Saturday, 26 February 2011

Before- Dinner-Discussions/ Newsturbation/ Let's change The world: One Debate At A Time.

1. World Cup : At times I remind myself...o yes..that's happening ....somewhere. (I always change the channel when those hideous Pepsi ads air)....

2. Criticize Mamata For rail budget :  That will be  the hot topic till Mr. Mukherjee obliges. For the first time...I am slightly  impressed by Didi :) :) it's the nation where crooks are filling their pockets with gold, leave alone their "home-state"...they are grabbing and taking every penny "home", why pounce on her if she has favoured her home-state? 

3. Libya: headstrong dictator , innocent civilians killed, perfect recipe for news and adda. dictator unaffected, that's besides the point, as long as we show how we "empathize" with all the people out there...... 

4. Abduction Of the DM : 1.He is not wounded/dying ,2. he refuses to spit venom at anyone , says maoists treated him well. 3.Horror !He is going to do the unthinkable: continue his work without a fuss. Big Dilemma only way out..some dry-as-desert discussions about the Govmnt vs Maoists...****sigh****

And They Ask Why I Sleep........

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Daak Naam

Excuse me if any of these happen to be yours. The fun as always is purely unintentional ******innocent face******

Maam : A sheer Product Of laziness. Why didn't you spend a few more seconds to come up with something less common? Suppose You are the father of this girl, you call out this name on a street in Kolkata, at least 4 or 5 girls will come running towards you, from different houses. How does that reflect on your character? Would it have hurt to add a few more syllables? At times when the child grows up both mother and daughter call each other by the same name....confusion spanning generations.

Mampi: When I said "few" more syllables, I did not mean "one".

Tubai/ Buba...Tumpa/Jhumpa...Riya/Piya...etc etc : Just imagining how would i bid farewell to such a person...bye bye bubai? ta ta tubai ? Rhyming is a dangerously addictive game. I am a victim myself. My nickname was agreed upon after rhyming letters with the nick names of my cousin sisters..... they had exhausted all the nice letters..i was left with horrid choices :( :(

Tubri:  I knew a girl who had such a nick name. Adds a whole new dimension to ruffians calling a hot babe "phataka" are the parents doing the honours. What next? "chorki shona school jabe?" .. "rong moshal baba ke cha dao?"

Raja/ Rani: Well... they are not rajas and ranis and their name would haunt them for the rest of their lives if they make a complete mess out of it. parents...take note.

Puchki: Okay agreed she was "puchki" once upon a time, so were you, but spare a thought what if she grows up to be 6ft ??? What would you say then? "amader puchki khuub lomba??" or god forbid if she is of my height.... "amader puchki khub puchki?"..... for once the insurance people are right. Plan ahead.

Puchku/ Puchi/ Puchu/Kochu: awwww  how sweet........ **hicccup**... You are dying ...your son is in office attending a board meeting , you call his secretary and say "puchu ke phone dao...ami maaraa jachhi".... well write it down if you want...puchu will deny his existence .

Add to the list If you want to.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

"Something Special"

By Iris Murdoch. 

(its not a "review"...I don't know big read if you want to)

Normally when I go to BCL I see a lot of people busy reading, taking notes. Have never done that myself, because I am always distracted ( the reason why I read 2 pages in X minutes in my university and 10 pages in x minutes at home) ... So i generally browse , take what I like (but was definitely**DEFINITELY**  not looking for)..and head home....

 Today I was dilly-dallying with a few books when I came across a row of books by Iris Murdoch ... ( yes again I shame-facedly admit, I have never read her works before)... Whenever i see a row of books I get confused...all names merge into one big haze and I pick up hesitated and picked up the thinnest one and started reading, 2 pages...then I had to head for a seat....

Yvonne, a  girl being coaxed to marry a person,who, as she declares is nothing "special", a girl who thought better things might happen...... this was definitely not what she was meant for...her journey through places where she's not supposed to go...and the disillusionment..... (almost reminded me of Araby...) ....and the final , silent, compromise. .. Sam takes Yvonne to a bar where they have a nasty experience and he wants to make it up...and brings her to a felled tree, which to him was "beautiful" and "sad", Sam wants to climb the tree and be like a "pair of birds"...Yvonne sees only the mud, the beetles and is tired of her walk....(I perhaps would have echoed her feelings)... That night she goes home and decides to marry Sam. 

Just saw that someone on the internet ...feels that she did not find "something special" in Sam's tree but found it in Sam. Many have found it to be a story of Virtue winning over vanity. 

 Is it so simple? A girl was dreaming and she wakes up to life... I am sorry ...but ... wasn't it a compromise? Were the silent tears, that of her happiness after finding love?, or was it after making a terrible compromise, almost as if she, in vengeance, contributed to the mess that life had offered her? I feel the latter might be true.. (might). Opinions differ. I have not read her other works , so my views are strictly based on my reading of the story.

 ... .sometimes there is no reason why things don't harmonize...two tunes might be very good but they may not make music together... set in a city which was putrid...stagnant ...pretty much like the lives of it's inhabitants.. the idea of "beauty"  ..."happiness" so different for so many...

I realize I have perhaps given the most mundane synopsis ever....but then how is it that some authors say something in a paragraph, what others take pages to write about.... Yvonne reminded me of another lady whom I cannot forget..Eustacia... and yet the story of Yvonne could be the story of any girl fact it perhaps is....It strikes a chord... ..a strong one.

Is it the best book that I have read? No

Why did I choose to write about it knowing that I might never convey what I felt?

Well, I will never write about books which are so good that I am too scared to even minutely disturb the emotions I have felt while reading them. This one was good, it also intimidated me...but only a little. I choose to write about it now because I know by tomorrow it will be in my "sacred hall of fame" and I will be terrified to go near it and regret every word that I have written so far. 

Excuse me folks. Tonight.

And yes I have picked up another novel by Murdoch.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

My Darling...

(If you think it is about you, well, it is.)

Firstly darling do not call me 
When I am sleeping peacefully
I do not blurt out secrets in sleep
neither do I mumble gracefully

If you have recently broken up
then take a moment I pray
Let off some steam somewhere else
Before you commence your royal bray.

If you want to go shopping
At least ask if I have any money
watching you shop while I am broke
is no fun. Do you realize that honey?

Your status message on facebook
Can be "a job with a huge salary" 
Why not keep it simple darling?
instead of the foreplay-ish "Me  happy".

O and darling.... darling, do remember
my father is not a millionaire
if you owe me a book or anything else 
please return it because  I hate to share!

One last thing my sweetheart
I know you miss me very much 
But sending a forwarded sms every minute
Is not exactly my idea of "being in touch"

Okay my dear now it is time
For you to  have your say ..
On second shut up darling
I am not interested anyway.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Essentials If you Are Appearing For An Exam In India

1. Doiyer Phonta (a curd spot :ya you can laugh): this is what adorns the foreheads of numerous children as they enter the exam hall. It is considered auspicious. The only benefit of topical application of curd that I know of is that it cures dry skin....mine is oily so did not try out this beauty therapy on exam days....(chuckle chuckle).

2. Glucose Er Jol (glucose water): Good old water is never enough for the E-Day. Moms very kindly pack a bottle of glucose water.  It provides extra energy . (which can make them restless, pee more etc etc...but who cares?)

3. Some Dried Flowers: No they are not endowed with magical powers yet they find a place in pencil boxes, pockets and what-not.  everyone is not a phool.... after has God's blessings.. (grinnn)

4. A photograph of a deity:  This is rubbed all over the answer scripts. Why? no idea (no abhishek is not standing beside me to say get-Idea).

5. At least one parent/guardian waiting outside the hall- worrying and panicking about everything that might happen inside. Every martyr needs mourners. A-men!

Why One Can Die On Monday...

I Will Die On Monday Because Thanks To My Newspaper and My TV I will BY then Realize The full Extent of Futility That my Life Has achieved . Reasons?   Read..(I'm Sure you can).

1.Don't  Have a Valentine. You might be single and NOT ready to mingle the rest of the year but on this particular day you just have to have a "valentine", in case you do not ,the leading dailies have conspired to tell you how you can get one, "news" did you ask? oh that's there too...squeezed snugly between VLCC and Keya Seth Ads.

2. Will Not Go For The Promising Offers. I rubbed my eyes in disbelief when i read "5 Kilos Free With Every 5 Kilos: Special Valentine's Day Offer". I thought the government has come up with some unique onion distribution scheme. Then realized it is an ad about weight loss. Uhhhmmm excuse me ...I really want to lose weight but have no great desire to be steamed roasted , beaten, and starved to death. Really sorry. Next Page.

 I mean that woman Keya Seth ....Horrifying ads everywhere..come on man! at least Vandana Luthra looks good....Keya has graduated from gaudy saris to sleeveless salwars and now has moved on to tacky tops....I get scared just by looking at her...Do people really buy stuff that she makes ?? (God hasn't been so kind with my face that I will give Keya a chance to mess with it !)

3. Will Die Without A heart Shaped Locket: another headline .... "You Love your girlfriend, your girlfriend loves jewelry " ........ obviously jewelry on Valentine's Day cannot be anything except a heart shaped locket, which the lady in the ad is wearing.

 If a girl was lucky enough to get married on 14th Feb, I shudder to think what she would be wearing...a heart shaped necklace, a heart shaped bracelet,a heart shaped earring and so on....another thing that really puzzles me.... Why is the heart shape called the "heart" shape?? The thing that I had to draw , the thing that had  auricles and ventricles did not resemble this shape...or did it ??

4.I will Not Buy that Tacky Lakme Lipstick: Naming shades after deities do not make a product less tacky. A show on TV featured this new and of course especial Valentine's Day collection of lipsticks in yucky red colours. One of the names of those shades is "Aphrodite" and others are similarly grand. Excuse me?? Did you really think anyone would overlook that heart on the lipstick cover , which has "LOVE" written all over it?? Names of goddesses cannot save a cheap product with tacky packaging.

5. I will never know what the fuck really happened: They say some old man who was a saint died. Uhhh so? May be some far greater thing happened but till the buzz dies down I will not wiki-it.

Yaah that is it for now...Only good thing is that the english movie channels air some good old rom-com's on this day so one thing to be glad about ! My earliest memory of this day is the scene in DTPH where madhuri buys stuff for herself  because there is no one to get all that for her.....that's cool...But I just finished shopping a month ...well shed copious tears as I leave this earth.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

A Fair Affair ...or Not.

The last time I went To the Kolkata Book Fair I was a school going girl , and the fair was held at Maidan. That was the glorious day I laid my hands on my first Jhumpa Lahiri book ...

After that there was this long gap, I became more and more lazy, a literature course ensured multiple trips to college street so going all the way to a dusty ground just to buy books easily available at any store was not a good idea. That's the brilliant reason i gave myself and stayed at home. The fair was uprooted from Maidan ( a move I support, if Maidan is the lung of Kolkata , makes sense to protect it coz an organ transplant is not likely to be easy in case it dies) . The fair migrated to Salt Lake, I still did not go. This year I did. Today.

Everyday I see the traffic police taking bribes, doing nothing to stop the chaos on the roads ,at times i also feel bad when they have to stand for hours at a stretch in inhuman weather conditions, but that's rare, most of the times I am pretty pissed off with them and ready to curse them, today the traffic police as well as the general police are in my good books and likely to stay there for a few days, hours.....whatever! 

The minute I knew I had to cross the road at science city the petrified hedge-hog within my soul shrieked, every busy morning the science city stop is the mother of chaos. Still I went, and the police were more than helpful , people gathered in groups like school kids and crossed the road with the police ( who i guess knew that people would die in dozens if they had not taken such measures), so one headache gone.

At the fair's entrance there was a lady selling masks...."Swine Flu" popped in my head, but then it was a precaution for dust (yeah like every other place in the city is dust-free).... for a second i thought of buying one to see how i looked in them but then thankfully decided against it.

Now the fair lovers everywhere ...BUT. among the many kinds of people who are the types which irritated the hell out me..... ( sorry for generalizing.....but it's just super fun this way !)

1. Jhola-Kurta--Bankrupt type: They are waaaay too intelligent for anything that is on display on the racks, they might pick up a Saki or Camus only to give their most valuable opinion on it to their friend next to them...... while poor short people (read me) strain their necks to have a look at the racks. They often call someone to ask for a book that is perhaps out of print/ not read/does not exist.These people never NEVER buy what they with great avid interest see and discuss and criticize. To sum up A royal pain in the ......neck.

2. Papa Yeh Lele? type: They suddenly realise they have loads and loads and loads of cash lying around, they have no more outfits to buy this season, so they head straight for the fair with mumma and papa . They lay their hands on every Sheldon, Archer, Twilight thing they can and buy them in dozens while proud mumma's and pappa's think in what pitch they will scream on the phone... "arrre patta hain meri beti ne nah 2000 ke books kharide....bahhhhot interest hain usse books mein ....." ......

3. Long Hair Rockstar Type : They have a guitar. They know howto sing. They sing. In the sun. On the Grass. They wear sunglasses with cheap metal rims and think they are looking oh-so-cool. Don't know why. But they Try. Some of them look like hooligans...the book-fair almost becomes a crook-fair.

4. Boi-Mela Dekhte Eshechi type: This is not the Victoria Memorial. Dyakhar kichhu nei. and young boys who are high on  hormones i repeat "dekhar" shottiii "kichu nei".... even the most gorgeous specimens look tired and haggard after the please go to better  places for bird watching. 

A subcategory of this type exists: The happy family.They wake up at 10, wear benarasi saris and blinding salwars head to boi-mela, grace a few stalls with their presence, eat, laugh, shout, say meaningless things, buy a book when they suddenly remember the fair is about that and head home to ask every person they meet on the way "boi-mela gyachen ebar?". 

Another sub-category is  THE gang (read not less than 10 people) of friends who scream, crack jokes, rush here and there....sigh...if only they would do it  all outside the stalls.

5.Couples:  No... the publishers guild don't charge 50 bucks for a cup of coffee, you can sit and chat for hours, for free,......enough said.

PS: I quite enjoyed the visit , have successfully checked out 1/4 of the total no.of stalls...... thanks to crowds, dust and my limited budget...after all there's nothing more painful than seeing racks of books without a penny in the pocket.

Good Night !

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

When The Heart Stops.......................... its a sign... ..that you need surgery.

Since nothing dramatic is happening around me ....and I am tired of putting up lists ...I just rummaged through a storage space that houses a variety of useless memory... here is an experience...

Warning: My post is not trivializing the issue, still  the super sensitive people who can't sleep without kissing their mom good-night might think twice before reading it.

Event: My mom's bypass surgery, when I was in class 10. There were tense moments for sure ,  the experience of waiting, while someone in the family is being operated on, is a terrible one. You cannot do anything and you are completely helpless. Pretty much my situation.  ( I am just ensuring a sensitive beginning.... relax... this is not a tear jerker of a post)

Seeing Ma being wheeled into the OT was overwhelmingly horrible. At that moment there is one God, it's the surgeon. The surgery would take quite a number of hours so I took a book because I did not want to worry myself sick. One person per family in the hospital is good statistics.

Reading is much better way to pass time in the waiting room than what I have seen people indulge in.. they are 

1.talking about the day's headlines 

2. talking about the patient's lifestyle/family/survival chances  

3. This is by far the worst- discussing other similar operations gone wrong ( heyylooo!! you are here to boost the morale of the poor family members . remember?? )

Now , my friends, Bypass is no hysterectomy or appendicitis. It is the queen of surgeries, an open heart surgery , which roughly translates to : more relatives dropping by, more anxious phone calls, and a separate waiting room with VERY comfortable sofas. I busied myself with my books in the waiting room, while my father was engaged in doing what he does best in tense situations: biting nails and pacing furiously till everyone else except him feels giddy.

Next some strangers entered in, what I viewed, as our exclusive waiting room. Apparently there are other queen surgeries , by virtue of which, this waiting room is open to such families. But nevertheless I felt cheated by this intrusion , my reading was interrupted rudely by the usual anxious hysterical chatter. I marched out to grab my first veg sandwich of the day, from the hospital canteen (there were MANY more to come).

Then gradually my relatives started to arrive, let's forget names and stick to descriptions, a brother came,whom I just cannot tolerate but had to be civil because he had arranged for some blood donors, next was a doctor in my family, who is a brilliant doc , is practical , conniving, funny and mad as you shall  soon find out ( you should  have guessed , I like him...a rare species of relatives), 

well, so the doc ordered me and my bro to go and get some guavas ! ( " jah toh ...baire theke peyara niye aaay" was what he said calmly).... I was stumped ! But then If I can eat one veg sandwich after another while  50% of my mom's body is being cut open , then he can surely want guavas. 

Hours passed, suddenly the phone rang,  it was from the OT, a nurse had called to say that the surgery was proceeding fine. I was terribly amused , and questions popped up in my head : 1. Who is looking after my mom if the nurses are making phone calls? 2. Wasn't this just like a news update? Few hours later there was another call to inform us that the surgery was over and my mother was being transferred to the I.C.C.U.

My dad went and saw my mom, then it was my turn. I entered the I.C.C.U, and saw Neil Armstrong... Not one , not two but many, all around me,...lying in beds,... I mean if you have been to an know what I am talking about, patients lying on beds covered from head to toe, wearing some weird masks over their head, so many nozzles through their nose and mouth, gigantic cylinders around the bed and a zillion IV needles poking the arms. 

It was horrifying, I looked quite lost because everyone looked similar from a distance and I was too scared to go near any of them. A nurse helped me, took me to my mom. At that point, it sunk in, this was serious business, I thought- may be this was it. Do people return from this state? She never looked so vulnerable before. I left. As soon as I could.

Okay, the reign over the exclusive waiting area was over and we were back to the general waiting area but my father was nowhere to be seen. Then I got to know he was talking to the surgeon.  I thought, "he'll be back in a few minutes". I was wrong, he came back after an hour, smiling.'s the conversation that followed: 

me: "what were you doing for so long?"

dad: "asking him about the surgery"

me: "uhhh ...okay, but  what took so long?"

dad ( highly animated) : "he was explaining-with drawings- he also had this heart model on the table-with that he explained-very interesting-I asked lot of questions-I had coffee-------"

Realizing that he had enjoyed an hour-long audio-visual GK class....I asked "why did you bore him right after he performed a 5 hour surgery?"

He gave me some "looks" and walked away.    

Yaah , That was all. Mom living, All good, Over and Out. :D