Tuesday, May 31, 2005

What the hell was I thinking?

Just a stupid list of all the times I have been stupid -

1. All previous relationships - what the fuck did I see in all the sorry losers?
2. Declaring confidently to Ms. Uptight Finn lady (to be refered to in the future as Muffle)that I knew her boss very well and naming their biggest competitor. Muffle ignored me and gave me dirty looks all through the rest of the conference.
3. Doing the same with lady from Shanghai and mistaking her for someone I met in Hong Kong. Thankfully she saw the humour and we are good friends now. I think. Ulp! Lesson learnt - Don't try and recognise people, let people recognise you.
4. Not checking the papers and being dressed like a christmas tree for a event that said, very casual. I died a million times and told some dolts who sniggered, "Oh we dress this way in India all the time, just look at Aishwarya Rai."
5. Revealing the source of my household help to my neighbour. Die Bitch! Die!
6. Watching some Hindi film in which Bipasha Basu is a ghost. I puked all night.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

I cried all night

These days we talk about everything. Projects, work, friends, family, life and what a bitch it is, economies, laws, films, memories...

Then he says, "I wish I could see you now. When you were beside me, I would lie all night and watch the mirror."

Shiny, Happy People

Come dinnertime, everyone is perfect. Perfect teeth, perfect suits, perfect hair, perfect lives and perfect children. Photographs flashed as if on cue, more often than not, on cellphones or handhelds. Beautiful, perfect children perfectly capable of filling pa's or ma's perfect shoes.

Which is why it was a relief meeting Jose and Gina, who drove up in a gleaming Merc. Jose has a ponytail and Gina, crutches. Gina starts telling me about her daughter and I mentally start switching off. Then, suddenly my senses jolt into action. Your daughter's an acupuncturist and a belly dancer? Whew! Jose starts telling me about their trip to India and Gina asks me about my family. I tell them I am single in a rather defeated fashion and then Gina endears herself by winking and saying, "Mmmm... You should ask me about the days before I met Jose." Before I can ask, it's time to leave. Jose and Gina say, "Take care, we'll meet again next year and if you're still single, we know this nice Indian boy." Only, there was to be no next year. Gina died and they say Jose sold his practice and is a recluse now. This year, I ask about children, husbands, wives and swap stories about my new house and about that time when I needed to sip cognac at ten in the morning in Finland.

Is it me?

Yesterday there were six people in the swimming pool. Usually there's only one, me. In the changing room I met another member. She said that she found the gym eerie and too quiet usually because there are no people about. What? What! That's precisely the reason why I have joined this particular place, because it is too quiet and there are no people about to see my thunder thighs and jiggling belly.

Then, she looked down her nose and said, "Oh! You're a working girl?" I mumbled, "Well, thats not what I would say." Thank God the gym is eerie and there were no people around the lockers or else they'd have heard me laughing my head off.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

What the fuck?



Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Travellers' Tales

Out of all the International Airports I have been to, LA has been the worst. Once one clears security, there are no book shops, no cafes, no bars, no shopping areas, nothing that will occupy the traveller who has to spend time at the airport. You need to get out of security to have a decent meal, to get anything decent to read or to get medicines. The chairs are uncomfortably tilted and positioned and the bathrooms filthy. In contrast, San Francisco has a decent airport where you don't die of boredom and the airport personnel too are nicer, which in my opinion makes a big difference.

All Indian airports are terrible. There is no concern for the traveller, nothing is done to provide for a comfortabler experience and the airport personnel are rude and uncouth. In contrast, Thailand and Singapore have probably the best airports. I might be biased on this count, because I will rate any airport where I can get thai curry or chicken rice pretty high on my list. Still, cleaner bathrooms, good lounges, good food, good bookshops, nicer shopping areas do reduce the stress caused by travelling. I wonder why we do not do it in India. All you need to do is keep a check on the cleanliness, add food courts, add shops where one gets the basics and provide more lounges. It goes a long, long way in providing a good travelling experience.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

My home, My hearth

I have just bought a flat. Its in a nice part of Calcutta, one that I am used to and know like the back of my hand. Since it is in an old building, I have to get loads of repairs done before I can move in. The kitchen and the bathrooms have to be broken down and remodeled, the electrical fittings changed, the plumbing changed and the walls painted. Despite the headaches, the arguing with the contractors, the bargaining and haggling, the painful loan agreements, and the shitload of work, the feeling of owning a space of my own, makes me proud and want to cry.

I Suppose...

One should not gloat about the cows one's exes end up marrying. Heh! I'm in very good humour right now and also heaving many sighs of relief.

All Over You

I can be very self-destructive relationship-wise. It is as if I can't believe that anything good can happen to me and so I sabotage anything good happening. I have ruined every momentous occassion because I was afraid that if I did not do anything negative something bad would happen. However, I am changing. I am being cleansed slowly and steadily. The process of healing is slow, given that time is precious and I have so little to spare, but still, I don't scratch my scabs as much as I used to. And so I wonder why I still think the world of him? Why? Why? Why? Why have I not been able to break out of this habit like I have with the others? Why? He's mostly bitter, mostly rude, mostly selfish and today he's 64 and may he stay forever young.

Spluttering in the pool

Calcutta has never been hotter. The weatherwomen on TV forecast showers everyday but the clouds just rush on and refuse to cool this accursed city. So the swimming pools beckon to me after work and I soak my fat ass for an hour everyday after work. That is the one thing that prevents prickly heat and heat strokes or so it seems to my privileged self. Yesterday, while driving down to the swimming pool in my cool air conditioned car, I crossed the wetland pools where many naked children were splashing around in gay abandon. The raucous yelping and splattering made for an interesting montage. Later when I am alone in the pool, my hot body enveloped by the cool waters and dog paddling, I realise that I am all alone. No one to splash, no one's leg to pull underwater, no one to race with.

French Cafe

Few weeks ago I was browsing music stores with someone I always try to impress. I frequently do things of that sort and sometimes I even succeed. I bought a CD called French Cafe. When my companion saw the CD, she raised an eyebrow and was suitably impressed. I put on an air of a chic sophisticate world traveller and pretended I was on first name terms with most of the artists listed on the CD.

I tossed it aside when I got home classifying it in my brain as pretentious world music and made mental lists of the people I could gift the CD to. About 2 weeks back, I had loads of assignments to complete and send off by a deadline and the hardwork and stress was making me cry. I needed a break from work and every book, CD and TV channel was only annoying me. I was frantic for something new and I suddenly saw the French Cafe CD. I tore the plastic covering from the CD and put the disc into my DVD player. The first song mesmerized me, the second one enchanted me and the third made me read the CD jacket. I put the CD on repeat and suddenly my stress, anxiety and biliousness disappeared and I patiently completed my asignments well on time. The music was enchanting and though I do not understand one word of French I'm planning to seek more music by the artists on that CD. What a lovely introduction to French artists! Sometimes I am glad I do idiotic things, most of my idiotic quirks have landed me wonderful experiences, and sometimes not.

Monday, May 23, 2005

California Dreaming

I have survived the stress and have met all my deadlines. I managed to travel to the USA, do my meetings, attend all conferences without any major mishap. This time I travelled alone and I liked it much better. I liked California and have bought back paintings, curios and sea-shells and of course shoes. This time I am not the least jet-lagged because I slept all through the flight.

It feels funny that I blog only when I am stressed. When I am happy and relaxed, I feel no need to write anything at all. Right now, I still have many more deadlines to meet and loads of work to complete, professional and personal and hence, this post.

I met my tutor in California and it was nice to talk with him on a non-student basis, it was lovely to meet old friends and to be on my own, unknown and unobserved. It was nice to dress up, drink copious amounts of californian wine and to eat metres of sushi. It was nice to sight-see all alone and to shop. It was nice to not be under a 38 degrees centigrade sun and now I am back home. It is nice to sleep in my bed and to see work being done just as it is meant to be. Life feels nice and kind.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Questions people ask me

1. Do you have any friends at all?
2. What do you exactly do?
3. Where are you from?
4. Aren't you scared of being lonely when you get old?
5. Why are you so jealous?
6. Can you talk about anything else other than your work?

Answers I give them

1. Yes
2. Umm... I'd rather not say, because its pretty complicated and the moron that I am, I can never explain well enough to people who do not have any knowledge of my field. To them I say, read my friend, read and expand your mind.
3. More than ever, this confuses me. I am comfortable where I am, but I don't feel I belong here, I don't feel I belong anywhere.
4. No
5. Because I was built competitive and without any talents.
6. No, because my work is just so interesting and varied. Just listen to me..... Heh!

On this evening

My bags are packed, I am working on my assignments, am listening to french chansons (???) that I can't understand a word of and I am happy and contended.