Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Dreaded conclusion: One year

Is up. Today. Right now.
"You had your chance gorgeous.
And you lost it"
Is what I'd like to say. Nonchalantly, even.
But I sit here writing bad bad bad
terrible poetry
That doesn't really qualify, but I'll call it that because I'm vain
And masochistic.
With one eye on the horizon
And the other cocked
On this dumb ether-page
Breaking lines and words at random will [in the glorious name of Love]
Like a sentimental senile farting horse.
While you're probably a million memories ahead
Well beyond the horizon
Far into somewhere much better.

And just when you thought it was over
[Not that you'll ever read this
Much less think about it
But being The Poet and all
With the license to do such things]
I have a few more words yet
To spend recklessly
And artlessly upon you.
To say,
Good luck.
You're probably better off, wherever you are
Kissing, embracing, warming [take your fickle fancy's pick]
A more worthy throat
Beloved heart breaker
My dear gorgeous little lost red scarf.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Pink teeth

Last night I had a dream about my journalism teacher from way back during post-grad – a sort-of-attractive [if pink teeth and grey gums qualify], hyperactive lunatic who’d tear up our assignments dramatically with predictable regularity and call us [a class of 40 women] ‘kutreya’ [marathi for ‘dogs’] affectionately. For some reason he also had this particularly unattractive habit of lying to us about everything he could lie about from his mother [who he once claimed was a skanky, evil-tempered, penniless Goan fisherwoman] to his house in Goa [which he claimed was an elegant bungalow on a street named after his maternal grandfather] to his still-undetermined sexuality – all of which, strangely enough, gave him this exciting edge in our collective imagination. Which, when given a bit of thought to, is ridiculous because it isn’t often that one expresses in one’s wish list for the Ideal Man a lying, pink-toothed, grey-gummed, vile-tempered mouthy monster.

Anyhow, so in the dream he read my blog, sneered at me and promptly jumped into my cupboard in my nice-clothes section, stuck his thumb in his mouth, curled up amidst my nice clothes and went off to sleep. With his glasses on.

And then, I couldn’t get him out.

While I didn’t really mind it [because my nice clothes aren’t all that terribly nice and my cupboard’s in a perennial mess] it just sort of seemed embarrassing, because all the magazines and newspapers he writes for were looking for him as were thronging hordes of women [ex and present students], and, here’s the frustrating part – I wasn’t allowed to tell them where he was.

I couldn’t quite get a handle on this dream. So I thought I’d offer it up here, for deconstruction[s].

Oh and, don’t ask relevant questions like:
1.) Why did they [newspapers, magazines, students (ex and present)] come to you, if they didn’t know where he was?
2.) How’d he know about your blog? In fact why was he even interested in it?
3.) Etc.

Monday, February 12, 2007

For JR – you’re beautiful & you’ll always be

My Myers Briggs test indicates that I’m painfully introverted.

True. It also indicates a whole bunch of other uncomfortable nonsense about several other unmentionable traits. Bollocks. I’ll go with introvert. I’ll go only as far as that.

But. This post isn’t about my self-absorbed self-venerating and obviously captivating opinion about my self. Not entirely. It is about a beautiful girl I once knew. Who changed my life for whatever it’s worth.

As a rule, thanks mostly to my painful awkwardness in any given social [even quasi-social-professional] situation I tend to sweepingly dislike all advertising professionals. As a tribe. Blanket. No concessions. They are ALL self-idolising, opinionated, loud, pompous, stereotypically [this is where I start sputtering and frothing prettily] no-substance scum of the media industry in my tiny but defining model-for-the-WGS-84 world. In other words, nutshell-ed, they are my favourite THEY-THEM, universally, unconditionally and eminently blameable for all the world’s pissiness.

But this post isn’t even about them. It’s about this girl. And she happened to be an Accounts Executive at a leading advertising agency in India.

Things were terrible for me those days to put it mildly – shit flew around my head like frisky rain clouds on a mountainside. I was on one of those self-shattering inward rampages that tend to burst several billion rbcs and choke up a few arteries. To make matters worse, I found myself pushed into taking a brief for a corporate film – a crap spoof on a crap Bollywood film to make a song-and-dance about some pointless product. Now. There’s only one thing worse than taking a brief for a flimsy film from a crotchety client – taking the brief from the crotchety client’s cocky no-substance bollixy advertising account rep.

And that’s what I mentally set myself up for when I was forced to meet with JR. I was fashionably late for the meeting. So what if you’re the ass[substitute with client’s preferred genitalia]-for-the-taking in the whole scheme of things? So what if you’re being paid to show unconditional reverence apart from and in addition to excellence-in-service to the pimp and his sugar-mama? So what? So farkin’ what, haanh?! Attitude. A ho’s gotta have attitude.

So I walked in, all 5 feet 8 inches of well-studied at-tuh-tood covered in ice tip-to-toe.

And then she walked in, beautiful, graceful, charming, polite and shy – all 5 feet 9 inches of her. She brought along two cups of steaming hot coffee for us. And I was pacified. For good.

She showed up on time to watch auditions.
She shyly accepted humble lunch invitations at our office.
She picked me up and dropped me for meetings with the client.
She never once let on that she was hassled.
She was always polite.
Always helpful.
Always charming.
Always smiling.

We even discovered common friends from Calcutta, who were part of the happiest memories of my childhood.

She was like an oasis in the varmint-infested crap-festooned world I was living and breathing in. It was a pleasure to work with her. A reaffirmation of sorts – that you don’t need to be a raging bitch-on-speed to get past the world. You can be shy and honest and vulnerable, and yet not have people walk all over you.

Amid the fuming towers of my arid mental shitscape it was a sign – that things would be on the mend soon. The seductive imminence of ‘something good to come’.

We were one [I’d like to believe now] meeting short of a girlie night out on the town; a post work, vodka-drenched-bloodies tossing, gossip sharing I-like-you night out that often goes into the making of fond friends.

And then my colleague ASB texted me, on the 13th of Feb. Early in the morning. Not nearly one month since I had first met her.

“J R is dead” appended with an exclamation mark.

It stung. His crude words. His crass expression. The cheap exclamation mark. Nauseous. Fuck you ASB. Fuck you. You’re an incontrovertible arse. And you always will be. And it’s taken me one year to say this to you ASB. You’re an A R S E. Whole.

Dispassionate little newspaper article. Tripping over words.
Three people.
Girl from advertising agency.
No.Car caught fire.
That day, something just gave up in my head. Bits and pieces folded up and left. One. By one. By one. The billion and some rbcs lay down and died. Arteries curled up and the rampage became a slow death march to a grave for all things hopeless.

Several happy endings flushed down to the bowels of deep dark nothing by something seemingly unrelated. Like the stone that launches an avalanche, the last straw that unbalances the cart, the final call for curtains-down. And I could go on, spurred by my own sickly sense of the tragic poignancy of being unravelled. Completely.

Depression can go no lower, can it? And it didn’t.

Sometimes, from the depth of deep down below, the memory of a smile and a Mother’s constant love can be all you need by way of faith. That all will be well.

That dignity too, can be practised like a martial art.

And some friendships, though they might never have been in here and now, can come back from beyond forever and save your soul. Gently.


For whatever little it’s worth… thank you.
You’re remembered. And you always will be.
You’re appreciated. And you always will be.
You’re beautiful. And you always will be.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Year of the Pig

Right-brain-of-H [clearing throat]: “So.”

Left-brain-of-H: “Huh? Said something idiot?”

Right-brain-of-H: “So. It’s the Chinese New Year. 9th Feb to 25th Feb.”

Left-brain-of-H: “So?”

Right-brain-of-H: “Year of the Pig”.

Left-brain-of-H: “SO?”

Right-brain-of-H: “Nothing. Just reminding you”

Left-brain-of-H [sharply]: “Why?”

Right-brain-of-H: “Nothing, really, it’s just that it’s the Chinese New Year…”

Left-brain-of-H: “Yes. I got that bit. Go ON [say it, I dare you. Say it…]”

Right-brain-of-H [smirking]: “And… ummm… As you’re [no doubt] aware this is when people from this part of the world take leave in that part of the world and come home, back to this part of the world…“

Left-brain-of-H: “So? SO what? Haanh? So farkin’ what?”

Right-brain-of-H: “Nope. Nothing. Just thought you’d be interested… And maybe… you know…”.

Left-brain-of-H [viciously]: “Maybe what?? HANH? You pile of shit! Why do you exist? You’re such colossal waste, aren’t you? Face it. You have no sense of shame, or dignity, do you?”

Right-brain-of-H [coolly]: “Many pertinent questions princess. Ha. Joined as we are, at the hip and all, maybe you’d know?”

Left-brain-of-H [sputtering]: “Shut up. Shut UP. SHUT UP SHUTUPSHUTUPSHUTUP…”

Colleague: “H? you ok? Why’re you grinding your teeth?”

H: “Huh? No no nothing. I’m fine. By the way, it’s the Chinese New Year, 9th to 25th Feb. Year of the Pig. I’d almost forgotten.”

Colleague: “Okkkay… [?] [Respectful pause] Ummm, listen, about the script…”

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Round 1

So I woke up this morning battling with demons and their mothers, flames that won’t die down, pirate-type iron weights that drag you down to the ocean bed; and walls.

We continued with the battle [it crept up on me stealthily in my car] after breakfast. When I was alone. Battles are respectful creatures, they will engage with you only when the family is out of the way. When you’re on your own. Alone.

It got messy. I’ll admit. Very messy. We had an epic Bollywood song on the radio for effect too [several] which doesn’t help really. It makes things murkier. So, amidst the Ashram flyover traffic, we raged on, it and I, splashing tears all over the windscreen, blurring out pesky, intrusive [hello babeh wanna ride together-together] motorcyclists and motorists, ignoring traffic lights, wrestling for control over my head.

Luckily, earlier this morning I had taken a wily precautionary measure.


Red black pungent purple acid green and silver. Today I am a confused rainbow. Tomorrow I might be a white and blue cloud.

But I’m not sure it’s worked. Yet. Can’t say. I’m anticipating another round on my way back home. I think I'll paste on some red lipstick. For reinforcement.