Sunday, 17 February 2013

Jumping Jack

Remember that scene from Salaam Namaste where a very pregnant Preity Zinta craves a dessert and Saif gets it for her. I too have a craving but not for a dessert. For my city.

My roomie left for the weekend, her home is just a 4-hour journey by train. To mock my pain, God sent a close pal from Kolkata to this city during the weekend, and we met just before she boarded the flight to Kolkata and I took an auto back to my PG.

In other news, I made the blunder of watching Contagion on a Saturday afternoon. Film's nice and all but you don't want to spend your Saturday watching doctors cutting open the top of Gweneth Paltrow's head and you definitely don't want to watch Kate Winslet dying of some disease before you grasp what exactly she's doing in the film. hmm but worth a watch. Watch it okay? good.

I have also brought home a number of books from the World Book Fair knowing quite well that there are several in my cupboard still waiting to be read and also knowing quite well that I generally don't read beyond 2-5 pages from Monday to Friday. On weekends either I am reading a manuscript with terror in my heart ... afraid that I will let go of some stupid typo and discover it at a stage when it can't be rescued. My career, chosen after much deliberation and an effort to combine what I love with a job that pays me enough so I don't have to beg... has left me with very little time to do what I love. Read. I read at office but all those books just staring at me with their mournful eyes in my cupboard--I ignore. Quite sad.

I joined an aerobics class. While some friends (so-called friends) will jump to the conclusion that this is a sincere effort to reduce the waistline and boost my chances of getting a life-partner, let me tell you it is a very reluctant effort to save my neck from collapsing after I torture it for more than 10-12 hours a day by doing nothing except sitting, staring at the screen or lying down and staring the screen.  Huge probability of me developing adventitious roots or a tail - depends on what you prefer-Botany or Zoology.

The classes are very very entertaining. There are two instructors. Apes. Long hair with a "spring" in their step. They have only one motto in life -- to make people jump. SO I jump. Which would have been fine if I didn't have to bother about the view but they have very thoughtfully placed wall-to-wall mirrors so that we can see ourselves jump. Nice. Thankfully others in the class are -- an overweight aunty, a sweet punjabi woman and my roomie who does not have bones and is slim.

When I am sick and tired of looking at myself, and seeing every ounce of fat bouncing up and down in an effort to reach the firmament and be a part of some royal constellation of fat globules shining in the sky (if it sounds vulgar then thank your stars that you don't actually have to see it!) , I look at others and seeing them in the same plight I feel comforted.  And the icing on the cake is the music. Once while walking back home my roomie was singing this song...weird lyrics by a gentleman called Honey Singh (the nurse had looked at him in the delivery room and said "Honey Sing...") ... okay so I asked her what song this was and she gave a hopeless gasp and replied that few minutes ago we were jumping to that song... OKAY, equally incredulous I countered that what we jumped to were more akin to bongo drums and whatever it was there were no lyrics involved. The discussion ended. We were tired and hungry. Phew.

Oh did you know that shahi paneer in this part of the world is RED and not WHITE?

Okay bye.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

A couple of months in this city and I have realized Home is where the fart is. You won't understand if you stay alone and enjoy the pleasure of farting as and when you like.

No I am not going to continue on that gross note.  So ...


They continue to entertain. 

At about 9.40 am. I am listening to music and trying my best to ignore the blast of cold air that's freezing my face. When...

Autowalla: Sholay picture dekhi hain?

Me: haan kyu?

Autowalla: Us mein double role kiska hain?

Me: kya? ... silence ... pata nahin.

Autowalla:  Sikke ka. (loud guffaw)  kisiko malum nahi...chahe jisko bhi pucho.

Who needs earphones...


After demanding a recital of my daily diet my mother hands over the phone to my father, who, upon hearing that my roomie is a cleanliness freak asks me whether she is having any problems adjusting with me. I had to remind him whose father he is. (Scandalizing!)


Was going okay till I found a photo on my desk early one morning. A photo from a book launch. There were  5 people in the photo including me and the 4 humans apart from me occupied 50 per cent of the photo-space, rest of it was my territory. If all this fat were Helium, you'd see me as a gloriously inflated gas balloon waving at you from the Delhi-sky. 


The funny thing is my roomie prefers to have ice-cream in winter as they don't melt. The not-so-funny thing is that I fall for that logic and hop down the stairs to get chocolate ice-cream at 9pm from the guy right across the street who by the way also sells mumphali. Huh.


The fact that you may reach home and find that there's no water and that people will just say that and continue doing whatever they were doing calmly was not what I had ever imagined. Anyway so far I have been quite lucky. Have edible food, adequate space and a gem of a room-mate.

No this place is not home. I miss my friends, I miss those silent moments browsing books,  the loud chuckles in the restaurants and cafes, and debating for 15 minutes with Baba about who should make the evening tea. 

Yes the place is cold, commercial, rape-capital and whatever else you want to say  and yes every time I walk down a road alone I imagine the worst whenever a bike approaches but---I don't know at which precise moment it started---there's a tiny part of me that feels bad when someone criticizes the city. That does not mean that I'm not spending at least a few moments every single day planning my next visit to Kolkata. Home.