Wednesday, November 25, 2015

I am Getting Hate Mail For This - I Know I Am

I just had an epiphany. 

You know how when relationships end and there are these gifts you exchanged that you don't quite know what to do with? So if I were to draw a disturbing analogy- Children are kind of like those gifts in marriages that don't work? And I know just that sentence where I compared children to things warrants years of therapy to me but that's the awesome part about having an anonymous blog-  you can get away with saying almost anything. 

In fact I thought about it hard, you know. Why is it that I can't share the fact that I have a blog with my friends or family...and it's because this is that only space where I can be so utterly myself without having to worry about what they would think about me. I don't write here so I could get famous or hound people into believing I have an awesome kickass life...but it's because it lets me admit embarrassing truths about myself that I would prefer no one I know, know. 

And that's where you, Reader, should probably step in and say- er..those things are called journals, not public blogs that you share on Twitter every week.Don't pretend you don't want Readers. 

And I would say, ouch, I haven't thought this through. I guess I like expressing my secrets creatively? and maybe that's why I think people wouldn't mind reading them? 

Or maybe all of this is all in my head, and no one really cares what I do with my secrets. So yeah. Here I am. 

This was not what I meant to write though...I meant to write something that has nothing to do with embarrassing epiphanies and now I don't know how to link these two things together and it's making me angry. 

I get very angry these days. Mom says it's PMS and I need to be medicated but I just reminded her it can't be PMS cause I just finished being leaky. And she said the P stands for Pre and Post both. (she was just fucking with me, I totally knew it doesn't. Honest.) 

So anyway, pretend all of the shit written above doesn't exist and this is where the post starts: 

Mom's ancestors wanted a better life for themselves so they kind of dispersed all over the world and now she has cousins who are confused Indians. They visit us and try to embrace "Indian-ness". They get it wrong every.time.  and it's funny for us to watch them try. I guess that makes us Mean but we've been laughed at when we traveled abroad, so we're even. 

A cousin came over from London. She's really very sweet and talked about how she was coping with diabetes by taking Taichi classes. Obviously no one knew what Taichi is so she suddenly decides to demonstrate on the landing on her way out. And my mother can't hear properly so she mistook her cousin's "let's go" (as in let's do this) with "let's leave" and mom starts stomping off towards the exit, which would have been fine if there were many others watching said cousin do the taichi, but it was just mom me and my aunt. So I call out to mom to come back and mom walks right up to the cousin in the middle of her taichi pose because obviously mom thought she missed something cuz was saying. 

So there they were. Mom and cousin. Doing a weird taichi dance. And I remember looking at them and feeling a little glad that we came from this generation- totally messed up but adorable. 

Friday, November 20, 2015

What Makes Up For My Lack Of Aesthetics

There's a black and white picture of mom. Apparently it was taken in a proper photo shoot, with all the lights and equipment. Baba dabbled in photography quite a bit when I was growing up.

The result was a happy one. You could see the garnet chain shining on her neck and her ears studs- she has always been the no danglers only ear tops kind of person. "My face doesn't allow me to be a dangler girl," she quips. 

There is an outpouring of warmth and charm from her twinkling eyes and her laughing mouth which has parted to reveal almost fang-like teeth- the corner ones. I have them too. There's so much love in this picture, not just in the eyes of picturee but also of the picturer...I have a blog and these are the best new words  I can come up with- boring if I were a reader. Guess it's awkward for me to describe love between two people who don't see face to face anymore. Or maybe not awkward at all.. just incredibly sad, you know, to see love dead. 

The only editing I've done with this picture is cropping out the horrendously
messy dressing filters except if love were a filter. Hah. See,
I can be cheesy too.

Someone laminated that picture, after the wars and battles were long over and the scars had started to form over the wounds..."This is the kind of picture that one would expect to have garlanded after I am dead," was mom's rejoinder. She has always managed to carry off depressing and funny with great elan. 

We didn't quite know what to do with the picture. So we let it rest against the mirror on our dressing table :"just for the time being, till I figure out a less embarrassing place to hang this up in," winced mummy. 

It's stayed there, ever since. 

Makes sense to me anyway...every time I walk up to the table to dress up...I look at that picture, nod to myself and say "that's beauty-  That's the kind of beautiful you want to be." 

And no Vogue column could ever come up with more worthwhile advice. 

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Getting In The Way

A mellifluous strain of an old romantic song drifted in from somewhere and he found himself wanting to hold her hand. So he did in that cramped space of the auto rickshaw...he reached out to her and she was taken slightly by surprise because she wasn't in that auto...her mind was somewhere else wandering as usual..and yet this tender soft gesture...was coaxing her back to the present. And she found herself smiling sadly at him. 

"I am a quitter," she whispered to herself more than to him, "I will quit on you eventually," she said a little louder.

"That's the beauty of transience, " he said reassuringly "everything must come to an end" 

She shrugged, "true, but I will quit on you like I quit on everything else. I will push you away, even if it killed a part of me. I will find some weird logic to justify my actions and kaput! I'll be gone, even before I'm supposed to." 

"Were you always like this?" he asked with a teasing grin.

"I like to think not," she found herself gently resting her head on his shoulders. There was a faint smell of cologne and mostly just his gentle breathing. 

"Who broke your heart?" his voice was closer that empty auto they had somehow managed to create a microcosm-  their little transient world. 

The answer came to her in seconds..."I did." 

They didn't speak after that. 

She found a soft ball of tears forming in her throat, constricting it ruthlessly. So she let out a tiny gasp and let the tears flow. She still had his unsure hand in hers. She eased her fingers, one at a time, away from his and asked the driver to slow down. 

Friday, November 13, 2015

A Theory - A Fevered Soul

I have a theory.

And it's going to sound very elitist.

But I believe that the world has a strange way of sifting souls... of seeing what's working and what's not...and then combining it in proportions that it thinks is best. For example a "new" soul may have a little bit of Sinatra, a touch of Christie, the grace of Hepburn and such like... a whole new soul altogether...but with little bits and pieces that light up with familiar bits and pieces from the past....maybe we find matches in others with others who journey with us through life..."soulmates" we call them. 

But sometimes there are those sad moments of disillusion when you say:

"That is not it at all, 
That is not what I meant, at all" 

Because somehow we always perceive a person as one suits us better to sum them all up. At certain stages of life one part of the soul is probably more dominant than the rest and due to one sad incident or several we leave that part with the people they connected with and allow the other parts to speak...mould into us... 

Some of these combinations "work" and the rest are probably reserved in a soul "conservatory" to be summoned when the world needs some of it. The world must have needs too right? Just like us, except I always imagine the needs of the world are more abstract and geometrical for some reason- A piece of cheese on a string of gold and other such strange demands. 

It's a fear that my obscure soul will be kept in the conservatory sooner rather than later. It's not a fear as much as it's a niggling sadness that won't leave me because I have to wonder if there'll be a second chance? And even if there were a second chance why would I pin everything on it rather than the one I have now. Heights of procrastination I right? 

And what really is the tipping point? What sends your soul off the edge to the conservatory? It's been a week of strange dreams, of running away from them and sometimes....never wanting them to stop. Dreams must be like the beacons right? The way your soul communicates with your mind? Shows you what you really want...and all you can do is run. Hah. 

This Diwali, I wish you better running shoes... ones that guide you and eventually take you to exactly where you belong. 


Thursday, November 5, 2015

~Sigh~ Need To Get This Off Of Me- It's Being A Leech

Can I just say...if you are a person, you are entitled to enjoy basic things in your birthday, your time with your family, your weekend etc. 

 And if there are silly less important things getting in the way like propriety...or timidity or just your head feeding you thoughts like "I don't deserve this" ...then please please the whole wide world a massive favor..ignore everything and do. Stop thinking and just do...say...act.. on your instincts. 

And you really would be doing the world a favor you know: when you don't speak your mind, when you constantly put others before yourself- assholes are born..especially at your work place.That's when people who have a certain level of authority assume that it's okay to mistreat you and take you for granted just because you don't have the degree or the requisite qualifications to do the work that they're doing.  

I appreciate the phrase "bitches get stuff done." but let me just point out here, there's a world of difference between being a bitch and being mean(or an asshole). To me, being bitchy is about acting out during stressful times, calling people names, ignoring the "correct way of doing things" because you have reasons to back you up (motivations stem mostly from assuming this is for better outcomes in the long run). Being mean is a different story altogether: it's a permanent's an insidious, twisted way of thinking that reflects in everything you say or do and how you judge people and look at the world and you're so blind with self importance that you forget how to treat people like people-that's being mean and there's no cure for being mean because you don't feel apologetic about it in the least. Because that's who you are. And you fart rainbows apparently so nothing could ever be wrong with you.

I am  very fortunate that I understand what's correct and what's not and draw the lines hard..where they need to be drawn. But I really believe somewhere in the education system or the academic world we are doing things terribly wrong because the objective somehow gets translated to "let's generate a bunch of docile, exploitable mechanical bunch of people who will do anything to abide by what the Boss says and worship them like mini Gods" .

Every day I look at people and I am attracted to the beautiful science that is human behaviour. Where do they draw the line? Where do they say "this far and no further".. I understand there is the aspect of culture that comes in... the boundaries differ from country to country- from one job to another- from one person to another...but boundaries That's the funny thing about this whole thing... we must advocate for ourselves for what is rightfully ours and there's no judicial system to see us through the assholery we face every day. Instead I have to get back home and rant about it to the harmless people reading this blog. Probably harmless. I don't know anymore...because I am losing faith...a lot. 

This is an appeal to you. Yes you with the heady concoction of power and authority that you carry around with you like it's your birth right. You have no idea about  the changes you can influence. Don't be petty, don't misread silences and the lack of defenses as signs of how charismatic you are...they're just scared to speak out. They're scared of "what other people are thinking" They're scared that they will disappoint their family. They come to you with a dream of doing good with their lives. Don't trample over that and diminish the work that they do,simply because you think you can. 

Friday, October 30, 2015

Noises and Voices

The week has been one of self exploration. 

Oh and it hasn't been a smooth ride. At all. I fell! quite literally, while stepping out of a meeting. We were at a Government building, recently done up in  swanky glittery marble  floors (there might have been a glow sign for the Department board, I  kid you not). So there I was, floundering on my knees (which are still ouchy btw) when a Minister steps out and he is very confused because he thinks I am paying my respects by doing the traditional pranaam by touching his feet. He confuses me for a petitioner and strides past us while my Boss helps me up to a couch and the cop standing guard, nearby, watches with a building sense of anxiety. He probably thinks there's going to be voices raised any second. 

 I do not like being the centre of attention in this way, but there are few things one can do when one's stars are aligned in a let's really embarrass this sad wimp of a girl this week kind of way. There have been many more instances but I shall not recount them here, mostly because it is agonising for someone who has been brought up on healthy doses of shame every day. 

This is something I am working through at present. 

I guess learning to laugh at myself and remembering that people are seldom really thinking about me as much as I think they are, helps, partially. Also, there are going to be accidental mistakes and revelations almost every day. There are a dozen ways of listening to what a person is saying and what they are hinting at. And I might be reading the messages wrong and a dozen other things could be misinterpreted (I am super psychotic that way). 

But if you constantly let everything get to your head, your voice and your purpose gets crowded out. So from now on, I lower the volume of what's going on outside...and tune in... to the flutter and the buzz that we constantly ignore or get distracted from. Listen to won't make sense all the time...but really.. what ever does? 

Patterns and things. I kept it black and white because it's more fun
 if you let your head decide on the colours

PS. On a more tangible note, aren't phones supposed to auto-lock themselves after a phone conversation is over ? Instead of flashing your private whatsapp conversations in your Boss's face after she's done talking to someone on your phone? I already have enabled the lock screen mode but clearly it isn't helping! In my head I have set fire to a Samsung factory which happened to have only that one dude who came up with the shitty model I am using. Because I am kind like that. 

Friday, October 16, 2015

This Is Unusual Coming From Me

Pujo  has prowled through the thicket of doldrums and is finally here! I shall not wax eloquence on the glories of the upcoming  4 days. If you have read earlier posts you'll know that it isn't the favourite time of the year for the family. There is pandemonium, there is utter madness waiting to unfurl. 

Friend:  I don't hear from you anymore. Where have you disappeared?

Me: In crowded streets and unmoving tracts of traffic...noise and lights :) 

I didn't have a choice. Work forced me to see commute at 7 in the evening- the peak office hours as they call it. I spent hours stranded in a bus... The official pujo starts Monday. But the streets are busy with eager beavers, unending shopping sprees,  groups of youngsters jostling for a quick tick of must-view pandal locations. 

And somewhere in between the seeing and the observing, I found myself quietly making my way into one of these must see pandals, of partaking the excitement of guessing the theme...of marveling at the simple fact that this one was air conditioned...who would have ever thought...and taking that customary first shot of the first viewing of the Goddess and her family- 2015 

That's when I thanked my city...for making me feel like a tourist...for infusing a sense of awe and wonder and for unfolding little bits of wisdom- Kolkata is literally all dressed up and has nowhere to go in the next days to come...and she never once sighs in impatience...not once.