Friday, August 24, 2007

The Booker, a return to H and a Poster: in celebration of the Hundredth!

Ladies and laddies, it gives me goose bumps and suchlike bordering-on-obscene pleasure to announce that our very own [us being his one-post-pimp] Mr. Indra Sinha has been longlisted for the Booker Bleeding Prize! Woo. I could've been his mother right now. Or agent. Or nanny. Honestly, I feel all billowy-nostriled and choky-proud.

Mr. Sinha with Holly - 1999.

Such is my pleasure at this felicitous occasion that I’ve been making proud announcements across the breadth of my vastly limited social sphere.

Yesterday as mum was watching cricket and pa was forwarding bawdy jokes to family and friends to let them know we’re all well and able, among other things, to appreciate putrid internet humour, I burst upon this gentle familial scene with my breathless news.

H: “Indra Sinha’s been long listed for the Booker Prize!”

Ma raised an eyebrow. Should I know more about this Indra boy?

Pa put on his pissy-face. “Who’s this Indra chap?”

A legend to begin with, parents.
Oh sorry. Rephrase: A fifty plus, married man with several children and a dog, living at a reasonably safe distance in the south of France, who happens to be a writer.

Somewhere, deep in my head, I truly believe that my discovery of this star is intimately linked with the Booker Prize longlist in the Larger Scheme of Things.

It is with such idolatrous affection as only a fledgling poseur pimp can feel for a stalwart Madame running for Entertainer of the Year, and much skippety-twirly-go-round delight in my heart, I share with you, beloved readers, a most fortuitous coincidence – our own little cause for celebration at Shout – our 100th post, TA DA!

On this occasion, brimming as I am with goodwill spurred by Mr. Sinha’s success and my prolificity, I’ve also decided to be gracious about a certain tag that the lovely Pinay in Barnsley has clipped to my tail. Arse.

So it goes:

I must give you a glimpse of H. Preferably with a photograph or forty, and the correct spelling of my name, because David Airey says:

”Putting a face to the name of someone you haven’t met helps recognition and adds a more personal feel to your conversations.”

Given that I’m so anal about protecting my anonymity, obviously Mr. Airey and I do not share similar views on blogging and its effect on our social lives, making this tag a serious challenge to my staying-gracious-power. I mean, really, who asked me to go and stick my fingers in my nose and say, “Thank you very much, I’ll do it”?

But then again, I do like Madonna [of Barnsley.]


I thought hard. I wandered up all sorts of dusty galis, seeking to scavenge off bits of myself, wondering what to put here in a little self-pimping carnival – should I write you bits from my diaries as I grew… But my head leapt up at me before I could complete the thought. Shuddersomeshite noh! I’d rather be slow roasted on a skewer. Next I wondered if I should I treat to you a little biopic of how H transformed from a villainous looking child to a blimpy teenager and leave it there, for you to imagine the now-in-full-bloom scat-creature? Boooooooooring. After which my head threw up another sparkler – Should I write you a little fable?

Thankfully, I didn’t have time to respond to this last one.

For as I was contemplating all of this, I happened not to feel the ground shift, I happened not to see the sky curl up and I happened not to hear the beasts panic. What I did feel perhaps, and I can’t ever be sure, is the little oval heat of a soft kiss on my brow.

You can imagine the shock I received when I looked up to see that everything had turned around. My world. My head. My toes.

The pixel of my dreams had changed. Irrevocably.

So that’s why, in celebration, my dollies, here’s a magnificent poster that might tell you a bit about H, if you’re sharp. It’s been created by U, who is the photographer and designer of this piece of trash-art. He thought I was potty to suggest this Campbell soup, H-imprinted, self-adoring artwork. But you’d know why, right?

H. by U.

Yay! For returning to myself.
Yay! For Indra Sinha and his “scabrously funny” book that I hope will achieve more than what Sunil ever imagined.
Yay! For a spanking fresh start.

Monday, August 06, 2007

My ongoing affair with clichés – an update

These are a few of the very vomity-clichéd things I’ve done in the last few days which almost qualify Shout as a racy chick-blog, and its author as the tantalising heroine of a chick-lit bestseller – How H Got Soaked, Put On a Few Kgs And Got a Life. Almost:

Got Mughal-garden-waterworks drenched in the rain, which is a very delightful thing I’ve re-realised for the millionth time. I was walking, it was dark, I was alone and I was thinking about the rain and something else. Something else didn’t happen. But it rained. Violently. Suddenly. Joyously. I felt suitably psychic and all.

Missed seeing the moon fill out, very sorely. Sometimes rain clouds aren’t a good thing.

Bought myself a large box of dark immoral chocolates. I’d gone to M’s place. M lives next to The Chocolatier, at the heart of mini Bengal where fish and football are Religion – which has nothing to do with chocolate, save perhaps for a very large big clichéd advertising notion [mine] of being. So it goes.

Sat up all night and watched cheesy movies with M and talked and talked and talked – about all the usual things. Direction. Purpose. Where we’ve reached with both. And how the bastard at Chungwa cheated us of the shrimp in the shrimp talumein by putting chicken, which I’ve stopped eating. Bastard. That’s just how some relationships are. Comfortable.

Now I want my favourite cheap Sula white to complement the dark bitter-sweet and this big cocoa-fat cliché. And, while I’m asking, a throw-in miracle would be nice.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

[Vanquishing] Low Self Esteem

Keep your [under]pant[ie]s on, girls and boys; today’s lesson is about low self-esteem.

Low Self Esteem is a slithering, slimy, whiney bitch/ bastard. [Being of no specific gender, it reproduces more virulently than rabbits, rats or rashes.]
It can strike any time, without warning.
It usually attacks in one contiguous glutinous mass.

Lesson over, you may undress now.


I’ve been pottering about in my head, devising elaborate strategies on how to combat this Low Self Esteem thingummybobitch. But since it’s infiltrated my brain, severally, I figure there’s no point. I might as well acknowledge it with a conciliatory cup of earl grey and get on with the farkin’ business of plodding.

That’s just what I was doing actually, when one little girl who’s a writer where I work; a frolicsome sparkling beam of sunshine, said to me:

“H, this piece has been written beautifully. Your use of language is really beautiful.”

Now I could be bragging. I could. And beautiful is NOT a word I’d associate with myself or anything that I produce, biologically or otherwise; but let’s just put this most unbecoming cynicism aside for one moment, and consider this: I was feeling like Yama’s [pronounced ‘Yum’] toe jam all morning. Jaded. Defeated. Countless-ly trod upon by fate’s smelly feet; incompetent and ugly and fat and puffy eyed too, if you’re asking.

But after hearing this, I noticed in the bathroom mirror how flat my stomach is, how shiny my hair is, how evenly brown my nose is and how I can string a sentence or two without faltering. [This last I almost didn’t notice in the mirror, but being as I was engaged in my usual activity of impressing myself with a lengthy, well delivered speech upon the pot, I did.]

Low Self Esteem is obviously such a shallow bastard. Ha ha. Ha. And I’m feeling very sharp and dazzling again.

Okay, maybe not sharp. Or dazzling. But confident. Somewhat.