Saturday, July 30, 2005

Roman Holiday

Where I returned to every night for docking.

Practically next to my hotel

How one dreams on

Friday, July 29, 2005

California Dreaming

Aboard the Star of India

From the decks of Star of India

Aboard the Lord Hornblower

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Commenting Rules on This Blog - Version 1.0

1. I do not like rude and insulting comments and I might delete those, unless I chose to let them remain to let the Internet determine the IQ level of the commenter.

2. I don't really care much about what anyone who reads this sorry ass blog thinks, but it still remains MY blog and I shall do what I wish. So, if that causes a problem, too bad.

3. I do not like anonymous commenters and I usually delete those, unless they are flattering or so dumb that they don't make a difference.

4. I dislike Indian wannabes. That said, if I delete your comments, you know what you are.

5. If I am in a bad mood, I shall delete comments without a reason. If someone protests, up theirs.

6. I don't respond to bleatings about hurt feelings when comments are deleted, so up yours if your feelings are hurt because your precious comment that hardly 2 people have read anyway, are deleted.

7. This blog is not meant to be a ledger of accounts. It is not meant to take revenge, deliberately hurt feelings or to show anyone down. This blog merely reflects what I have been thinking at the given point while typing the post. My thoughts and opinions might change later. Nothing is a given on this blog.

8. Clearly this blog is no place to have debates or arguments. I have no time for them. There are very many blogs where you may do so, and an argumentative person or anyone who wishes to have a debate may transfer their attention to such blogs.

9. This blog is not politically correct. So, if one wishes to inform me about the inaccuracy of my opinions and views, your comment in all probability will be deleted.

Oops! I did it again!

Does my mother really mind when I help myself to her linen? Apparently not. I don't actually filch her linen, but when I was in college and had just started working, I did filch the occassional ketchup bottle and toilet paper and detergent.

Bad Hair Day

I've burnt my hair today. I was ironing them with an iron (yes, I do things of that sort) and suddenly my hair started crackling and smoldering. I have crinkly hair that is dropping off now and I don't want to see my hair stylists face when she sees what a mess I have managed to make of my nice long silky black hair.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

I'm Going Mad

I'm in the process of changing houses and doing up my new apartment. Sometimes it is too much to handle. I feel like an expert on cement, marble Vs. granite, blinds, furniture and wood, labour and kitchen fittings. I'll post pictures when my house is done. I'm aiming for a cosy, warm, sun-filled homey look. I can't wait to put my kitchen and appliances in order, though right now, my hands are rough with cleaning chemicals and back is close to giving way with packing, lifting, shifting and pushing.

Oh Calcutta I

Calcutta was not covered in ET's survey of Indian cities to live in. It compared places like Lucknow even, but not Calcutta. Frightening.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The Calcutta Club Aunty

1. Is often overwight in the Bengali way - large prosperous tummy, large boobs, fat soft hands, often jowly.
2. Is mostly dressed in saris accompanied with jewellery that can be classified as
(a) Pearls - Old Fashioned, studied in convent, parents landowners with morris minors in the garages to be flashed out during the Statesman rallies. How such types make a living always remains a mystery.
(b) Gold - oodles of it - Newly rich, and is often accompanied with weird vaudeville makeup and often married to a businessman.
(c) Chunky, funky jewellery - Is better educated, may be working and hence feels morally and intellectually superior. Is supposedly cool and trendy and exhibits supposed coolness by smoking like a chimney and drinking like a fish.

3. Has wonderfully "accomplished" children often settled abroad, who do better than everyone else's.
4. Think it is their duty and privilege to ask nosy questions.
5. Has opinions on everything and voices them loudly.
6. Is always socially conscious of her husband's "status" and "place in life" and never fails to voice it loudly at every given point in time.
7. Is capable of out-staring anyone and everyone.
8. Will talk in a mixture of English and Bengali with the Bengali spoken with an English accent.
9. Knows everyone in town worth knowing.
10. Is as bitchy as a well bitch, but pretends to be holy and saintly.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Slip Away

What would I give for just a few moments
What would I give just to have you near
Tell me you would try to slip away somehow
Oh I need you darling I want to see you right now
Can you slip away, slip away
Slip away, oh I need you so.

Love, oh love, how sweet it is
When you steal love,
Let me tell you how sweet it is...

Now I know it's wrong,
The things I ask you to do
But please believe me darling
I don't mean to hurt you
But can you slip away
Without him knowin you're gone
Baby, we could meet somewhere,
Somewhere we both are not known
Can you slip away, slip away,
Slip away-ay-ay-ay...(stop) I need you so

Vamp out...
Oh can you slip away baby
I'd like to see you right now darling
Can you slip away baby
Cause I got to, got to see you
I feel a deep burning inside
Oh I wish you could slip away...

Atonement II

Six years ago, I gave up rassogollas. The fates have stuck to their part of the bargain and so have I. My mouth waters terribly when I am face to face with a juicy rassogolla, but it is not destined for me.

I'm giving up mangoes now. I love mangoes. I am that girl who won the mango eating contest when I was eight (36 mangoes for the record) and no, that did not put me off mangoes for life. My mother suggested giving them up in the winters only (when they are not available - mother has many arrangements with God like that, she bargains and barters and hoodwinks the fates) but what are mangoes compared to peace and my part of the bargain working out?


Why else would she write such a cliffhanger? Portions of the book were terrible, really terrible. Agreed teenagers are silly and obsessive, but Ginny's and Harry's sexual tension proved to be a damp squib. It seemed shallow and superficial and a total waste of poor Dumbledore. She killed him for nothing! All that was established was horcruxes and Voldemort's early life, but it had scant little to do with anyone else. Is the Rowling really spending so much that she needs to churn out fence sitters every year? We all know that Voldemort will be vanquished sooner or later, why can't she just go ahead and kill the bugger? I'm getting rather tired of all the death eaters, vampires and werewolves now. I'm afraid with this Harry Potter, my obsession has just ended.

Monday, July 18, 2005


Once upon a time, my precious told me that angry and mean words once spoken can never be taken back. I was a prissy, conceited bitch at that time with anger management issues (not that I am not one now, but I like to think that I have tempered down) and I ignored that statement. Now, that statement comes back to haunt me and I am sorry for my past behaviour with my loved ones. Those were the days when I used to have nasty comments to make on blogs I used to surf randomly. I realise now how gormless it is to say nasty things to people you don't know and how pointless nasty statements are, even though they maybe true.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Crash Boom Bang

Today morning there was a huge crash and people rushed out to see what happened. The minister's bodyguards had rammed a police truck into one of the neighbourhood brick walls and totalled it to powder. If there was someone standing on the other side, he would not have survived the impact. It was that bad. The person driving the police van too did not sustain any injury reportedly but the van was damaged. Unlike Calcutta roads that remain potholed and dug up for months together, the wall had been restored by evening by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation. Staying here is amusing, especially when one gets to see the comedy that is Kolkata Police.

I want what she ordered

I got mine today, Have you got yours?

More Shoes

First my comfortable pairs. I bought them in San Diego after my regular work shoes made me hobble, because 18 hours in those shoes was a bit too much. So, I bought a pair of Steve Maddens and one pair of NineWest. I got teased about buying 2 comfortable pairs, but why should I let go of a perfectly legit excuse to buy shoes? I'm glad I did then, because now that dratted house doesn't permit any shoe-buying until October. Sigh!

Anyway here are the Steve Maddens-

Here are the NineWest, which are the comfortablest pair of shoes I have had in a long, long time.

And here is the pair that caused the purchase of the above two pairs. Isn't this one beautiful?

How does he do it?

I'm tired. I'm tired of studying and assignments and vivas and projects. I don't know how my Dad does it all his life. I'm so tired right now, I could cry. My assignments are never-ending, my stress levels are high, my neck has a permanent crick, I can feel knots all over my back, my "To Do" list has 617 points in it, my house is still under renovation, there is cement, dust, wood-shavings, drillings everywhere, and I HAVE to shift this month. Right now, its easier to just turn over and die. Bah and double bah!

Friday, July 15, 2005

Why Leave This Until Next Week?

I thought since I have been taking photos of every thing, I might as well post some. So, these are my newest shoes. First, Vietnamese Slippers my sister got for me.

These are my newest red heels. I love them. Lets ignore my cuticles and that I badly require a pedicure, shall we?

Tears in Heaven

My favourite horse is being put to sleep. I feel sick. She is just 3 years old, extremely high-spirited, beautiful, pig-headed and shy. She is the first horse I ever fed sugar to. I've seen her winning thrice, all the three times when nobody expected her to. In fact the first time she won, she started off by running in the opposite direction. She was supposed to run her first race of the season tomorrow and yesterday while practising, broke her back.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

O Sole Mio

When I plunked loose change in the hat, I was called "Patron of the Arts!" I loved these guys. After loads of shopping it was good to stop and listen to them.

The Fake Mascot

Atleast thats what the tour guide told us.

Sadly, I couldn't get any pics of the cows in Brussels, so am posting another Munich Lion.

And I know I am a crappy photographer, I have no patience.


Seen at The Grand Place, Brussels. These doggies went begging all over the place. They attracted quite a lot of attention, these two.

Monday, July 11, 2005

You Ain't Goin' Nowhere

Today was one of those days in which the day starts with a headache and ends with a crick in the neck, when you emerge from work and wonder where the hell the day went? All those lofty claims of India being a hub of skilled labour, sometimes feels like a whole lotta bull especially when you have interviewed 10 people in a row and each of them puts "contributing to my organization's bright success... (sic)" as an objective on their resume. Tomorrow evening I shall spend time smiling politely, swilling wine and fabricating evil designs to torture my hosts while planning to somehow work in a Bob Dylan concert this year. Note: Don't get tired yet, Please, I'm not done yet.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

The object of my disappointment

The complete waste of time. Though I discovered many interesting places while getting there. I must admire the stoicism of the Japanese tourists who were photographing this thing from every possible angle!

On the completion of assignments

What I would give to be the ant that you just crushed between your fingers because it had bitten you.

What I would give to walk on the banks of the Seine again.

What I would give to look over rooftops again breathing the same air as you.

What I would give to go for long, aimless drives laughing at billboards.

What I would give to have long, picnic lunches in Central Park.

What I would give to not be complicated and pig-headed and to count before 10 before erupting and spoiling things.

What I would give to cook and sew and let flowers grow.

What I would give for hugs every night.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Pabda Shorshe

This is the first meal I have cooked myself after about a month. Dinner was pabda shorshe made totally in the microwave. Pabda is catfish - a freshwater fish. On grey rainy days, nothing cheers me up more than a Bengali style fish in mustard gravy and hot, frangrant rice. Then I followed it up with pancakes with Blueberry preserve from Le Pain Quotidien, Brussels. I still have pancake batter in the fridge, so tomorrow I shall have pancakes with flambeed orange juice for breakfast.

These Boots Are Made For Walkin'

As is known, I love shoes. After frantically down-sizing my shoe-count is now 50. I've not bothered about anything much in my new house, but the amount of time I've spent in designing my shoe-cupboard is not funny. It is now my ambition to own a shoe made in every country I visit. Sometimes, this is tough, because of the ubiquitousness of the "Made in China" tag. However, what really made me laugh were tags that read, "Designed in Italy, Made in China".

Next month, I shall start a shoe-of-the-day photo week featuring all new shoes. This thought is enough to make me very happy.

Alls Well That Ends Well

The hurricane that was has spent itself. Now I can breathe in peace. Thats the way it always is when la familia is around. We can't live in peace with each other and we can't live in peace without each other.

Dr. Death

I am looking for a Gynaecologist in Calcutta who will not ask, "Madam do you have a boyfriend?" before I even open my mouth. My gynae is leaving for better climes, not that she was much of a help, I could never tell her about my depression since she knew loads of people I know, but atleast she was helpful and did not make me feel guilty about going for consultations alone.

The weirdest thing I find, is that women in Calcutta go to gynaecologists with husbands, fathers, brothers or mothers in tow. They outstare any woman who goes alone. Not only that, but the doctor also asks soliticiously, "Why have you come alone? Don't you have a friend to accompany you?" Why would I want a friend to accompany me if I have been bleeding like a slaughtered pig and am already irritated and going onto nasty? I remember once on such an occassion, the doctor (not my gynae) asked me if I had a boyfriend. Huh? Isn't it just better to ask me if I am getting banged or something?

I have another trip scheduled with my gynae, my last one, since she is going away (and I shall miss her, despite her proclivity to enquire about my family while examining my ummm... regions) and she has referred me to someone who just does not sound comfortable to me. Problems, problems, problems.

Sticks And Stones

The one thing that most women who are part of my family or extended family always use to fling back at me, often when I have been rude or nasty, is that I wouldn't know better because I'm a dismal failure as a human being because I don't have a man in my life. This never ceases to amaze me because the reason I don't is because I see how shabbily Indian men treat their spouses or partners and nothing will make me get into a relationship where I have to compromise my principles.

Relationships are over-rated and it is hard for many people to realise that those staying on their own are actually pretty happy. It is a matter of choice and if I do not ridicule anyone else's choices, why do people do it to me? Since when did men become so important? It seems most women have had a severe by-pass of emancipation and pride in the fact that despite being a man's world, one can still have a happy and fulfilled life sans relationships. I'm not dissing relationships, and I'm sure they make people very happy, but for some happiness exists even without them.

Few words that have stopped bothering or hurting me are: spinster and bitch.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Is This What I've Travelled Half-way Around The Globe For?

After my conference in Munich, I had a one-day, last minute trip to Brussels for a meeting. After the meeting and lunch, I had the day to spend as I liked. Out came the Lonely Planet and since my Hotel was walking distance from the Mannekin Pis, I set out to see for myself the great Belgian tourist trap. Imagine my shock and disappointment when I finally reached the spot and realised that the statue was no more than a foot tall! My colleagues hooted with laughter at the look on my face and my incredulity. I shall never believe any Belgian again. Never, ever, ever.

German Efficiency?

Well, most of my German friends sniff and look down on my beloved country because things take a million years to happen. However, one thing that does seem to function pretty decently is luggage handling by airlines. I've never lost luggage in India or have it come late. However, I have had my luggage arriving one day later than I did, in Munich this summer. Agreed that the Airline I flew (Austrian Air) is not German and that a half hour stop in Vienna was really short-sighted and stupid, but arriving in Munich sans clothes on a Sunday has been the worst travel experience ever. It required a hasty dash to Esprit, buying undies that till date have been the most expensive ever (umm... 35 Euros is INR 1890 afterall, lets not even discuss the bras) and clothes that are not my style at all.

EVERYTHING was closed on Sunday, I had to attend parties, a black-tie dinner (I wrapped my black stole around me to hide my crumpled shirt and wore huge earrings to draw away attention, not that I succeeded) and associates to visit. I explained to everyone that I had an unfortunate experience with my luggage. Thank God, I knew most of my associates pretty well and they have seen me in better-dressed times. Germany has never been so exasperating to me till that horrible Sunday. I'll never not sympathise with people who've lost baggage. I know the pain now and I'm always carrying a spare set of clothes in my hand baggage, no matter what.