Sunday, December 05, 2010

Snips and Snails and Fairy Tales!

Photography Assignment.
"Narrate a Fairy Tale", he says. "But narrate it in black and white"

Take one annoyed coffee day manager. Two friends who don't mind the camera. Two IITians - one who can pen pwetty lines and another to push you to finish what you started. Some coffee, some laughs, some words of frustration.

Fairy Tale narrated.


Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Racist Mother

Conversations with my mom can be very amusing. Mostly for her and the general public. For me though, it usually serves as a reason to proceed forth in the quest for a wall that I can bang my head against, repeatedly.

Here is something that transpired between me and my racist mother -

Mom: So that's why she's here?

Me: Haan. She was only--

Mom: What is that sound you keep making with your nose?

Me: Huh? WHAT? What sound?

Mom: You know, the one you just made. [Proceeds to make the sound of a donkey with nasal problems]

Me : Ayyooo! Ma! That wasn't a noise. I said 'Haan', It means 'Yes' in Hindi.

Mom: Oh. It sounded like a Hindi snort. I don't like it.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Hostel Lessons

Living in a hostel can teach you many important lessons in life. That's something we all know.
However, what I have recently deduced is that living in a hostel can reinforce a lot of the lessons you learnt in school and this time, you will actually remember the lessons.


Do you remember how you learnt about all those free electrons that travel in the empty spaces in metals? How they gain kinetic energy from the fast atoms and how they give energy to the slower ones? No? Neither do I. Turns out, this is the reasons why metals are such good conductors of heat.

I figured this out when I was heating a glass of water to make tea. My hostel-mate, who was handling some hot noodles, said she needed the vessel I was using because her's was too small. I used a pair of tongs to transfer the water onto a cup, rinse the vessel under tap water and place it on the stove. 
My roommate screeched, "Quuuuick. This thing is going to overflow. Put on the damn stove" In my enthusiasm to help, I pulled the vessel aside with my hand, dropped it on my toe, shrieked like a 12 year old and figured, vessels get too hot, too quick. I didn't have to go to school to learn this.


I had 100 bucks in my wallet which was supposed to last me for the following four days, till I got home. That might seem like a lot of money but it isn't. I live in a city where a 10 minute bus ride to college costs me 7 rupees. So that's 14 rupees a day gone just on travel and I still had to figure out a way to get my three meals for the day. Resources need to be planned and used judiciously.

Day 1 - It's your friend's birthday, which means...BRUNCH TREAAAT! So that just leaves dinner. The remains of the previous day shall come to your rescue. Ha! 14 rupees shall be incurred for travel.

Day 2 - Get up late and don't go to college, thereby saving up on bus fare and breakfast fare. Eat the maggie for lunch and the top ramen for dinner which have been lying around in your shelf for the past month. Easy and economical, no expenses.

Day 3 - Eat 12 rupees idlis for breakfast from college canteen. Another friend's birthday... LUNCH TREAAAAT! ( How it pays to have friends!) Visit a friend late in the evening and smile politely when her mother asks you to stay for dinner. Air punches can be performed later. Inclued with the 14 rupees spent for travel, the day's expenses shall amount to 26 rupees.

Day 4 - Eat 6 rupees Vada Pav for breakfast. Take a 20 rupees cab ride to the train station, a 8 rupees train ride, followed by a 20 rupees rick ride to the airport where you can catch a flight home and make evil plans to spend your parents' life saving all the way there. 

Total expenses amount to 88 rupees, leaving enough money for 2 vada pavs if need be. And that, my friends, is how I learnt to allocate resources. 


If your roommate likes to be a bitch and keep the light on till 2 in the morning, thereby making it very difficult for you to sleep and show up for your 8 am lectures the following day, deal with it. If you fight with her, stand up for yourself or do something to MAKE SURE that the light is switched off when you go to bed, she will pee on your bed. Like literally.

Monday, October 18, 2010

She was gone!

There was something unusually serene about the room that morning. The white curtains swayed in the wind and I could see a glimpse of the green outside as I lay there on our bed, touching the part of her pillow where her head should have been beneath a mass of curling hair. I walked upto the window, pushed the curtains aside and looked at the view outside as the sun hit my eyes.  

She always looked lovely standing by the window each morning, sipping a cup of tea that she clasped with both her petite little hands and looking at the lush green outside. But she won’t be able to do that today or tomorrow or… I did not want to think about it, it would be too difficult to think about the days that would follow. 

I thought of the day I had ahead of me and all at once, I felt an inexplicable feeling in the pit of my stomach that began to envelope my entire being; I sat down on the bed and let the feeling pass.

Her absence was overwhelming; I got up and went into the kitchen to make myself a cup of coffee. I had never had to step into the kitchen in all these years that I had been married and now that she was gone, I had a feeling that I was in enemy territory. I slowly found my way around the alien atmosphere and ruffled through the cupboards with that unfathomable feeling twisting me more and more inside. 

I hadn’t had a cup of home-made coffee since the day I had been married. She drank tea in the morning and that became our morning drink. It’s one of those things you do when you are married for that long, you like everything the other person likes, you care about everything the other person cares about, you share everything with that significant other… None of that mattered at that moment. 

I didn’t have anything to care about or share; and I didn’t have to drink tea because she wasn’t there. The feeling squeezed me more and more from within and I felt myself shouting, shouting to no one in particular for I was alone now.

I walked into the dining room, coffee in hand and saw the remains of the consequence of her absence from the previous night. I stared at the half empty bottle of alcohol that was left on the table and it suddenly hit me stronger than ever; she wasn’t there. She wasn’t in the room, she wasn’t in our home, and she wasn’t breathing the same air I was breathing. And again, that inscrutable feeling that seemed to drive my actions consumed me as I reached for the bottle on the table and surrendered myself to the spirit.

The phone rang loud and clear and reverberated all around the house. It was late evening by the time I got up from the couch with an awful headache and looked around the living room.

The phone rang again and this time, it seemed to get louder and louder with each ring. I tripped on the empty bottle of alcohol which was now on the floor by the couch as I staggered to pick up the phone. I heard Hari’s voice, magnified a thousand times in my head say, “Dude! Are you Okay? I’ve been calling the whole day and I was really worried when you didn’t answer. Are you alright by yourself? Do you want me to come over? I was thinking I could – “

I hung up. I did not want him there. I did not want anyone there.  Why did no one understand that I just wanted to be alone? I wasn’t a child, I could handle her absence. Her absence, the one single thing that seemed to redefine my reality, took me over with a feeling so intense that I could hardly contain it.

It was all too sudden, no one anticipated it and yet, she was gone, wasn’t she? She was gone and what was left was that feeling inside of me that I was struggling to come to terms with. The thing was, no one could blame me for the way I was feeling. After three years together, after two years of marriage, her absence was a new phenomenon. 

I walked back into the bedroom and lay down on our bed. The room looked different as I lay there by myself, taking in the colors of the room that somehow looked brighter, the song of the birds outside the window that seemed louder and the smell…the smell of alcohol on the sheets, on myself. 

She would never have allowed me to drink during the day if she was around, but she wasn’t there. She would never have allowed me to wake up at noon or drink coffee or fall asleep on the couch in the middle of the day, but she couldn’t do anything about it now because she wasn’t there. 

I got up off the bed and jumped and screamed and punched the air as that enigmatic feeling that was a culmination of happiness, joy, freedom, awe and excitement came over me again.

I sat back down once I had put myself together and reached over to the bedside cabinet to find the note that had brought me such divine bliss. There, written on a yellow piece of scribbling paper in her neat, cursive handwriting were the words that spelled my freedom: “Dev, I have to leave to visit a friend on short notice. I’m just gone for the weekend. Please behave yourself. If I find some skinny blonde in my bedroom when I get back, I swear I’ll divorce you”.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Self Amusement

My brother is eight years older than I am. He went off to college when I was 9 years old. My neighbors, as I had mentioned in an earlier post, were not all that amusing. So I pretty much had to keep myself entertained all throughout a major part of my adolescence. By the time I was in my final years of school, I had mastered the art of self amusement. This video, which was taken on a random afternoon while I lay bored and squirming on my bed in 2007, holds testimony to the same.

I know. I know. I'm awesome. And amusing. And awesome.
You may applaud now.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

My Mother just doesn't Understand Me!

I sent my mom a text message

I’m feeling nostalgia and boredom. Do you think I should drink Tea?"

The first part of it was a mere statement of fact and the second was a question. Now this message would make perfect sense to anyone who knows me.

I have exams starting Monday which means that I should be spending majority of my time studying, which is not what I'm doing. Instead, I stare into blank spaces or lie squirming on my bed thinking about studying and hence, I get bored.

I live away from home and any little thing can set me off and make me nostalgic. Since it’s exam time and I usually spend a lot of time pre-exams engaging in futile activities like cleaning out my inbox, sms and looking through old greeting cards, nostalgia comes as a common illness.

I have a weakness for Tea and coffee. If not for Tea and coffee, I’ll probably die or sleep or do both simultaneously. I ask people if I should drink tea/coffee because it makes me feel better about ingesting so much caffeine.

Now my mother, who calls me only if there’s a commercial inbetween the program she’s watching, called as soon as I sent her the sms to tell me I’m an idiot.

Mom: What does nostalgia and tea have anything to do with eachother?

Me: I just want Tea mummu.

Mom: Idiot!

Me: Whaat? Don’t scold when I’m feeling nostalgia.

Mom: Do you know what ‘nostalgia’ means?  Go check with a dictionary. It’s called nausea, not nostalgia.

Me: Er! :| 

My mother, of all people, expects me to be logical on a hot afternoon before exams.

She just doesn’t understand me. I almost died of emotional trauma but fear not, Tea saved me.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Hazy Conversations

It's been a weekend of excess. Excess of this, that and some other things as well.

Some lines were crossed, barriers broken, bonds formed and confessions made. Most importantly, after over a year in a new city, strong lines of trust and friendship have been forged.

Memories of this weekend shall always be hazy, colorful, with a tint of guilt and a mixture of happiness, loneliness and conversations interrupted by bouts of laughter.

Bombay might be the city of dreams after all.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

O When the Swine Flu!

It was the summer of 2009. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, the flowers were in bloom and there was Swine Flu in the air.

Everyone was paranoid, as was I. The first obvious step was to go marching to the nearest store to get one of those night burglar masks that everyone was talking about. After which it was only human to laugh at those who did not own a mask and go “Ha! Ha! Suckers!” when they weren’t looking. It was also imperative to visit a doctor every time someone in the same room/builing/street/city sneezed. It was the swine flu protocol we were expected to follow.

Amidst all the madness, the inevitable happened. Schools and colleges shut down, which sent me packing off to my little Chennai village.
Little Chennai village did not care about swine flu. Pune was too far away, so what difference does it make if Eight people were dying there every day because of this new disease? Little Chennai Village did not give a shit.

I was still paranoid.  So I decided I needed a bottle of sanitizer to fight the flu. I’d never seen too many people use sanitizers in Chennai, except my best friend who has always been a compulsive sanitizer user, but I didn’t think it was a ‘Chennai thing’. I was soon about to find out.

I went to all the local medical stores to check for sanitizers. They were either out of stock or had no idea what a sanitizer was. The following is the translated Tamil conversation that took place in the last medical store I went to (and it was the last one for good reason):

Me: Do you have sanitizers?

Shopgirl: Sanitizers? What’s that?

Me: Err… You know the thing everyone is using because of the swine flu?

Shopgirl: Oh, that!

Shopgirl turns to storeguy

Storeguy: What does she want?

Shopgirl: Sanitizer.

Storeguy: What’s that?

Shopgirl: You know that thing everyone uses when they don’t want to wash their hands?

Storeguy: Oh, that!


Sunday, September 12, 2010

kala Khatta

Today, I had my first gola.

Gola is an ice candy made of crushed ice and flavored syrup, not very different from an American Snow cone. Kala Khatta is the name of the tangy syrup that was poured on the gola I had today.
I thought it tasted like a weird but satisfying mixture of uncarbonated coke and chat masala.

Golas are a Mumbai thing. Every Mumbaikar, who was ever informed that I had never tried a gola, launched into a sermon about how that was an absolute shame. It was part of the Mumbai culture. If you are a true Mumbaikar, you should have the guts to eat something off a roadside stall and live to tell the tale. If you die, you were never meant to be a Mumbaikar.

I had never tried a gola before, primarily due to the fear of diarrhea, death and similar things. But today, I faced my fears.

I'd gone to Girgaum Chowpatty to shoot for a short film project for class. One of the scenes involved my classmate buying a gola and that incidentally turned out to be our last shot for the day.

We got the shot and while everyone returned their caps and cameras to their bags, I was left holding the gola. Now I had seen how the gola was made, all the while twisting my face into many comical shapes and making various "eww" noises, but when I held it in my hand and felt the gola stare at my eyes obsessively, I was a goner.

It truly was the taste of Mumbai and standing there and eating it the Mumbai way, knowing that I might not survive to tell this tale made me oddly excited. The gola was ultimately yanked out of my hand and I was left giggling like an idiot, a little high on crushed ice. 

If you come to Mumbai, try a gola. If you don't die, promote the product and publicize it. Only Rs. 5.

Friday, September 10, 2010

20 Franks worth of Irony

Kaushik felt he was being an ethical bastard. He had met a guy who was collecting money for an aid organization on his way back from work. Now, Kaushik is the sort of big hearted person who'd let me write about him. He is also the sort of big hearted person who'd donate to charity, so he pledged 20 franks for this chap's cause.

Unfortunately, he realized that he didn't have enough cash to spare. So he asked the guy if he'd be around the next day. This guy said he'd be at the same place at 6.45 the following day, so Kaushik promised to come back and give him the money he pledged.

The problem was, Kaushik had an internet rendezvous planned with his parents the following day at around the same time he told the charity chap that he'd come back. He knew this at the back of his mind, but it didn't strike him when he made his promise.

Kaushik felt disturbed when he realized this and it kept pricking his conscience. Like I said, he felt he was being an ethical bastard. Being the good hearted Kaushik that he was and suffering from the chronic illness of love for mankind and similar things, he could not just shrug off the feeling and let it be.

So he decided to call off the weekly rendezvous with his parents. He figured he'd rather have his parents mad at him than have a bad conscience. The boy decided to stay back after work, so that he could meet the chap and give him the money that he had promised.

After a lot of guilt and obsession over his conscience, Kaushik had a plan and he implemented it. He went to the same place he met the Charity Chap the following day and he waited. He waited and he waited and he waited.

Guess who stood him up!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

The New Age Hero!

You know Tamil movies where there’s a hero who’s trying to do some good/bring justice/save the world?

You know how this hero always has to face corrupt government officials?  You know how at first he has to run round and round the government building looking for the right officer to address his problem, refuse to budge even though he’s been told that he’ll have to come back four days later, get frustrated because of the lack of accountability of the government employees, contemplate what will happen to the country when a government office is so unorganized, stand outside a conference room waiting for the officer to come out so that he can have his cause heard?

I did all that today.
Only, I did it all in my pseudo-hindi style!

“ Nikki, I’ll talk to him in English if he understands.”
“ Noooo, Raveena! Hindi first and then I’ll start slowly slowly using English words and we’ll see if he recognizes them. Then we’ll switch languages.”

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Life Under an Umbrella

NikiD and I set out from college by 2 pm with an umbrella over our heads. Tup tup. Drip Drip. Tup Tup over our heads.The cabs drivers were being picky about their customers, leaving us standing like orphaned children on the road. Finally, after half an hour of abusing cabbies, we found one with a charitable heart to take us to the train station.

We got on the train headed to Dadar, at first being a part of the noise and later just sitting silent amidst it. I should mention here that we weren't just taking a joy ride, we were on a mission. A mission, as NikiD says, "To save the world. One coast at a time."

We pushed ourselves out of the train at Dadar station and watched some women fight to make their way into the madness.

" Which side is the beach, Niki?"
" Isn't it always on the west?"
" Yea? Why?"
" Because, Raveena, it's the west coast!"
" Oooooh. You're so full of wisdom" ( This was said with genuine appreciation. No sarcasm. Really, I'm just that spaced out! )

Turns out, the place where Uma Thurman trains her child
warriors is in Dadar!

We made our way through the cramped, cacophonous station saturated with the smell of rotting vegetables. The cabwallas were still keeping up their hormonal behavior, so we walked on hoping to find a cab on the way, only we never did.

With sore feet, we got to Dadar Chowpatty, which overlooked the Bandra-Worli Sealink and looked absolutely stunning. We walked towards the parapet, knowing that we'd find what we had come looking for. And sure as hell, there it was stretched across the beautiful landscape - Garbage! 

"Omg Niki! How can we clean this up?! "
" We can't say we aren't going to clean it up because it's too filthy."
" Counterproductive, that!"

Niki was as excited as ever to have found the garbage we had come looking for and I was left feeling appalled by the sheer amount of the garbage we had found. I was also bogged down about the idea of inviting people for a coastal clean up after having a first hand look at what it involved.

Niki and the garbage she's going to
clean up! =D
We walked on, looking at everything else the beach had to offer and finding amusement in all that we saw. That included a stranded pumpkin, some onions, a comb, a matka to cook food in, plastic cutlery, stranded coconuts and lovelorn couples under umbrellas. It was insane, all the things that could be found on a little beach.

Turns out, Dadar chowpatty is not meant for people who are crow-o-phobic or have the tendency to annoy crows. They seem to form the majority of the population, followed by the couples under umbrellas.

We walked on, seeming much like NGO employees with our Kurtas, Jhola bags and our college ID cards hanging around our necks, looking at the beautiful water that was oblivious to the garbage it hosted. 

We left when we saw a large cloud edging its way over our heads. It started with a small tup tup, drip drip, tup tup on the umbrella over our heads till it grew so loud that it drowned out everything else. 

By the time we got to the stench of rotting vegetables at Dadar station, we were drenched front and back. NikiD made her way to the platform where the north-bound trains arrived, while I went on to find the train that would take me back to college. College meant hot Chai and that's all I was thinking about all the way there.  

It was one hell of a day - seeking garbage, finding it, wanting to clean it and planning it.
If you are from Mumbai and you would like to be a part of a small change, you should come for the clean up, because someone needs to care and you have the choice to be that someone. 

Ross Geller: Well, like that, only instead of a chair, it's a pile of garbage. And instead of a jacket, it's a pile of garbage. And instead of the end of the day, it's the end of time, and garbage is all that has survived!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Golmal, God, Gravity

It was nearing the end of the school year and the class was worse than it was when the year started off. The girls were okay, because they could be bullied into submission but the boys were beyond control. They made fun of the old man who could be seen brushing his teeth in his underwear through the classroom window. He ultimately threatened to sue the school, which caused the principal much distress.They occasionally infuriated a police officer. They threw chairs and benches down from the third floor just to see what happened and just generally engaged in obnoxious behavior just for the fun of it.

I really liked my class boys. I would never have admitted it back then, but they were my main source of entertainment. Ofcourse there were teachers who were rather amusing, like the History guy who referred to all of us as 'Hotty Fellows', each time he got annoyed with us. Or the French guy who could never tell the guys apart from the girls. But the boys always had the best ratings, that is, until Mr. Joseph came into our lives.

Joseph came into our lives because of the boys and their unbelievable acts of shame that brought me much amusement. Our maths teacher who I thought had given up all hope on us, proved me wrong by bringing Joseph to class. It was her final attempt, albeit in vain, to inspire our class boys to behave in a civilized manner. Her intentions, I'm sure, were good but her choice of character to evoke said inspiration was rather bad. Horrible, actually. 

Joseph was the head of the Mathematics department and he talked like he had a rubber ball stuck in his mouth, which meant that one needed at least 5 seconds buffer time to process and understand each of his sentences. And my teacher thought this man could change the boys with his moving speech? Go figure!

True to his name, Joseph was a staunch Christian and made that very clear from the start. He droned on for an hour about insignificant things which were hastily forgotten. As his parting gift to us, he decided to prove to us that God exists. To do this, he rather impolitely snatched a pencil from a first bencher who looked like he was on the verge of shooting himself out of boredom and threw it up in the air. As we had expected, the pencil fell back down. Catching the pencil with much skill, Joseph told us in a very matter-of-fact tone, "I drew dee penchil ub in dee air. By deed id comb bag down? Begoz ob God !"

I dove under the desk unable to stop laughing and the atheist friend asked her shoes, " Gravity! Fukin' Gravity! Hasn't he ever heard of Gravity! " 

It was the best maths class, EVER!

Monday, September 06, 2010

Compulsive Blog Link Changer

Dear Reader,

As you may have noticed, I have changed the link to my blog again. I figured I might as well be true to my blog once NikiD suggested the name, so if you want to blame anyone, it should be Niki.

Yes, I am grinning shamelessly at this moment but I urge you to not judge my fickle little mind.

This is the last time I change my link. I swear. Really. Pinky Promise.

This shall be the space where I put up my work, write about life, scribble abstractly, etc.
Please do come often and sit and chill with some Chai. Bring me candy when you come, because I like getting free things to chew on. Leave some comments, because I like to read what you have to say.



Sunday, September 05, 2010

The Flashback of an Inconvenient Truth

It was the second semester of college and I was determined that unlike the first semester, I would get up every morning and attend all my classes and not be on the verge of getting kicked out of college because of attendance shortage. That didn't work out the way I had planned. Infact, it still doesn't work that way.

So I got up late one Saturday, looked at my watch, said "Oh! [insert swear word here] " and ran to college. Actually, I ran till the bus stop, I don't think running inside the bus would have helped my cause. Anyway, I had already missed the first two lectures and the much celebrated break that followed and by the time I conquered three flights of stairs, I was late for my third lecture.

Thankfully the door was open and we were having a documentary screening, so my prof only gave me a look when she saw me walk in late. I didn't care enough to decipher or react to the look because I was only there for attendance which, she hadn't marked yet.

For some absurd reason which I shall never understand, I wanted to sit at the far end of the class. I walked past the screen and the teacher's table, noticing that the documentary being shown was 'The Inconvenient Truth'. Now I don't know how it happened but it sure as hell happened - the audio cord got caught around my foot and it snapped.

Once I realized this, I just stood there facing the class and apologizing in as many ways as I possibly could. My class looked at me, not understanding why I was performing a little dance there with weird hand gestures and singing apologies. So then I pointed to the laptop and started singing 'wire wire'. Realization dawned on their bored faces as two boys came up front to investigate what had actually happened. ( My class is not usually sexist but when it comes to technical things, we usually let the boys do all the dirty work)

They figured that the cord had completely snapped and that there was no way of playing the video, not even with the mike. I stood next to them, poking their arms, begging them to somehow fix it because my professor was finally beginning to understand what had happened and I was worried that she wouldn't give me attendance.

I stood there, making sad faces, reciting 'Don't be mean, you're so mean, don't be mean', grinning widely out of embarrassment, poking people's arms and just being awkward. So what does Yohan do at this time? He takes the mike and says into it, "Thank Ravinay Hosephine for ruining the movie. And this, friends, (gesturing at me) is the 'inconvenient truth'!"

The class burst into laughter and I experimented with various awkward facial expressions and hand gestures while my prof looked really annoyed because she finally had to get up from her chair and do something. Lots of teasing ensued with me standing there and grinning like a damn idiot for the lack of a better reaction.

Silver Lining : I got attendance !

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Mornin' Musings

This morning, an interesting question came to my mind when I was doing sip, sip, sip with my perfectly concocted chai. 

Considering that the Universe has everything planned for you (Very How I met Your Motherish, I know) and it all leads to "Something", I can see two distinct paths my life could possibly take. We all know what the ultimate end is ( Yes, I memento I mori! ) but I believe there's a point, somewhere before that, where everything falls into place. A point where you'll come to believe that you've arrived somewhere that explains or justifies your struggle against the crap life threw at you just for the heck of it, a point where you feel like it's all okay, a point where you stop fighting and just bask in divine realization. 

So, When two roads diverge in a yellow wood 
And I choose the one that leads to Mumbai:

Does Life give me what I Want ?

Or, Does life give me what I Deserve?

Friday, September 03, 2010

Thalivar Rajinikanth!

Although I didn't know it back then, Rajinikanth (Thalaivar Valgha!) was an internal part of my tamizh upbringing. Even the average North Indian who thinks everyone from the south is a malayalee or a madrasi, seems to know who Rajinikanth(Thalaivar Valgha!) is. They also know the Tamizh ghana song, Apidi Podu, but that is not relevant to the point I'm trying to make. Even though they think we are barbarians who have never heard of Metallica, They know that Thalaivar is so awesome that physics is far too scared to come in his way. 

However, it has recently come to my attention that some do not know the extent of Thalaivar's awesomeness. In my attempt to educate the ignorant masses, I have complied a sacred list of facts about Thalaivar. This list is true. This list is based on facts. This list is awesome. People have died mysteriously for questioning the veracity of the list. Questioning this list is equal to questioning the sheer awesomeness of Rajinikanth (Thalaivar Valgha!). 

If you do now know who Thalaivar is (Shame on you!) or if you are a non-believer, read on but only after you prepare yourself to be blown away. 

When Rajinikanth does push-ups, he isn't pushing himself up, he's pushing the earth down.

Rajinikanth once kicked a horse in the chin. His descendants are referred to as 'Giraffes' by the common man.

Rajinikanth never wet his bed as a child. The bed wet itself in fear. 

Rajinikanth doesn't breathe. Air hides in his lungs for protection.

When Rajinikanth looks in the mirror, the mirror shatters. Not even glass is stupid enough to come between Rajinikanth and Rajinikanth.

Rajinikanth's calender goes straight from March 31st to April 2nd. No one can fool Rajinikanth

Rajinikanth once had a heart attack. His heart lost.

Outer space exists because it's afraid to be on the same planet as Rajnikant

Rajnikant's house has no doors, only walls that he walks through

Rajnikant doesn't wear a watch, HE decides what time it is.

Rajnikant grinds his coffee with his teeth and boils the water with his own rage.

There are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq; Rajnikant lives in Chennai.

Rajnikant once ate an entire bottle of sleeping pills. It made him blink.

Rajnikant's every step creates a mini whirlwind. Hurricane Katrina was the result of a morning jog.

When Rajanikanth enters a room, he doesn’t turn the lights on, he turns the dark off.

Rajanikanth can kill two stones with one bird.

There is no such thing as global warming. Rajanikanth was cold, so he turned the sun up

Rajanikanth was once on Celebrity Wheel of Fortune and was the first to spin. The next 29 minutes of the show consisted of everyone standing around awkwardly, waiting for the wheel to stop.
Leading hand sanitizers claim they can kill 99.9 percent of germs. Rajanikanth can kill 100 percent of whatever he wants.
Rajanikanth once shot down a German fighter plane with his finger, by yelling, “Bang!”
In an average living room there are 1,242 objects Rajanikanth could use to kill you, including the room itself.
The square root of Rajanikanth is pain. Do not try to square Rajanikanth, the result is death.
When you say “no one’s perfect”, Rajanikanth takes this as a personal insult.

The Bermuda Triangle used to be the Bermuda Square, until Rajinikanth kicked off one of the corners.
Rajinikanth has already been to Mars, that's why there are no signs of life there
Rajinikant proves Newton wrong all the time. Every time he performs an action, he simply eliminates anything and everything that can provide the reaction.
Rajinikanth doesn't move at the speed of light. Light moves at the speed of Rajinikanth
Rajinikanth knows Victoria's secret

Rajinikant doesn’t bowl strikes, he just knocks down one pin and the other nine faint out of fear.
The last time Rajinikanth killed someone, he slapped himself to do it. The other guy just disintegrated. Resonance.
When Rajanikanth gives you the finger, he’s telling you how many seconds you have left to live.

Mind it!

Sigh !

I've taken a course in creative writing this semester. I'm not sure how much creativity goes into it but there has been a lot of writing. Surprisingly, I seem to enjoy all the forceful writing I'm subjecting myself to. So now, not only am I lusting after good writers, I'm also jealous of them. Sigh.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


I remember her staring at me with her big black eyes; eyes that I’d like to drown and spend eternity in.  Her jet black hair was strewn across the white sheets of my pillow. A lone hair flitted over her face; her lips curled up as I reached over and tucked it behind her ears. Her Kohl had smudged under her eyes and her chapped lips had no lipstick on, but it did not matter. She looked like she was created to define beauty.

I watched her as she got up and looked for her clothes; God! She was exquisite! She stood there struggling with her strap; I went over and hooked it on for her. It was purple. She smiled at me mischievously. Wasn’t it red when I took it off the previous night?

I was at the airport, waiting for Jessica, when I first saw her. She walked up to me just as I set my eyes on her. “Hye”, she said, “My bags are too heavy and I am dreadfully late. Can you please help me with them; I just can’t find a trolley”. She talked rapidly and had an almost indecipherable accent. I wanted to ask her a million things. What was her name? Where was she from? Where was she going? Why was she so beautiful? But I couldn’t. I couldn’t bring myself to take in anything but that image of her biting her lips and tucking her hair behind her ears as she tugged at her luggage.  Jessica walked towards me as I loaded the luggage onto a trolley. I watched her hurrying along to catch her flight just as I hugged Jessica and wished that the girl walking away from me wasn’t so beautiful.

The next time I saw her was at Jack’s party. Jack’s been my best friend since college, so I had to be at all his parties albeit their boring nature. I stood in a corner with a bottle of beer like I always did, when Jack walked up to me with a girl by his side. “Hey, I’m glad you came, I thought you wouldn’t make it. I’m real sorry about Jessica! You guys were great together, you know”. I wish he hadn’t said that when she was staring up at me with those bewitching black eyes and that slight curl on her lips. “This is Allie, by the way, she needs to get on the 10 o clock flight; I was hoping you could drop her off at the airport on your way back home.” I touched her chocolate brown skin and felt her firm grip as I shook her cold hands.

She put everything to shame. Just her face; her perfectly chiseled lips, her Greek sculpture like nose and her big black eyes; made the Mona Lisa, Cleopatra, Elizabethan Taylor pale in comparison. She laughed like a child, she laughed at everything I said, she laughed even when I didn’t say anything, she laughed and it made me ache all over. God! She was magnificent!

“I think I’m going to miss my flight” she said as we got into my car. She fidgeted with her petite fingers and looked out the window anxiously as we drove to the airport. Did she know I was looking at her? Did she know I was burning and dying sitting by her side right then? Did she know that she was too good even for the Gods?

‘Flight cancelled’ it read. She looked at me helplessly. I knew I shouldn’t, I knew that it would be a big mistake, I knew what would inevitably happen, but I had no other option now, did I? We got back in the car and headed towards my apartment.

My apartment was a mess with my jacket sprawled across the couch and my books spread across the floor. “Nice apartment” she said “It seems real cozy. Do you live her alone?” I don’t know how it happened after that but there was no longer any space between our lips to exchange words. I took off her yellow shirt, pulled off her black skirt and unhooked her red strap and I burned and shivered and felt myself turn to dust.

It was 7am when I woke up the following morning and she was gone like I knew she would be. It’s been a long time since it happened, so I don’t miss her so much anymore. I think of her though, every time I’m with a woman. I remember how she smelled of freshly brewed coffee beans, how her eyes lit up when she laughed her infectious laughter. I remember it all, I remember it well, everything that happened on this very bed.

I need to find my clothes now. Sara’s in the shower and might come out any minute. Where are my clothes? Where did I put them? I think Sara threw them on the couch as she took them off me last night. I see them lying on the desk, sprawled together. I reach out for a piece of cloth. It’s red. As I try to put it on, I feel Sara’s hand hooking the strap. “You look pretty in red, Judy” Sara says and winks. So did Allie, the night I took them off her.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Conch

When I was about 5 years old, I used to play with the kids from the houses opposite my own. ( Not so much play as sit around with them and pretend I had friends!)
It's 13 years later and lots of people have shifted and moved away and I don't know most of my neighbors anymore. However, two of the kids I used to play with still live in my neighborhood.

One used to be a pathological liar who got me into a lot of trouble and made me lose every game I ever played with him because he used to cheat till he won. Now he's doing some fancy course in some fancy college and we happily greet each other whenever we run into each other every six months.

I had a more complicated relationship with the other one. I think I genuinely believed that she was my friend at some point of time because I remember spending a lot of time in her house. She didn't believe in physical sports all that much so we played the "Teacher" game and "Doctor" game with a lot of imaginary students and patients. She got beaten up by her mother a lot, so she was constantly making evil plans on how to get her mother in trouble with her father. I don't remember if I ever had fun with her, but I remember spending a lot of time talking to her about many inconsequential things.

We used to fight a lot. And when I say fight, I mean it quite literally. I remember this one time when we got into a heated argument which led to us trying to pull each other's hairs out. And when someone finally broke us apart and we got away from each other, we started pelting each other with stones. One of the stones she threw missed me and broke a window in my house. I think it's safe to say that my parents were not too happy with the proceedings of that day.

And still, we were "friends". We'd easily forget incidents which caused destruction to public and personal property and would continue to play our banal games because it gave us something to do in the evenings. She was at all my birthday parties (the last I had was when I turned 10) and we spent most holidays like Diwali and Christmas playing at each other's house.

As we grew older, We stopped playing games that involved imaginary people and hence, I saw very little of her. We'd probably visit each other's families over Christmas and Diwali because our mothers would force us to. I'd ask her what she was doing every Diwali when I'd see her, even though I didn't care and knew I would forget within a few days. I think she did the same when she asked me about my life too.

We were never friends and finally, we had stopped pretending otherwise.

Today, her father died.
The news doesn't really bother me much.
It doesn't disturb my day or anything in my life.
But I can hear the sound of the conch that's been reverberating through my house the whole day.