Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I think… to retract or not?

I think… I am going to break my alcohol fast.

A quick prologue: I promised Her many months ago that I wouldn’t touch alcohol. Not at least till someday I sat across someone I could trust with my life and more [uggg, I know I know. Sounds terribly prissy-polly-potty Victoria Holt-ish – I don’t quite mean it like THAT that… butttt…]. BUT. T’was such a harsh and binding decision because the last time I drank, t’was with a boorish drunk bastard who had no respect for my being. An old friend [ha ha ha] who over the years has blamed his bordering-on-bad-behaviour unfazed and unfailingly on the bitch-in-the-bottle. That night he overstepped boundaries, and somehow I felt guilty.

Anyhow. Arse-foragers apart, it also seemed right. Enough of bad boys and booze forabit I thought.

However, something tells me I’m going to be part of things in the near future that I’m not going to want to remember the next morning. [YOU-who-knows-what-I’m-talking-about, you’d better farkin’ be sure about this] So. I shall consult with Her, request a sabbatical from my fast, and get a bit wasted in the next ten days. After that I’ll be back to myself [With a clear conscience, and a badarsed hangover no doubt].

I pretty-polly-please promise.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Some dams are breaking

A cloud burst seems imminent.

The gypsy girl must find her feet again before she gets swept away. After months of holding the fort, of laughter and gaiety, of patting it all down and saying it doesn’t matter, she’s slowly beginning to sense feeling creep back into her toes.

Reawakened memory, like muscles can be painful.

And all the king’s men couldn’t put humpty back together again.
Ha ha.
Only idiots try to repair eggshells. But some hearts are made of sterner stuff, innit?
Left right
Right left
Left right
So it goes.

How do you divorce your head from unreality?
Simple, just pick up your toes and walk.

Where will gypsy girl’s feet take her this time?
Hold my hand and lead the way Mama.
I’m back on the road
With a head-full of memories, frayed sleeves, and a worn out red skirt.


Perhaps it’s the lack of sleep. Or an imminent journey after four years of no vacation to a part of the world I’d best leave unexplored... Perhaps it’s because Ustad Bismillah Khan passed away, and ma cried for him today.

A shy young beautiful girl lost in unspoken dreams was stringing up orange-yellow marigolds at the main hall in BHU [Banaras Hindu University], in the sun-kissed city of Banaras when Ustad Bismillah Khan walked in and put his shehnai to his lips. That day he changed yet another life with his piercing soulful notes. Thirty-five years later, she still recounts how she hadn’t been able to stop her tears.


Something threatens to break.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Blechy bloody breakfast

Never order off a menu that promises Mughlai, Chinese, Continental and South Indian cuisine.


Especially not when it’s eight in the morning. It’s a Sunday. You haven’t slept and you need a decent bloody breakfast in your stomach.

The idlis [come on! how tough is it to get a steamed rice cake right?] were like something that came out of a careless surgeon’s waste-bin. How’d he get them to smell like that? The sambar stank of last night’s mughlai trimmings… the hairy parts of onion heads and the snipped ends of garlic pods.

The chutney, was gharsley.

There’s nothing lousier than a bad breakfast on a Sun-farkin-day morning. Foul funk feast.

Just puffed on U’s ciggy to get past present foulness. Why don’t I ever remember? I hate the acrid taste of smoke even more.

I want mycornflakes in cold-coffee. NOW. Kick slap kick.

I think I’ll go bake myself a squidgy chocolate cake. And eat it too.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Pink of health [is a shitty title]

I’ve put on weight.

So said the weighing scale at the emergency ward at Moolchand hospital. U had to be rushed there for a rabies injection. A street cat bit him while he was trying to save her from a marauding bastard dog that’d managed to paralyse her hind legs by the time U got to her.

That’s the thanks he got. A nip on the thumb. That’s how cool cats really are.

“how you got eet?”
A buxom Malayalee nurse sways up to him seductively. She’s all sulky and pouty and disinterested. She languidly picks at his sleeve.

U starts telling her about his heroic tale gone awry. But she’s moved on to the next question.
“So, what’s your biznuz?”

U’s wounded. Visibly.
“I work at a theatre company”

“theatre companyaa? What theatre you do?” JAB. Jab.

“Oww. Cats. We perform cats.”

Meanwhile, I step onto an innocuous looking weighing scale. Bad decision. Too late.

“Uuuuuuu, shit. 2½ kgeeeeeeeeees! Farkin’ shit shit shit”

I groan.

U can get very arsey when he wants to prove a point to me. This time he doesn’t plug his ears. Instead he bats his beautiful long-lashed eyes at the malayalee nurse.
“Nurse, what should her correct weight beeee”?”

Nurse gives me a disdainful once-over, asks me my height and then does a gargantuan calculation on all her digits with pouty lips going all over the place. Finally she speaks.

U’s thrilled. “See, the CORRECT weight. Now shut your face and stop whining. Thankeeeeeyooo nurse!” he flutters his lashes at her again.

Correct? Ya right. 2½ kilograms in one month. The dumbbells aren’t helping. Neither are power-walks. I am now officially the ‘correct weight’ for my touching-5-feet-8-inches. But I feel like a large jelly schooner. Everything feels like it’s jiggling.

Mum delivers her verdict with glee “You look less cadaverous”.

Something’s wrong. I just feel like eating all the time. All. The. Time.

Giant moist oozy brownie and two chicken rolls after lunch go straight to the hips.

So today I wore my relatively large pink t-shirt matched up with a paparazzi-pink bag and pink- beaded-over-sized-from-Goa slippers.

Bag and T-shirt can do much for a jelly belly, what do over-sized pink slippers do for a growing self?


Magic carpet ride on pink clouds with my hand in Huru’s.

I like the feel of my Goa slippers on my feet. They are uncomfortable. They make me want to walk, move… never stop.

So here’s to imminent journeys… magical we hope. With 2 ½ kgs of excess baggage.
[bye bye bikini]

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Divine incest

Somewhere in a deep dark subliminal womb a tiny warm egg shuddered as She swept it over with an intense loving inward gaze. It crackled and it wobbled and it dithered to life. A great big stirring mind felt a terrible heaving pull at its seams. Ripping. Tearing. Parting ways.

Two thoughts arose from the splitting of one.

Born. Cast out. Thrown into Life. Halfway across the globe in time.

Two halves of the same brain. Two strangers in flesh and blood. Two mothers two fathers two siblings or so. Something like Slapstick or lonesome no more.

The boy left brained, the girl right brained.
Or vice versa, as it seemed.
Perhaps they have equal parts of both.
Perhaps she has less of more
And he, more of less.
Perhaps together, they’d be perfect.

Don’t know. Can’t say. Don’t know.

Never will.

Perhaps they’re meant for another lifetime
When the moment is etched and truly destined
Where the grass is green, the roses red
No cyanide skies
Just a complete head.

And then we’ll go back to complete, content, inert roundness. The egg. The big O – Zero.
Blessed by the Moon, back to our rightful place – fused as one in Her sublime womb.

But she says thank you. It’s heartfelt. For a moment that was beautiful but brief.
With grace she bows out though her head will explode
We’ll dance another day, I’ve got sand in my toes

The stars will shine for her once more in a manic magic Moon-licked sky.
Because. Simply. She is loved, she knows.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

A note to play me by, and all that jazz

X called me last night. All the way from Timbuktu, displaced by several lat.s and long.s of distance and time.

X was all choked up and I nearly jumped through the phone to hold him and hug him tight. My arms, frail though they be, can hold a man thrice my size and not let him buckle [fark off He-Man]. So I discovered last night.

“H. Hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!”

My heart is racing, thumping, jumping.

“H, babe, I’ve done the craziest thing ever H, I don’t know what I’m going to do. Hhhhh”

Okaaay. Cough it up man. I’m going crazy here. But I wait patiently. My voice does not betray concern, fear, anxiety or anything else that I’m feeling right then.

Has he killed someone? Has he hurt someone? Has someone hurt him? Damn. Damn. Damn.

“Hhhhh” he moans on.

Get on with it fucker.

“Ok. Babe, you can’t tell anyone about this. Not just yet.”

Who will I tell X? And how can I tell if you don’t open your bloody mouth?

“H, I’m in love. And she’s asked me to marry her. N’s asked me to marry her H. Man I’m so fucking madly, badly, hopelessly in love and I can’t tell a fucking soul about it. You’re the only one I can talk to H. I’m so happy H, I don’t know what to do. I’m roaming the streets of Timbuktu like a deranged destitute… I don’t know where to go. She’s travelling. Hhhhhhh and I’ve Said YES, and suddenly I feel like I don’t have a home, till I’m with her”.

X is in Love. Hmm.

And he’s said Yes.

And I’m the only one he can tell? Hmmm. I thought we didn’t get each other. I thought there were too many funda-farkin’-mental differences between us… I thought … Never mind. Focus.

X moons on “28 years of my life, H, 28 years of a fucked-up childhood, worse adolescence and a slew of bad whoring later-years have led up to this moment… and everything’s worth it. Just for this one moment! I’m sunk. So happily shamelessly, unabashedly sunk. She’s got my number H, and she’s completely ripped me.”

I’ve not seen [technically, heard] him like this ever. He sounds… not like himself.

“You know H, she’s older than me. But she’s so wonderfully simple and childlike. She gets me like no one else. She just knows what I’m like inside. She doesn’t care that I’m the most anal screwed-up bastard on earth… she just loves me. My little elf N, she loves me and she wants me. Like no other woman’s ever wanted me. H, I’m so happy!”

I can tell X is really happy.

I blink. Something’s stinging my eyes.

“Bastard, you’d better stop screwing around now, or I’ll pickle your testicles in formaldehyde.”

I dispense my older-woman [slightly older, but in-this-situation-vehemently-older] advice to him with steely gritty arse-busting toughness, but inside I’m all melted up. It must be love. The way he describes it. It. Must. Be. Love.

“No more flirting with random blondes in sleazy bars. No brunettes either, or Poles, or Japs, or hot Canadians…” I shut up. The list could actually go on, and on and on… and I’m beginning to sound like an ass.

“Bastard, I mean it.” I say one last time, so he knows I mean serious business.

X trips up on himself “H, I swear babe. I swear… I’ve been the biggest whoring bastard ever, but this time. Man, this time, is like no other time ever. I promise H, I promise. N is like no other woman I’ve known”.

I smile, and sniffle and give him a big hug.

“I’m so so so happy for you X.”

“Thanks H, I knew you would be. Listen, I have to go now. Bye. I love you.”

I love you too X. I hope you’re happy this time. Truly.

For HB-Kira [I hope I've used it correctly]

Okaaaayyyy. I’ve been tagged by my dear HB [HB, what does Kira mean? I'm assuming it's a term of endearment, so...] and, I have a very embarrassing confession to make:

I don’t know what tagging means.

There. So I’ve said it.

Somebody, please. Answer me. If I’m going to be a blog-hick, then I might as well do it wholeheartedly. What is a tag? What does it imply?

And because it’s HB, I’m just going to trudge along and try to do what he and the others have done.

But. BUT.

This is a tough one.

One book that changed your life:

Many, at many points in my life. So many it’s hard to say. Writers who’ve affected me are Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Roddy Doyle, Shakespeare, Amrita Pritam and err… damn there are so many!

One book you have read more than once:

Paddy Clarke Ha ha ha, Much Ado About Nothing, Macbeth, English August… ya da ya da ya da…

One book you would want on a desert island:

Aghora I, II, II

One book that made you laugh:

Everything by PG Wodehouse, My evergreen love – Roddy Doyle, Spike Milligan, Stephen Fry [but he’s overrated], Alice In Wonderland, Ogden Nash, Much Ado About Nothing [that’s the way I want to fall in love…]

I am really beginning to get irritated with this one-book business. Poopy.

One book that made you cry:

Karoo by Steve Tesich, My evergreen love – Roddy Doyle [don’t even bother to ask anymore!], Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and many other books that I’ve read…

Damn. This is so unfair.

One book you wish had been written:

Roddy’s next book, Marquez’s next book…

One book you wish had never been written:


One book you are currently reading:


One book you have been meaning to read:

So so so many…


This was a most unsatisfactory list. Hmmm. I think I'll have to keep coming back and editing this defeatist list.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Hi Bloggy, my hips don’t lie

Nice song. Shakira, hot girl, can sing and dance too. Wah.

Which brings me to – Indian men. Can’t dance. Not to get laid. Not for anything. Can’t dance period. I suddenly hate going on dates with Indian boys. And I haven’t been on dates with non-Indian boys. So there. Basically, after seeing this video, I’m upset that I don’t get to show, EVER, how honest-to-God truthful my hips really are. Damn. Indian men. Need. Dance classes.


okay, so shoot me, I just saw this video for the first time yesterday, and I've been told right now it's an ancient stinking old song. So shoot me.

A few good men

Unrhymed and metreless

Three good people sit down to a drink.
Two beers and a fresh lime, sugar on the side.
Three wonderful people, brimful of goodness and charm
discussing mundane things, till the conversation takes an unpredictable turn.
An evening of light nothingness becomes loaded with God.
Three good people, each personally acquainted with the Lord.

They’re all heaving under the burden of being truly nice.
“What you say has merit
But personally, I think you’re talking shite.”

Spiderman has it figured like the formula for love.
Mary’s telling silent rosary, as blasphemy threatens to murder the dove.
Attila’s grand niece [and grand she is, she believes]
decides that greasy nachos with sour cream, chicken and refried beans will make her fat.
They say she has a food disorder.
Fark ‘em she thinks. I have a clean heart.

Three good people come away after a drink
Two beers and a fresh lime, sugar on the side.
Oblivious that Heaven and Earth hung thinly that night
Over a round table at Ruby Tuesday, threatened by an unspoken fight.

But niceness is a virtue so pretty and fine
They’re back in their houses, peacefully, after holy nachos and wine
Secretly of course, now each is a confirmed fool in the others’ minds.

Monday, August 07, 2006

A rush of blood to the head

I swing through the door, slightly nervous. Half expectant. Half wishing that I could run away and not think about what it could do for me, as I battle with myself over how desperately I think need it.

It’s always like this, isn’t it?

I enter. No one’s noticed. It doesn’t matter. As long as he-who-I-seek is here... I look around for a few panic-stricken moments across a roomful of unfamiliar faces. I hope he hasn’t left this place. I should have given him my number. Damn.

Just as I’m about to turn around to leave, I see him. He sees me. His eyes light up as do mine. And immediately, he scans my face for signs of any change since we last met.

He wants to know why I haven’t visited in such a long time. I tell him shyly that I’ve left my job; that I have my own office now, somewhere else. Then in a moment of unnecessary intimacy I tell him that now I have to make these trips halfway across the city especially for him. Perhaps I’m doing this to impress S, my visiting friend from Patel-town, who I’ve dragged along.

He smiles at me sweetly in response and then without another word he reaches out and touches my hair tenderly. He softly engages his fingers, brushing gentle tips on my scalp, asking a million questions with one little touch.

Sartaj. The man who has the longest affair yet with my tresses. The only person I’ve met who understands and appreciates the texture, weight, colour, and exact measure of straightness of my hair. The only person yet who knows how to tame it with the slightest touch of the razor. The only one who knows how to make my hair respond to a cut, and not misbehave even forty thousand washes down.

My friend S and I settle back for the full treatment. Sartaj is very finicky. He doesn’t care if you’ve scrubbed your scalp with acid that very morning, but he will not cut if you don’t get a shampoo right then and there.

Now S and I go back a long way. All the way to school. She’s actually my sibling’s classmate, but over the years we’ve become close. S, The Sibling and I have spent all our growing years scoffing at girls who went to beauty salons at the burst of a pimple. We’ve prided ourselves in being Virginia-Beauvoir daughters [well before we knew who they were] – self-professed amazons who’d rather arm-wrestle boys in class during recess, than sit with the girls and gad about pretty things. Salons were something we avoided like other kids avoided homework.

A decade and more down, I think we’ve changed. Quite. Two young boys set to work on our hair, as we lean back on twin basins side by side. This is soooo going to be fun. Tea or coffee Madam? Nothing. Is the temperature of the water fine? Yes. Please relax madam. Mmm hmmmm. And then everything fades, as our eyes shut. We’re back in school. The gossip factory is in motion. Things emerge from cranial corners that are orgasming on gentle massages. We talk about everything. Career decisions. Exes and post-exes. Things that should have been and things that could have been. We have months of catching up to do. And it’s all happening here and now… very fluidly. Despite our tight-arsed selves we talk and talk and talk over gently gushing water and rhythmic massaging hands, oblivious to other ears.

Shampoo over, big white towels are wrapped around our heads. I feel grand. Exactly like the posh women they show in movies who stick their heads in big towels and driers before ‘the big make-over’.

Just as I’m beginning to really like myself in this turban-from-Durban look, Sartaj bustles over from another customer, and unwraps it. He takes one professional, raised-eyebrow look at my head. I squirm. Freshly washed, uncombed hair looks particularly unflattering and clumpy.

Umm, Sartaj, as always, just give me something that doesn’t need combing or ironing or starching or primping. Low maintenance eh? I laugh nervously. I know he knows the drill… but years of habit force me to verbalise this customary preamble.

Without a word, he whips out his comb, his special, magic razor-clad-tress-kisser and sets to work.
Khach khach.
Snip snip.

I blink.

Soft curls fall like black rain around satin clad shoulders.

When I was younger, I’d feel inexplicably sad to see glistening crescents of my hair lying limply on the floor.

Just as I begin to zone out, thinking of things I should best leave alone, he speaks. Done madam. I snap out of futile fantasy.
Ummm. Hmmm.

Can you go a little shorter at the back? Snip. Snip. Shhhhzzzick.

Good decision madam. I smile. This boy is a born lady-flatterer.

But I think the admiration is mutual. I’m probably his only customer that he doesn’t use the ghastly blow-drier on, that too of his own accord. It's surprising how many
people don't seem to know this, but a hot blow dry is your worst enemy. It dries out your hair, makes it straggly and hay-like and one wash later your hair looks like something that came out of shock-absorbent casing for heavy electricals.

I shake my head. Run my fingers through unfamiliar hair-length. Flip it this way and that way. I turn to S for approval. She’s impressed.

So, who’s it this time?

Steve Tyler.

So what if I can’t sing. At least I look like a rockstar.

Sartaj smiles, and then sets to work on S’s hair.

I construct reactions from quarters close and far. I pull my hair down over my eyes, I push it back. I curl it round my fingers. And I let it go. I spend a few more minutes in front of the mirror.

And then...

I can feel it coming on. But I resist it. Not just yet. Please. No. I continue to smile, this time it’s forced. I turn away, hoping it’ll hold off.

But something familiar has crept right back in. Two moments of a wonderful high… are gone.

I think I’m bored again.


That’s the thing with haircuts. Transient euphoria like a rush of blood to the head. And now it’s all settled back in my toes. Poopy.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Midnight calling

The time display on her phone reads 02:22. Who isn’t sleeping at this hour? At twenty-two minutes past two am? Who’s sent her a thought just now? Hmmm.

If only thoughts came with sender, time and relay center information. If only she knew… with certainty.

Snapdragon Sunday. To wake up on a Sunday morning unrested and unslept is a bummer bitch.

Friday, August 04, 2006


Okay so this is where I talk about myself indulgently.

What are the odds?

No truly, what are the bleeding odds that you have a string of young admirers that you didn’t even know about? [okaaaaay maybe not a string… just one’s good eeeenuffff] Just when you were beginning to think that you’d reached that point when people of the opposite sex just seem to see you as this gangling, funny, androgynous, arsey girl-woman, and you begin to believe that there’s no hope for you, because every other girl half your farkin' age seems to know how to play her sexuality, and you’re such a frump in comparison… just then, little things come your way and tell you… you’re not so hopeless.

A week ago, my work-partner U, and I shot a tiny little promotional film at a hip B-School campus. Well U directed, and I hung around making sure everything went right, from approving shots, to pulling up lazy light boys and sorting occasional flare-ups and making sure everybody was sufficiently fed etc… basically I was the on-location production pimp.

Part of my job was also to make sure we had a healthy circulation of college kids on camera, so a large chunk of my time was taken up in walking into classrooms, libraries, the cafeteria etc… surveying the said territory like a feudal lord and picking out faces. Man, did I feel like a total leery-eyed dominatrix doing that. “You you and you…Outside. Now.” [zzzztachhh *cracking whip*]

Some of them were really quite cute. But then, when there are a few years short of a decade between you and the boys, you don’t pay attention. In fact I was quite sure they hated me, completely and passionately for the way I ordered them about haughtily.

Then on the last day this sweet young black-t-shirt-wearing [black t-shirts just do it for me man!] I’m-a-rocker-stud-boy came and took my number. But I dismissed it immediately. He had been shot extensively and he probably wanted a copy of the film. The boy, VV, hung with us right to the end. He even asked me about my docu [how did he know?]. Anyway, all things done we wrapped up and came away.

Then yesterday, the client called me to tell me how they’ve all loved the film. The director, the faculty and the students. After a bit of a pause she said, VV’s been asking about you. He wanted to know when you’re coming to the college. He wants to know how you’re doing. He’s hoping you’ll be here in person to screen the film. He looked kind of wistful, she said. Then she added, the boy is besotted, H. And I could picture her smiling into the phone as she said this. I was.


Made me feel nice and mushy warm gooey and it also made me sad.

Crushes are devastating, especially if you’re the crushed. It takes me back to the three biggest crushes of my life. S, S & B. Those were three completely life-defining phases in my life. My S-1 days, my B days and my S-2 days. Everything I did and thought was coloured by my undying adulation for the crushee-of-the-moment.

The kind of bittersweet pain you feel is so intense. Perfection perfected, up on a pedestal, in a way that no relationship can ever match. Swinging madly and gladly between the unbelievable joy of feeling so light and happy and sunny-bright-high; and the deep sorrow of being perennially unnoticed.

If only.
If only really. Truly. Madly.



He’ll get over it. I did each time.