Sunday, October 23, 2005

I have visited the dentist.
I have suffered mortal agonies of body and soul.
I have shrieked in silent despair while dental instruments of torture wreaked havoc in my mouth.
I have obtained pearly white teeth.
I have also read this poem.
I have quit smoking.
At least I have quit smoking nicotine laden products likely to mutilate the pristine whiteness of my teeth. As to the rest, well I've never observed the teeth of a cow from close quarters as yet but I figure grass can only do a limited amount of damage as far as pearly white teeth are concerned.

What really hurts however is that I have been forced to quit tea and coffee. That me thinks was the most unkindest cut of all. One has suffered much in terms of indignities and heart-felt sorrows but to have to give up tea and coffee and settle down to a lifetime of drinking Bournvita. MUMMMMYYYYY!!!!!!!!

I don't think I shall survive this. First there's impending doom in the form of Hyderabad (and thank ye all fer yer kindly comments......especially my dear ph.......but it's still exile!!!) Then there's the endless rain. No one could be more fond of rain than me. The mere glimpse of a raincloud on a hot summer afternoon would bring briney drops of joy to my unblinking fishy eye, but, but and but..........this isn't rain. It's a minor re-run of the forty days. If there were any particularly long lived animals around I assure you they'd be humming whatever deck songs were the favorites on Noah's Ark.

And on top of all the sorrows weighing down on the little heart, there's the added grief of two term papers, which I have been merrily procrastinating over. Of course I did come up with a brilliantly exciting topic for one of them, but having done so I'm rather stuck for ideas on how to fill in the rest of the several hundred words. Still one has to start somewhere, and the topic I've picked is quite a start. At the cost of shocking my few readers dare I announce my proposed topic for a term paper on Sophocles? I'm dying to, you see......
ok, all those below eighteen please go away
(this is a bit like the please switch off your mobile phones warning, no one pays heed. Still I have done my duty, after this if anyone gets corrupted the fault entirely lies with parents who allow kiddys to sit on the computer unchaperoned)
And my topic is.......drum roll on low key please......
The Erotic Implications of the Recurring Incestuous Patterns in the Mythical Structure underlying Oedipus Rex.

hmm.......what say ye all? any ideas?

Saturday, October 22, 2005

I have been accused in the past (with much unfairness and all that) of being incapable of writing a complete sentence......*ahem ahem*........ so it was with much trepidation that I actually turned to fufil my duty on being tagged by illusionary.......the 5th sentence of the 23rd thought it was very likely to be some fragment of babelian wisdom and fishy incoherence…..but surprise, surprise, the nearest approximation to the 5th sentence was a grammatically correct sentence containing the wisdom of ages…….and I quote........

"Alas, alas, that ever love was sin!"

Not original, unfortunately (you can’t have everything altogether, be reasonable!!) All credit for this gem of a statement goes to a gentleman who died around the beignning of the 15th century and went by the name of Geoffery Chaucer. But well, 5th sentence has been quoted and all but I simply cannot be bebothered to tag anyone. So all those who feel it is imperative to their existence that they identify the 5th sentence of their 23 rd post or all bloggers who have nothing better to do on days (or nights) when the rain shows no signs of giving up and going south, please consider yourself tagged by the psychic manifestation of my blogging self.

I have spoken.

And if the gentleman who once commented he would pass out the day I managed to write a complete sentence happens to be reading this, pray good sir, I have the smelling salts right here, but tell me was it surprise or sheer pleasure?

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

My pujo romance is over, sniffe sniffle. There was a very watery hindi-filmi style farewell standing on the steps of a station yesterday (metro station actually, not railway........and well.....all the water wasn't because I was playing the weepy distressed damsel but because it was raining, but still a farewell is a farewell!!!)

And when asked for sympathy all that a certain mistah anonymous had to offer, after laughing his ass off, was
"aaschey bochhor aabar hobey"

So I am presently wallowing in glorious self-pity and an inordinate amount of tissue paper. After the excitement, it's the sniffles. Of course the sniffles aren't exactly generated by the loss of romance. It's the tragic outcome of sitting in Sompeplace Else, too often and for too long, where the management really believes that the air-conditioning machines are not for decoration. Of course the nearly frozen beer might have been partially responsible for the current nearly-Vermillion state of my nose. And for those who were there at the blogmeet, I might add that having frozen bits of double-cream-and-chocolate sundaes dropped on my hair probably aggravated the fever (yes, Rimi, this is meant to make you feel guilty......only you being the heard-hearted thing you are, you won't.......glub glub) I am then.......quite merrily morose.......sniffling at regular intervals and wishing I could write suitably depressed poetry.......also wishing I could find words harsh enough to describe how much I dislike certain people.....grrrrrr.....especially those who work for a living and give unemployed bloggers and baby fishes the inferiority complex.

hmm......and I shall now decamp to dwell on all the great miseries of neighbours who spend all afternoon reciting dramatic poetry at the top of their voices.......or teach their young ones how to howl to the accompaniment of a harmonium (and try to pass it off as singing!!!)

Also on parents who adore each other so much that they're currently mooning around the house sighing in harmonized depression becasue they're about to be parted for the space of about ten days........what did I do to deserve parents who are so in luuuubh!!! The loving is fine, it's the mooning and the occasional disappearing for quiet look-into-my-eyes type mushy dates by the riverside that can be quite disturbing......

Please note the parting is due because my mother is off to visit older sister in Hyderabad on the twenty-sisxth. Please, also note, that my father is so-o-o-o worried about her safety that he's packing me off as well!!!!!!! waaaaaaah......I don't wanna go!!!!!!!

glub glub........what will I do without my blog for so many days......what will I do without my one solitary bright spark who shall here go unnamed *blush* thinks I will pine away...........will everyone forget me when I'm gone?!!!

Friday, October 14, 2005

Some things cannot be ignored

The little boy ran through the playground roaring “I am superman!!” With his mother’s red tablecloth flapping behind him, he aroused awe among the other toddlers while the adults looked on indulgently.

The first time I came across this I found it all rather funny.

Academically far superior
Globally best networked
Leaders in Indstry Consulting and Economic Research
Arindam Chaudhuri
Noted Economist, Management Guru & Author of all time best sellers
“Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch” and “The Great Indian Dream”

For one thing Mr. Chaudhuri claims the Indian Institute of Planning and Management to be academically superior without mentioning who/what it happens to be superior to. He might have meant us to automatically assume a comparison with the Indian Institutes of Management or with Harvard, but my mind ran along the lines of "hmmm, so this would be a better option than studying in, say, Patna University" (which is an an academic institute of repute but doesn’t claim to be greater than IIM).

Then of course my jaw hit the table on reading that “Count your Chickens Before They Hatch” and what was the other book again, the one I hadn’t heard of before, oh yes, “The Great Indian Dream” were all time best sellers!!! Now that is one tall claim. I couldn’t ask the man or his publisher for an account of sales but this I can state, even assuming the books outsold Harry Potter or Dale Carnegie (which I find a leetle hard to believe) the reason they can never qualify as the all time best seller is because that post goes to the one and the only Holy Bible. I find it somewhat ludicrous that Mr. Chaudhuri should assume his books on management published within the last five years or so should outsell the Book which has been selling since 1456. Sheesh!! Sue me, mister, but this is too funny.

At least it used to be funny.

It stops being funny when investigative journalism is sought to be arm-twisted into silence.

It stops being funny when the outcome of innocently publicizing an article is strong arm tactics and finally it is not funny when one is faced with the immense dignity of a man who remained true to his integrity

But then neither are the responses to this seemingly innocuous blog post remotely humorous.

This controversy is no doubt immensely serious. It could affect the lives and careers of past and present students of IIPM. But nothing and I repeat nothing can possibly justify the sort of malicious slandering that has been displayed by anonymous bloggers purpoting to be IIPM-ites. It is one thing to factually refute any points in a report or a blog post. But nothing prepared me for comments irrelevant to the post, exclusively centred on the reporter’s life. It was a greater shock when I realized that these comments (frequently mispelled and as grammatically incoherent as they were irrelevant to the debate over IIPM’s over-reaching claims) were supposedly by adults who had received the benefits of higher education. I might have expected and accepted such filthy language from an illiterate bum on the roads but something tells me that the average homeless, jobless, poverty stricken individual would be far more worthy of respect than these fradulent claimants of literacy and respect and superiority.

The internet is both a place where it is very easy to make claims and equally easy to check up on them. I am providing the link to those who believe that screaming your head off loudest makes you the best. The number of people covering this issue has been truly stupendous, I would like to mention a reliable source for more links to this issue. I think that gives any reader unaware of issues at stake a chance to find out more for themselves without being unduly influenced by my personal bias.

I am not a student of IIPM, or any other management institute; perhaps this controversy should have nothing to do with me. I am however a member of the global student community; I do believe in freedom of expression. And I do not believe in either subverting the facts to your own ends or malicious mean-minded slander. Another drop of water falling in the ocean may not seem too much but for what it’s worth this post is dedicated to all those who are fighting for their integrity and for their beliefs.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

I've finally realized that no end of warnings can keep those below eighteen from reading strictly censored stuff. Which puts me in a bit of a quandary. Either I tell all, so to speak, and divulge details of decadence and debauchery or I leave out all the juicy bits......hmm......any signs of innocent school kids or disapproving senior citizens taking the, I think not. Well, here goes. A censored version of the past four days.

There were family moments and there were moments when the whiff of even the most distant relative would have ensured death and dishonor and being grounded for the rest of my lifetime.

My family is insane, right. No doubts about that. Assorted bunch of darlings who should preferably be avoided on full moon nights! Our average family gathering is always over some meal (this time it was ashthami lunch) where it takes us approximately fifteen minutes to finish with the eating part of it. After that it's anyone's guess as to when people will actually get up from the table. This time round I clocked it to one hour and forty five minutes, but that was only because I kinda gently urged them to get on with it. Being the naturally excitable sort of people that we are, family discussions generally follow a pattern like this :

  • Someone will bring up a topic (usually to do with the younger generation which has forgotten the glorious traditions of yore).
  • The younger generation will feel duly mortified and try to justify themselves; various segments of younger gen. adopting various means; some going for the high-pitched screech, some delivering political michhil style orations while one has been known to brandish his fork vehemently (this is my extremely taansh to the core brother who insists on eating maach bhaat with kata-chamoch, please don't ask me why!!). The smart ones (that's usually me) get on with eating.
  • The oldies will deny that the youngsters have any sort of point to make.
  • At this point factions start to appear. Little brawls start on the sideline, usually on subjects totally unrelated. (It's a bit like Fulliautomatix taking a break from hitting the Romans to give Cacofonix a jab in the ribs.)
  • Whichever aunt is feeling most philosophical starts of on a somewhat monotonous lecture on culture and tradition which is guaranteed to continue long after the rest have quit and and are probably discussing how the taste of the khichuri had been improved by the use of a new brand of rice called (and I kid you not) radhunipagol chaal.
  • Gradually all minor issues will be left aside and all attention will centre on one topic (which can range from the debate over science vs art to the outcome of partition to why homosexuality should be condoned to whether we want a caterer or a thakur for my sister'’s upcoming wedding!!!)
  • Everybody,laboring under the impression that their argument is most logical and sound, will raise their voice in order to be heard
  • With the simultaneous increase in noise levels, no one will be able to hear themselves speak and eventually someone will adopt the wise stance of standing up and shouting.
  • Not to be left behind the others will come to their feet and the brawling will continue.
  • Till someone has a flash of genius and gets up on a chair and starts ranting!!!

Yes well, let us draw a curtain over this gentle scene of family bonhomie and move on to other stories.

Apart from the happy family kodak ishtyle moments, it was the same old story really. Maddox Square. Where almost everyone was doing one of two things :

a) desperately shrieking directions to friend(s) on cell or running around looking for friend(s)

b) bitching about how terrible the place is and how they will not come back the next day.

We were also there. Sitting on a rock, on the road behind the pandal. Where we managed to attract an inordinate amount of attention from random passers-by. There were the inevitable responses to girls lighting up. And a lot of scandalized, disapproving glances at the apparent, erm, ahem, free-mixing among friends. All of which we merrily ignored.

I'’m obviously not going to list our illegal activities but if I was being euphemistic I'’d say it was a mixture of the nectar of the gods, the stuff that makes the world go green and something assassins would choose to hallucinate on.

I went full cycle really. Shashti started at Maddox, from where we hopped across to Someplace Else for beer and Cassini's Division, which was quite an entertaining combination, what with the bassist gone gothic with fingernails painted black (we paused to wonder about the toes but they were discreetly enclosed in sneakers). And come the last day I was back at SPE for more beer. Only this time it was with other company, there was some other band and the fingers that attracted attention were, alas, my own. There I was gracefully making my way through the packed pub and some shada bachha, firingi loser grabbed my hand. And in my benumbed hallucinating state I didn't even realize that there was anything strange until he started squeezing my fingers and moving up my wrist. Sheesh!

And then to top it off a friend of mine called at 12.40 last night to say his younger brother who happens to be in class XII had seen me (on Ashthami, in a saree) and fallen in love, sheesh again!! Of course it might have been that the kid brother was being unfairly maligned, granted the friend in question is one who keeps asking me out and says things like "“coffee is just an excuse, it'’s the aftermath"” (which umm, makes me wonder if his intentions are entirely honourable).

hmm.….these were snippets from my celebration of the festive season. What I did realize is that scheduled partying is something which happens in other people's lives, nothing planned ever works with me, it all just happens on the spur of the moment. It would actually be quite possible to write a novella if I had to write all that happened, and that too would probably read in parts like Victorian Underground Literature. So I should discreetly stop here in my recital of pujo stories from this year.

But these were the things that happened and will be forgotten by the time next year comes around. But there are memories that rest deeper. If I could I would have described why, despite all the reckless activities that we indulged in, everything faded when I heard the beating of the dhak, when I stood before the image in clay or stone, when I bowed my head and thought, "I have come home indeed".

belated update : There are a thousand feelings that I wish I could capture in words but can't. For those who really want to know why the thought of pujo, beyond the fun and frolic, makes me all misty eyed may I suggest

  • this
  • and
  • this

  • Saturday, October 08, 2005

    "all poetic expression and linguistic activity is out-weighed by the simple expression of
    his faith ' Thou art still my God' "

    Wednesday, October 05, 2005

    Fifty-one words it is,plis plis to tell how it is...

    Their lips locked in a magical kiss. The exquisite moment of passion seemed to flower through a thousand years. At last he stepped away breaking the spell. Demurely she looked down, smiling. As her scream of agonized realization faded the sorcerer blew away the dust and watched as her skeleton crumbled.

    extremely belated update : I royally forgot there were certain formalities in this tagging game, but better late than never. So yes, I was tagged by....damn, bhule gechhi, who was it now...oh yes, by this charming catcher of dreams and by this antediluvian jester.

    And I would dearly love to tag.....
    drum roll please......
    1) A vague and indecisive blogger who will quit being lazy and do this!!!
    2) An insomniac who won't lose any sleep over this
    3) A girl as lovely as a hyacinth who will write a most charming story
    An anti-lacanian friend who will jolly well write this instead of his term paper
    The One who wrote such a poetic response to my story

    And if there's anyone left who hasn't been tagged please consider this an invitation to tell a tale of fifty-five words...

    Tuesday, October 04, 2005

    The Very Belated Birthday Post

    Things that should not happen on one’s birthday :

    1) One should not have to sweep the college grounds.

    2) One should not have to sweep the college grounds with a narkol jhata which happens to be falling to pieces.

    3) One should not have to do the above voluntarily.

    4) One should assuredly not meet the man one happens to adore while returning the afore-mentioned jhata or at least whatever pieces were left of it.

    5) One should then not have him give big grin to both of us (that is me and the jhata).

    6) Nor should one have to take picture on impossible to focus digital camera of distracted head-of-department (alas not distracted by plunging b’day kurta)

    7) Neither should one have afore-mentioned Don like hod say in distractingly deep voice, “aamar chhobi to bhaloyi uthbe, I’m a model after all.”

    8) Finally one should not have to wait an extra hour to get lunch just because lunch companions had to watch Chariots of Fire as part of syllabus. Excellent movie and all that but cass and I were hovering outside the audio-visual room trying to peek in and see how much was left and cussing movie for being so endlessly long. Can you blame us, we were starving.

    Yes well. All of the above list of should never happens happened to one. Namely this one. Sheesh!!!

    Of course as compensation, three li’l angels in the form of Cass, Sohini and Diya took me for yummetty yumm lunch. I shall not list what we ate for fear of making all ye readers envious (and also because it would make me hungry and this being middle of the night that is not a good idea). Suffice to say it was chinese.

    And then there was little surprise at rupanjali mortmain’s house in the form of beer and mafia. Umm, for those who do not know the cultural context of mafia, please do not worry. My friends did not try to have me polished off by the indian extension of the mafioso. This is a game. Which defies description. So I shall not try to describe it. It’s just lots and lots and lots of fun. And after all the panicking that there wouldn’t be enough beer and getting late comers to bring more beer; eventually there were two bottles left over, which went to the fridge, for that day at least. What happened to them later, as Aslan would say, is someone else’s story

    There was lots more of course.
    Having people tell me how pretty I looked (yes well, nothing wrong with a little mass delusion, it’s the only day of the year people would dream of saying nice things to me!!!)
    Family members overflowing with love and affection and the monies that make life so honied.
    The unexpected calls.
    All in all a memorable day.

    Of course as a finale.
    The best gift?
    At least the most entertaining one…
    Momo and Simon presenting two perfectly rolled, exquisitely shaped jays....sigh........

    Ah yes, it was quite a …. happy day.

    Saturday, October 01, 2005

    The bandh that chloroformed the city and held it hostage for twenty-four hours gave me the chance to watch television after aeons. Flicking through channels I came across a *gem* of a Hindi movie. Unfortunately I couldn't bring myself to watch all of it, but the little I did see was rather interesting

    ITEM : Female in a red figure-hugging dress (to be precise well-developed-posterior-end hugging, low cut dress).

    The audience knowledgably nods its head : Ah! This must be the femme fatale.

    ITEM : Cigarette dangling from her fingertips while the smoke is blown (rather inexpertly) in her father's face.

    It is a moment of mass realization : Ah ha!! This is not merely luscious seductress who may prove to be victim of circumstances but is clearly vamp who is up to no good.

    ITEM : Language of preference, English (albeit with an accent hardly likely to be approved by the Queen).

    The unfortunate audience collapses into a paroxysm of shock : Good grief!!! What debauchery.

    And then she attempts to seduce the hero.
    By this time the audience has decided this girl is beyond all help (it being an added black mark that she's rather proficient in the use of profanities) and the advent of a fully clothed heroine is viewed with a sigh of deep relief.

    By this time of course I was more than ready to throw the remote or preferably something bigger and bulkier at the television set.

    The audience and its varied reactions are products of my imagination in the case of this specific movie which happened to be Maine Pyar Kiya. This movie was, if I remember correctly, a phenomenal success. I am not trying to discuss / deny / acknowledge its cinematic merits, the point of my description remains the obvious stereotypes that the movie encouraged. If anyone should think that my description of the probable audience reaction is over-exaggerated, I must beg to differ. Average audiences would have reacted in exactly this manner when the movie was first released. If anyone should doubt it they have only to look around them at the average reaction on the streets to the so-called Westernized women.

    This is not to be misinterpreted as a rant against Indian-ness. It's more of a rant against *#^%$ gender discrimination.

    When I light a cigarette on the streets of Calcutta, I seem to shock the moral sensibilities of almost everyone around me. Men who are producing credible imitations of factory chimneys themselves, turn to stare and frequently to glare at me. Mothers towing school children hurry their kiddies away from my bad influence although they find nothing unacceptable in the smoking habits of the male population.
    I am willing to accept all admonitions to the effect that cigarette smoking is injurious to health but I fail to understand why the world and its neighbour should be so concerned specifically only about the health of women, or indeed how diseases caused by nicotine inhalation manage to be gender discriminatory.

    P.S : Actually, me thinks I would have quit smoking ages back if it hadn't been for my decidedly unselfish thought that by doing so I would deny countless strangers the pleasure of sitting in moral judgement over my evident depravity.

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