Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Last Christmas

Last year on Christmas Eve, we were at J’s house, and that was the first time we heard the news that S would probably get married. There was the French-Loaf-cake and the candles that wouldn’t stop burning. Now, a year later, S is married but is in Kolkata, I am in the capital thinking of amazing ways to avoid getting stuck with an ostentatious Bengali family on a picnic where little that matters and little that will make sense will be discussed. What would I like to do? Of course be in my city, with both of them, have a rocking time roaming around somewhere, quiet fun lunch, loads of coffee and gossip. But that’s not happening. A career is what should be happening. But even over that a big question mark looms. Sigh.

Having spent almost a month in this amazing city, I don’t know what I feel. The opportunities here are unmistakable. There is the promise of a career, independence, warm people (some at least!) but at the end of the day it’s not home. But then without a career, even home ceases to be home. It becomes a cauldron of unfulfilled expectations and frustrated aspirations. One just has to move out and suffer, or stay and suffer. Since if you stay you’ll have more leisure, the suffering is more acute and prolonged. But when you are here, submerged in a million worries--- job,house,rent,food,safety---it is easy to forget the pain. During the day of course. At night it’s a different story. The pillows hear the saddest thoughts. Faces of parents, worries, and the pangs of separation. Separation from parents who nagged, from the room inhabited for years, separation from friends, from the streets, sights, sounds and smells that meant ‘home’.

Anyway, Christmas was spent rather happily. Thirty minutes of standing in the balcony and staring at trees, a park and a lethargic security guard, talking with friends who were having their own adventure in Park Street (read lost phones, police stations etc), huge mug of coffee, bread eggs, a book, and a blanket. Who needs Santa!

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Times of Rajdhani

Going for an interview can be pretty nerve-wracking but not when you find they have a dog... who enjoys being petted.(His name was Fluffinder) :)

The magic word while dealing with autowallahs is confidence... they can smell fear... so when they ask for 80 and you plan on paying 60, the answer is a super confident :
 "80 KYUUUUUU? 60 mein jaatein hain roz... ."
No batting eyelids, no shaky voice. Act as if there's a fleet of BMW's waiting for you and you are doing him a HUGE favour by choosing this mode of transport. (Don't be foolish enough to try this after dark, when you are stranded with limited transport options! )

Also the metro here is disconcerting, intimidating but not frightening... if you can read that is... everything is clearly labelled, so don't go asking for info from suspicious looking stupid people who will give you the wrong info very confidently, instead if you really want to ask... ask young student-like fellows... they know their stuff and are usually helpful. The first compartment is reserved for ladies and be prepared to get elbowed more in that compartment. Somehow ladies in the ladies compartment feel that now since they are in familiar territory they can poke around... it's the familiarity between lovers who make a pashbaalish out of each other's well-endowed legs. And the ladies are fun to watch, there are aunties dressed as 18-year-olds, there are office going well-groomed ones who eat cream-cracker biscuits and touch up their makeup, and there are kids... I shall stop right there.


You know God is kind when you expect to be bossed around at work and instead you are blessed with extremely nice seniors.

I think people in this city have their own warehouse where they dump their winter clothes in summer... where else will one keep all this junk? Don't ask me about colder countries... I have no clue how they manage.

And staying at a relative's place can be quite entertaining...from feeding crows on auspicious days, to offering water to the's a nice live show. I still haven't had to face the PG drama and though things are not exactly as home, at times you gotta be thankful that you don't have to worry about a nice meal when you get back and that someone will care enough to buy a Corex syrup when you have a cough. I shall enjoy this luxury while it lasts.

And now the blanket beckons.

Good Night!