red-floral-striped tie wearing, crass joke cracking, evil laughter laughing Client Man,

In all honesty, I would rather not see you again. Having said that I will now tell you what a obnoxious [now I know what it means] man you are. And without much ado, or pretty sentence formations, let me just bullet your horrid traits that I observed during our 2 hour meeting this afternoon.

While discussing a certain headline that required us to emphasize the joys of living high up in a high-rise, you said 'oh my God, ask me how it feels to be at the top, they say it's lonely, they are right'. We [I and the team] did little but nod, not because we agreed but because we were appalled. You are delusional, and I sugarcoat.

Looking at our blank faces, you might have thought, we didn't quite get the whole 'lonely at the top' bit. So, you went on to borrow one of our writing pads and a pen, and drew a pyramid. And then you shaded top of the pyramid, and with that horrible content smile, said 'yes I have reached here, and I know the feeling'. Phew! We were already one hour into the meeting, and no, the concerned work wasn't discussed even once. 60 minutes later, all we understood was, you were at the top and you were lonely.

And then your phone rings, you answer it, instead of excusing yourself out of the room, you talk at your loudest inside the conference room. You inquire about a certain woman, you also describe her – her body type, her complexion, hairdo and then that horrible laugh again. I could tell, it was some sick joke. You go on for the next 9 minutes.

Finally when you are done, and finally when we are about to discuss work, you crack a joke. About your body type, which is pumpkin. Just in case you missed the look on our faces again, no we weren't interested. Not. The. Tiny. Bit. Shocking I know. But no, we were not interested.

If you remember correctly, the work was discussed in less than 17 minutes. An email would have done nicely. Thank God for emails.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Another sign your life sucks

when you have no use, absolutely no use of iPhone's newest app :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

7 signs your life sucks

when someone asks you about your weekend plans, you say 'groceries'

when facebook album updates of your friends mean the world to you

when you think of work 17 hours a day

when everyone expects you to think of work 17 hours a day

when you develop an unhealthy love for travel magazines

when you call fellow bloggers friends

when you mark your calendar as per starworld's program schedule

Monday, February 14, 2011

The day of love. The day of ultimate Hollywood trash.

Is it like, you underperform under pressure?
Did you get to work on say the 14th of January?
Did you write the script, whatever that is, while you were sleeping, changing nappies?
Did you and your five friends get drunk and write 5 different scripts? And let your dog pick one?
Did the ensemble star cast work for free?
Did you work for free?
Do you hate your job?
Or does love make you sick? Like really sick.

Last year it was Valentine's Day. This time it's No Strings Attached. Horrible movies. And that's when I am a sucker for mush.

So here's my take...
Julia Roberts isn't God. Neither is Jessica Biel. Ashton kutcher in the buff does not make up for shoddy acting. Natalie Portman in the buff, kind of makes up for shoddy acting. Please, please have a story to tell. Mills & Boon is a great source too. You could explore that. Read about thirty of them. And you are bound to come up with lovely things. If you can't come up with an amazing story on love. Then don't. Give us something on say shoes or the perfect stole maybe? People in love often bond over such things. So, don't you worry about us having a tough time dragging our men to watch such films. Give it a thought. I also have a title in mind – Jimmy loves Choo or Heels That Hurt The Heart. Like?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Men. Amen.

What could I possibly say that hasn't been said already? Turns out, surprise, surprise, I have quite a lot to say. A blog lot.
If I were talented, if I had the money, or if I had really rich producer friends I could maybe, make a movie out of it, chronicling the lives of three women, separated by a few years, and their journeys into and out of the hearts of their men. So, since I do not have any of the mentioned things, I would settle for a post. And look at the sky above, and say a silent prayer – directors of movies like Turning 30, Delhi Heights, Dus kahaniaaa, chance upon my blog, get totally gobsmacked, and offer me hell lot of money for the movie rights. I act tough. They don't want to let go of this brilliant little post. They absolutely want it. So they double the offer. And give me distribution rights of the film as well. And ask me to begin work on its sequel. You with me?
Okay, so, this post is about men. Men I haven't met or intend to meet or don't know much about. But these men are a very important part of the lives of a few women, who I call friends. And that makes them worthy of my blog.
The last few weeks have largely been about solving men related problems. Oh no I am no authority. Neither I have proof of being good at it. But then that's not how we operate. Situations like these call for any advice. Just about any. Preferably from a woman. This is a dangerous and delicate territory with certain rules. The most important one being to never hold the one in distress responsible for the misery. NEVER. Because it's not the done thing. And during the course of the conversation, the advisor becoming the advisee, or the nagger turning the naggee [Thesaurus make note] is per usual. So while one moment is about how her man fails to call her at the promised time, next could be about mine not believing in surprising me, or making an effort to find the right gift. See? When we get talking, the lines blur. Topics merge. It's no longer someone else's problem. It's mine as much as it's hers. I listen. So does she. She weeps. So do I.
Problems discussed in the past few weeks – not enough calls, more than enough silences; caring too little, working too much; too little we-time, too much boys-time; too few vacations, too many business trips; gifts versus oh-shit-gifts, oh-shift-gifts versus no gifts; no sweet nothings, words that mean nothing; and then they get a little murkier.
So what do we do after we've discussed the troubles of the heart? well, nothing much. See we aren't doers. No we are not. Neither do we press each other for acting on anything. We just listen. And when we are done listening. We talk. And they listen. It's simple. And it works. Every. Single. Time. And we often end our conversations with - “no we did not sign up for this.”

nb. Such sessions go well with a pefect cup of tea and chocolate biscuits to dunk.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

What's wonderfully indulging yet has zero calories?

As indulging as a slice of cheesecake. Sans the 350 calories of course. It's also extremely liberating and also makes you feel in control. And as Joey Tribbiani would have said, what's not to like? Indulgence, goooood. Liberation, goooood. In control, goooood.

Advising. At 400 precious words per minute. Is an indulgence unlike any. It frees your spirit. Or some crap like that. Basically what it does is, it makes you feel good. In a purely do-gooder kind of way. And everybody can use such a feeling once in a while, right? But Of course like all things sinful, practicing restrain is of great importance here. Never over do. While cheesecake could leave you with unlovely love handles at worst, this comes down much harsher. Losing friends, losing partner [business or otherwise], being made fun of till your last day on earth, and not being invited to anywhere, are some of the problems you might face.

So, there's this lady in my gym, she will be in her early fifties. She is a banker. And she spends seventy per cent of her gym time advising the trainers. No not on mutual funds or investment plans. But guess what? On fitness. Yes, she does. She walks on the treadmill at a speed of 3kmph and goes on and on about the fitness regime the trainers need to follow. And the diet they should try. Obviously the poor lady is now quite a joke. And on those rare moments when she does concentrate on HER fitness regime, the trainers snigger and go up to her ask her with help-us-miss-fonda eagerness. Yep, you and I live in a very cruel world.

Then there's this sad case of a bored receptionist. On a day when the number of calls are low, and visitors are too few, this lady brings out her inner momma/grandma and does, what she does best. Advise. Right from the movies one should watch, to the take-away joints one should try to the right month when one should conceive. Receptionist lady covers it all. She means well, all of us know that. What can I say, this isn't the ideal world and she mostly eats her lunch alone.

And now, it's my moment under the sun, or some such phrase like that. While I understand nobody needs advices, I won't pass this opportunity. No way. I am no silly village girl. So, because I am a non-silly urban woman, here goes -
A. Know your priorities.
B. Pick your battles.
And that's all you need to have a happy life.

Quid pro quo, Clarice.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Can we have some answers please?

It's a Saturday morning, a lovely Saturday morning at that. The sun is just right, the kind that's mild, not depressing-mild, but just-bright-enough-to-brighten-your-day mild. Yes, that's the kind of sun, we are talking about here. A day when your neighbor's 7 month old decides to let you have peace. Yet chooses to break the eeriness with her periodic giggles and attempted-chatter. Sweet. A day when the newspapers have features by your favorite writers. Favorites of Radia or not. And a day when Assam and Darjeeling forget their ego battles, and unite for the greater cause, of pleasing you that is. To give you that perfect cuppa. Yes, it's that kind of a day.

You get yourself out of bed, and get in to the treadmill. You run a mile. In eight minutes. You could run another. Right now. But you decide to shower. To get ready and seize the day. The bathroom looks goodhousekeeping-clean. You believe in angels. You get out of the shower, go to your closet. You can't decide what to wear. You like everything you see. Thanks to the ongoing SALE. You have quite a loot in here. But on a day like today, nostalgia is what the heart seeks. You reach out to the jeans you wore in college. And guess what? It fits. Beautifully. There's God. You step out of your home to walk into that quaint neighborhood bistro, where you and your friends are to meet for the weekend brunch. You reach the place, your friends are already waiting for you. You are looking as fresh as a daisy they say. So does the chef as he walks in to announce brunch is on the house. Why? Because you look so pretty. Could you ask for a more charming reason? The menu has been revised he says. It includes all that you love. He vanishes in to the open kitchen. You see him get to work. You see oranges being squeezed. You hear the sausages sizzle and smell the freshly baked croissants. The chef returns shortly. The table is laid. The spread is delightful. The chef comes to you and asks you to leave. Leave right now he says. You and your friends pick your belongings and prepare to leave. And as you close the glass door behind you, you watch the chef sit in your table, pounce on the food ravenously.

Yeah, and that's the feeling I was left with after watching Dhobi Ghat. Lovely. But not quite. Crafty. But very unfinished. Awesome. But abrupt.
Mrs. Aamir Khan, around here, we love nice stories. Nice stories with endings. It could be a happy ending or a sad one. You decide that. But not a random one please.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Commute Chronicles Part Deux – The Conversations

In my earlier post I had revealed my choice of vehicle, yeah the humble black and yellow autorickshaw, driven by the not so humble [mostly] auto driver. And I had also mentioned that I travel in autos of the second kind. The non-sharing ones. And when you travel 5 days a week, spending at least 120 minutes a day on the road, conversations are bound to happen. Conversations between me and the aforementioned auto driver(s).

I am not the chatty kind, wait, no I actually am the chatty kind; just not with strangers who try to fleece me [ oh yeah :-| you could say I am a tad cynical]. So more often than not, it's the driver who decides on the topic. Topics vary from – local politics, national politics, ugly politicians, the few good ones, inflation, 2012 and the end of the world, the new generation, the world a whole, the life in general, to that odd bitter-passenger-experience story [my least favorite].

If I were to separate those conversations, they would be something like this – hmm true; wow-I-didn't-know-that; scary; yawn-yawn-why-doesn't-he-shut-up; never-talk-to-an-auto guy; and finally the awww kinds, which leave me with thoughts like, maybe just maybe I shouldn't haggle after all].

Last week, I had a very meaningful conversation with this guy, on a current topic, the state split issue, and what the opposition's next move should be. He also spoke about how inflation will cost the ruling party at the center dear and how onions are going to make them cry [:D oh yeah he could write some badass ad lines alright!]

This morning, the elderly auto man, suggested that we [as in you and I and our friends] can make a difference, we can reduce corruption, and what we need to do is, to be more actively involved with the media. Hmm... wise words siree. Point taken.

And then there are the ones, that leave me bitter and make me want to jump out of the auto, out of the flyover and wish for a spiderman rescue. Hyper-boles. Aren't they l-o-v-e-l-y? Okay so a few weeks back, I was on this busy flyover on my way back, and then suddenly the auto man slows down a little and says, “madam do you see this flyover?” to which I reply 'yes', he goes on “well madam, in the year 2012, this will be gone, it will be in ruins, so will you and all of us. The world will be destroyed.” and after ten seconds of eerie silence, he says “completely destroyed.”many thanks mister Nostradamus, now can you please take me home.

And as the evening nears, I hope, today as I hop into an auto and head home, the only conversation we have is, he asking me 'where to ? ' and I giving him my address.