Tuesday, March 30, 2010

So let's all be equal. We'll not wear different clothes, we'll wear our hair at identical lengths, we'll take turns cooking and cleaning and take turns being on top while having sex and teach our children the perils of objectifying and sexualising and stereotyping. We'll even bring them up to be on par at all times, play with toys take up sports pick a career, everything will be equalised. The girls will be told they need not read a romance, the boys will be told pin-ups aren't cool, they'll go places where masculine and feminine as terms will come with so much baggage they won't even use them. It'll be an equal world and it will be beautiful and everyone will tell each other what a fine equal unprejudiced society they've created. Till then I'll wear my laciest bra and admit to liking stubble, how about that.

It's like standing at a cigarette shop with a guy and the shopkeeper's offering him Sexygum and staring pointedly at me, it's happened to me twice, it might happen to me more. Just an example. The deal is, though, why view it as a struggle. I've enjoyed being a girl, I can take all the ruts that being feminine brings with it. I learnt to cook because I like food and I iron because I dislike wrinkles, I don't give a fuck if people assume it's because I'm female. I wouldn't give a fuck if they assumed I should do these things because I'm female either, it's not like I'm going to. That doesn't make me a feminist, just stubborn. If people are morons they're morons, you're expected to deal with them as you would with morons, whether they're being sexist or inhuman or kicking puppies doesn't matter. If I can survive the world as an ideology-less person it'll be a miracle, I'm really scared that I'll have to go around doing the My Name is Khan thing in a different context pretty soon.

In other news, Moriarty and TAAQ.

Monday, March 29, 2010

To be back is to be back, one must understand that. To be back is to keep in mind that used plates go in the bottom sink always, to be back is to have a class test looming at you, to be back is to have to suffer things. I'm not being archaic, it's the only word that fits. To suffer things that look so trivial in other frames of mind, things that are trivial but must be arranged into a scheme of things we do from day to day and therefore go through from 07:01 to 23:58 or whatever one's timeframe is. Things that are not nice things like fish swimming in a jar suspended from the ceiling, or a shop hoarding that advertises STD ISD PCO and cashews, in that order precisely. Ok, so this isn't happening, this descriptive stuff. I'm no good at explaining any more so here's what I did, I slept all through last evening and read bits of old magazines all through this morning. Then I made a list. I like lists, they've run me into trouble frequently in terms of content and time spent mulling over them but this list took two minutes.


- Red rocks for embankments
- Aformentioned fish in jar hanging from ceiling
- Sambit being mauled by hungry dogs
- Propinquity of sand, even though it got tiresome later
- Bhutbhutiyas or whatever they're called, also tractors with Bhojpuri music blaring from them.
- Crabs, small or big or hidden or dead but crabs, fundamentally.


- Red rocks for embankments being cruel on skin
- Going into the ocean with scratches from the red rocks
- Having a mouth full of saltwater and sand
- TV in hotel room.
- Being told that I snore. But it turns out I don't. Screw the world. I'm Liz Taylor and Liz Taylors don't snore.

I've new music and just heard about Fu-Manchu. Tomorrow I go xerox The Gipsy in the Parlour and I can officially stay in my room till Friday. Maybe the father will agree to going away this weekend out of jealousy or grumpiness, there was visible glaring when I showed him this trip's pictures so maybe Good Friday won't disappoint. Otherwise being back is mind-numbing, tedium to the point of wanting a fly around so you'd at least be pushed to swat it away.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010



Greenriot Police


Had a whole lot saved. Second round favourites, but not actually from graffiti.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Say One.

Compounds, the kind of open space behind a one-storey house, I learnt later you could call it a backyard. I hate all compounds. It was in the compound of my grandmother's house that I hid behind a plaintain tree as she ran out of the kitchen, fist clenched around red chillies and what I now know to be spluttering sesame, and once she found me she started at the head, circling it thrice. Pungent smelling fist rubbing right through to the scalp, then dragged down unwavering to my ear, then down my neck, I can feel a stray fingernail scrape it. From the nape it travels along collarbone to ball of shoulder then down my hand, sticking to the skin, never leaving, words being muttered all along in with purring sounds in between, and then it's down to the wrist, reached the fingertips, then taken off me and flung away. One jerk and a handful of spices lies at the bottom of the tree, mingling with rotten banana skin, being ignored by an army of plump black ants.

This happened a lot for mostly two reasons. My grandmother believed in the evil eye, and I kept getting sick for no reason. The sicker I got the more often she hunted me down, the better I got the more she let me alone, it used to be simple enough for me to understand so you'd expect the world to work in my favour sometimes, especially since I couldn't stand the smell of heated chillies or the feel of her skin against mine. Things rarely work out that way, a new vendor arrives outside school and he has things we haven't seen before, things he calls A-Class Jelly in long thing plastic tubes, and before you know it I'm letting my pants run yellow. But here is a lesson, the avoidance of an exorcism goes thus: steal keys at noon when everyone's asleep, increase TV volume, open back door to compound. Run past papaya trees, leap across ditch and speed it till Lajpat Rai colony, turn left to the market, walk four streets past, stop at milk booth, turn, stare, be reborn.

When I was reborn I had a bottled thandai in my hand and a discarded nine-piece puzzle at my feet, and the biggest compound I'd ever seen spread out in front of me like a stage scene. No fences no gates no postbox, just a compound.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

No more loud humming. I'm being erratic even for myself, it's true, what can I say? How long can you pull through waking up and looking for amusement? I'm like that kid in the Gashlycrumb Tinies who died of ennui. Shit, I'm going to die of ennui. Even eating Maggi with bhujia doesn't help. I wasn't born to be contrary and I wasn't meant to choose random ice cream flavours but one can't always eat chocolate. Right now King Lear's depressing the hell out of me, no one will believe that it's my favourite Shakespearean tragedy but it is. Of all kinds of madness it's this form I'm most scared of, the kind where I only have my stupidity to blame. Oh wait, ha ha, opinions. A favourite right now may not even be an option five minutes later, what can I do? I'm not going to die of ennui or contrariness, just vacillation. Say you'll love me whether I'm being erratic or bored or contrary and I'll laugh and shut you out, how's that for a plan of action? Fifty pages to go. I wish the Fool would shut up.

Time to write a story again?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Was going through Rolling Stone India's inaugural issue and there's this interview with Ringo Starr where he's asked what the worst track he had to record was, and he says Maxwell's Silver Hammer, and then he's asked about what albums he's listened to, yada yada, he says he couldn't play Johnny Cash's last album because he sounded so frail, then the interviewer says, That record can get you down.

Then Ringo says, Yeah. If I was ever down, though, I'd put on Leonard Cohen. Then you know you aren't that down.

I laughed so much. Whaddya know, Ringo, Summer Finn's not the only one who loves you.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Ga is all chipchip. It's ten in the morning.
Two baths a day again.
Everywhere there are globules of sweat
trickling down around eyebrows hanging off
noses forming little fluid armies on upper lips everywhere.
So bloody annoying, not to mention unfair
it's not even April yet.
And sweat patches everywhere, people get up at Worldview and there
are dark grey bum prints, and faces get grimy
and the dogs lie around panting and make it
feel EVEN hotter and thonga remnants with rotting
salad lie everywhere and the place smells like
a stewpot of sweat and fur and onions.
Ok I'll stop.

Rubbed a cucumber all over the bathroom mirror yesterday
to test the theory, it's still smelling disgusting like some
creature oozed body fluids all over the place. No
that's not what I mean but I can't think of a
better image.
Ate out for both lunch and dinner. I want to die.
Everything is vomit-inducing
after you've eaten and stepped out of the AC into the world.
wotis mobile number wotis your style number karni hain private baatein
de de koi private number.
Ittise lovely weather. fnnngfnnngfnnnfgngng.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Raju has the kind of eyes I've always wanted, he has the smiling urchin's face I've always wanted, he has the kind of dusty skin I've always wanted. He takes us past Rishikulya to the beach and points out little specks in the distance and flaps his hands, then helps me collect rainbow-coloured shells that now lie in a plastic bag on my table, they might be mother-of-pearl but I don't want to find out they aren't.

Raju has a husky voice and a red shawl and says things I don't understand, it sounds like a mixture of Telugu and Oriya but it could be something else altogether. I say things he doesn't seem to understand either, we get by with what I've now learnt are International Gestures. IGs for what is that? And no, not there. And wait, wait, there's something in my shoe. He says he's in class three, he understands the word school, also cyclone. Because he's brought us through the cashew trees and mangroves and lots of sand right to the water I'm inclined to want to bring him along into the boat we hire to take us out to sea. But he disappears, and when we come back he's scrabbling around on the sand waiting for us, bringing out two more shells and a dead crab from his pockets.

He wants a toffee but he wants my camera more. He looks at it like it's a weapon at first and then he likes the attention, by the end of it he's making faces but don't be fooled, Raju's a gentleman. He drags us to see a freshly-caught swordfish and leads us back to his village, kicking stray objects in the sand out of his way, pausing now and then to pick up a dried fish or dig his nose or point at a solitary torn chappal lying around, and then he disappears again. Just like that. We pull out in the van and I'm still looking, only he isn't there.

When the reels are developed he looks quite different. The amber of his eyes and the shininess of his hair don't come through. But there's something quieter and more subliminal going on here, I look closer and there it is, Raju's a star.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

1. What is your current obsession?
Why I'm studying English, why I can't find naukri, why I have no paisa, where my glowy-ball has gone, my cycle, all sorts of things.

2. What are you wearing today?
Sunday homewear. Tatty tee and shorts.

3. What’s for dinner?
Haven't even got to lunch yet.

4. What’s the last thing you bought?

5. What are you listening to right now?

6. What do you think about the person who tagged you?
Tuna is an incorrigible twit, shame I haven't managed to get rid of her yet. Ahona seems to share my fascination for potty. All good.

7.If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished anywhere in the world, where would you like it to be?
The Himalayas. Living extensively anywhere else is a scary thought.

8. What are your must-have pieces for summer?
Patience. Deodorant. Water.

9. If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go?
Not enough time. I'd go eat lunch at a country inn somewhere. Germany possibly. Lots of sausages.

10. Which language do you want to learn?
Arabic. The script. Otherwise Japanese.

11. What’s your favourite quote?
"Haan, bas poonch ki kami hai." - Mere pitaji.

12. Who do you want to meet right now?
Prospective employer OR genie OR Dilbert or something. I don't know. No real people.

13. What is your favourite colour?
Keeps changing, I love colour.

14. Give us 3 styling tips that work for you.
Hair tie. Clean scrubbed after-bath skin. Toothpaste.

15. What is your dream job?
Travelling, writing, taking pictures, teaching kids art.

16. What’s your favourite magazine?
I'm not a magazine person. All I've read religiously this past year is GEO.

17. If you had $100 now, what would you spend it on?
That's around four point five. I'd go to Himachal.

18. What do you consider a fashion faux pas?

Who cares, there's no such thing as universal good dressing.

19. Who according to you is the most over-rated style icon?
All of them are. Dimple Kapadia in Bobby especially.

20. What kind of haircut do you prefer?
This is where I start getting annoyed at myself for starting this.

21. What are you going to do after this?
Tell myself I deserve it.

22. What are your favorite movies?
Always happy when watching animated stuff, always slightly sceptical when watching others.

23. What inspires you?
Oh man. Inspiration's running at negative thirty now.

24. What do your friends call you most commonly?
Priyanka. Kumar. These are most common, highlight most.

25. Would you prefer coffee or tea?
Tea. I'm picky about coffee.

26. What do you do when you are feeling low or terribly depressed?
Go to sleep. Walk.

27. What makes you go wild?
This question's wrong on too many levels.

28. Which other blogs do you love visiting?
They know.

29. Favourite Dessert/Sweet
Caramel custard. Gulab Jamun and vanilla icecream. Elayada. Rasmalai. Cheesecake. Any cake. Coffee pudding. Shorbhaja. I'm so hungry.

30. How many tabs are turned on in your browser right now?

31. Favourite Season?
Winter, followed by monsoon.

32. If I come to your house now, what would you cook for me?
Possibly an omelette. A whole meal only after considering state of fridge and mind.

33. What is the right way to avoid people who purposefully hurt you?
If you're avoiding them anyway they don't get to see you. Hence no opportunity, purposeful or otherwise, whatever. Ignore either way.

34. What are you afraid of the most?

35. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?
Hello, fuck, another pimple.

36. What brings a smile on your face instantly?
Other smiles. Lots of little things. I don't know.

37. A word that you say a lot?

38. When was the last time you did something nice?
I didn't.

39. What would you do if you were made President of India for one day?
Nothing. Presidents don't do jack in a day.

40. Do you Know who Master SHIFU is?
I do now.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Sometime soon the world shall see A. Vasudevan Natarajan Nair, till then he sleeps in my room =D
Padmasambhava. I've been following without knowing for so long it isn't funny. First Nako and then Gurudongmar, I want to go back and I want to go to Rewalsar and wherever else it is but mainly I want to go to a lake. I want to be back like I was at Nako, climbing up dusty hillside till I reached a tree and under the tree I found a skull, dog or fox, can't be sure. And under the tree I sat and held the skull in my palm and thought about the noxious-looking potatoes with stalks sprouting out of them that the villagers had sold us. Carbide the proprietor at the half-constructed guest house was convinced they were poisonous. We were convinced he was whining was because he wouldn't get paid fully for dinner. Mr Carbide had a face I can't remember, the name stays because he was cocksure and explosive and snuck up on us when we didn't expect it. Wasn't my idea, the name.

Also under the tree I remember that moment of indecision, whether to take off jacket or not in the face of mild sunshine getting cloying and warm. Mostly that morning stood for nothing, everyone isn't Padmasambhava. No epiphanies. Just a feeling of invincibility, but in an offhand way, I can't explain. Setting loose pebbles rolling downhill to the lake and then worrying about landslides. Feeling the weight of the skull make my palm all sweaty and worrying about being morbid.

All the times I've travelled with adults I've been to places I want to revisit now because they aren't cities. Being dropped down at 14000 feet versus planning the getting-there bit. Getting permission to walk around alone versus getting permits to cross a checkpost. Maybe I want to go back so I can obsess over myself in ways I don't do here. How long before they miss me? When will they call out? The mountainside's witness to the fact that you may end up a skull among boulders but the mountains will remain, and what if no one misses you, that sort of thing. Not epiphanies but neuroses.

Eight years later all that remain are trigger-words. Padmasambhava. Skull. Potatoes. Aquamarine lake, headache. Ditto for Gurudongmar, only Colder and More Blue and Fluttering Flags and Sikh Shrine. There's always a chance I haven't forgotten how they look, but I won't know till I see them again, landscapes in old photographs always look alien. If I waste this June, P, I'll never forgive myself. But then I miss out on the other lakes I could sit by, that's what it all boils down to in the end, really.

Hello, prolix post, beg pardon.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

There are these Junior Horlicks biscuits that are in animal shapes. The sheep are the cutest but the lions look pretty wistful too, plus they taste awesome and last a fascinating five minutes. I christened each one before chomping. Go eat some. It helps if you put a Sir before each name.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Oru Super Paatu

Courtesy Wilbur. My new love.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Gorillaz Gorillaz please download fast please please aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa hollow eyed twitching please please till then it's jack johnson I'm calming myself down so I can be hyper when you're done so fast fast please please aaaaaaaaaaaa please please come on
So x bends down and thinks of possible outcomes - plausible ones even - and weighs the pros and the cons. Much mustered calm. Next x draws imaginary blueprints that shimmer slightly under the ceiling fan, escape plans and and graphs and things that can covertly be pushed under the 'Subterfuge' label. x, however, is a colossal ass and it would do x well to realise that at the end of the day it's all the same crap, if x can't yell back at the world now x never will. No famous declamation, no angry outburst, no drunken confession, nothing. Nothing is a good word, also a good response to questions or queries. Everything is intermittent and this too shall pass, but it's always the same, right, x must never think of being able to share the battleplan. Would it therefore be possible to say that x is a lone ranger? Find the value of x. Six marks.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

This comes a day late but I've had it with hiding the secret romanticism.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

What is IT with everyone trying to take everyone's trip, it's really pissing me off. I want to sleep. I want confidence pills and I want to overdose on them. I want Plastic Beach now, right now. I want to live in a trailer. I've been watching Wonderfalls all over again, two years down the line I can see the flaws but I'm enjoying it. The occasional over-acting, the random shriekiness, the bad hair, I can handle all of it because the entire series is just so rooted in the fact that everyday things are creepier than nightmares, ditto for everyday happenings, it's a philosophy I completely identify with. Like how last week a girl jumped off the sixth floor of Block Four in my complex in a suicide attempt and fell on a car and had to go to hospital, and every one I told this to laughed, first instinct guffaw, almost incredulous but a laugh nevertheless. It happens, you'd think people would check for cars, or whatever you think the funny bit is. So yeah, tiny animal figurines talking to you, happens, why not. I've always hated showpieces so it fits.

The father came home at ten thirty in the morning all annoyed and walking like a zombie, turns out he tore his pants at the bum trying to get out of a cab on the way to work. I realise I'm proud of my parents at all the wrong times, just like I'm really bad at explaining why I find some things very funny. Pencils with rubbers attached at the end, for example. Or Mata Hari, or Jonathan Livingston Seagull, this is where I go away and pretend I've been writing an abstract for a conference or something.

Monday, March 1, 2010

but really she was ugly I'm telling you I swear

Part One.

For every person I spot with sunglasses and sweat on their face I smirk and think, haha, Loser. There are twenty thousand bags floating around in this market, some weighed down by glittering shoes and clothes you'd get for much cheaper if the sellers weren't so cocky, but it is an undeniable fact, everyone floats. Everyone has lighter wallets and lighter minds and they'd lift off the road if the bags didn't weigh them down, but that's just an illusion, the bags float too. The only reason I see her is because she isn't floating, her hands are bare and her neck is too, and she gets into an auto as if she needs nothing at all. Then she goes away.

But that isn't the point.

Part Two.

For every person I see ordering dessert even after they've belched twice I snort and think, haha, Loser. Then I see her again, sitting unadorned and devoid of fork or spoon, drinking coffee like her bare neck will thrust back and eject her head right off her body if she doesn't swallow all of it at a gulp. She has a foamy chocolate moustache once she's done and I'm timing her to see how long before she realises and licks it off. Maybe it'll get disappointing, maybe she'll pick up a napkin and dab at it, delicately and diligently till it decides to stick to the cloth instead. Then, as it turns out, she looks up and he walks over and laughs and wipes it off with the back of his hand. She still looks as if she needs nothing, she'd order another cup if he weren't there, but it's an undeniable fact, there he is.

That is the point.