Sunday, January 31, 2010

Gossip Girls

Women gossip. That is the general assessment and judgement that most people make about my kind, and I agree. But men gossip too. The ones I know, most certainly do that much is for sure. Getting to the point of this post. I'd planned lunch with my colleague Krupa today. I'll have to take you back a couple of days as to why. Friday night after work, the girls in office and I had planned a night out. I'd also planned to meet my friends from school at another place. (Aside: I tend to double book a LOT!) I'd planned to get out of Blend (where I met my school friends) early and catch the office gang at Zara's after. Didn't happen. So, to offer my apologies I told K about lunch.

We met at around 1.15. Ordered the veg combo, which works out to around Rs275. Frankly, for a place that prices its food at Rs175 and above, this is a fucking steal! A starter, main course, dessert and a glass of wine/red bull/sangria/mocktail for Rs275 is INSANE! So K and I met, and the gossip session began in earnest.

Krupa and me know each other from Madras University. She was my junior there. I was doing my masters in Engligh Lit and she in Sociology. The only reason we ever knew each other was because we were one of maybe 15 people who spoke in English there. At uni, this was an accomplishment. This was in 2006/07. 2008 Oct, I joined The Times of India at the supplements desk. K was already an employee. We hit it off really well and I'm glad things are the way they are. In an office where things can get messy and politic-y, it is important to know that someone will be there. Specifically as a support system and someone you can go to to vent.

After lunch we headed to Madras Terrace House to look around, buy things we won't wear in normal contexts and eat cup cakes! I lurve cup cakes. From lunch and at MTH K and I talked about a million things. Things that were bothering us at work. Things that bothered us at home. A movie we watched. A song we like. But the best part of the conversation was that we talked in all honesty. I was open with her about what I thought. She told me what she was thinking. At the end of it, I felt lighter and much much better!

This conversation we had began on Monday night. It paused there. I'm glad we took the time to finish it. I've also realised that women talk a lot, but it is not gossip. We discuss things, we analyse things and we try to sort things out. We don't gossip and pass along information about people who are not relevant to us. We talk. It is our way of dealing with things. Yes, it may not be sport OR beer, but its better.

I want to dedicate this post to gossip. To talking. To women I talk to. To women who can talk to me.


P.S: My word of the day - ungettable

My beauty photo

That's me, 8am-ish. Why'd I take this picture? I wanted to I guess. I have a collection of me photographs on my computer. It isn't because I'm some level of narcissist, I somehow don't like how I look in other photographs! It probably has a lot to do with the fact that I know I'm not posing or smiling at anyone in particular except myself. I like that thought. Somehow, when pictures are taken at weddings, it's this unwritten pre-requisite that everyone look like they're happy to be there and that they look golden and beautiful as well. I don't understand how it doesn't bother people in the least bit!

That was about pictures. I'm done here. I'll talk more later. Right now, I'm happier talking about me than scratching my brain for the answers to life!


Sunday, January 24, 2010

A wedding. A bad day. The journo life!

It's Saturday. No normal 5-day working human being will want to step out. However, if I called myself normal, I wouldn't be writing this post.

My job involves a lot of frou-frou style writing. Whether it is a profile of a person or of an organisation, the kind of writing done by me desk leans a little toward what we call fluff. It is by no means yellow, but it most certainly is not serious, world-altering journalism for sure. Case in point. Today, January 23, I was asked to cover a wedding to feature in our wedding special pullout. This wedding featured a French couple who have come to live in Chennai for some time on work. Christophe and Florence. The wedding was held at the Santhome Basilica, one of the most beautiful churches I have seen EVER. [That's the church and I took the picture - Sony Ericsson K790i - awesome right? I know!]

So this wedding is a cross between the solemn Catholic mass and an Indian tadka! The bride had mehendi on her hands as did the rest of the women in the wedding party. The groom wore a dhoti and kurta as did the groomsmen. The groom gave the bride a thali (for the benefit of my international audience - a thali is the Indian equivalent of a weding ring. A gold chain with a pendant to symbolise your faith/region of origin, tying a thali [tying the knot?!] around a woman's neck signifies the solemnisation of the wedding ceremony). In the middle of the ceremony, which was entirely in French (they had a priest come down from Pondicherry - a past French colony), only God knows how many people walked in and out of the church. This was by no means a quiet wedding! Apart from not understanding what the hell the priest man was saying was the added difficulty of having to wait for my photographer to show up. Who waltzed in 35 mins late and took a few hasty photos. Suffice to say, Radhika and I were mad.

After that, Radhika and I decided to drop in to the nearest mall and drink some chai to figure out how to cover the reception. Radhika and I decided to skip the reception and ensure our copy doesn't let that fact on. A couple of hours after that decision was made, photo man calls all indignant and mad saying he was at the reception and it was mighty indecent of us not to have told him we weren't going. Rad and I are pissed cuz he's losing his temper while on the job. Now, I'm not sure if I want to wring his neck or pretend that PMS could happen to anyone!

After most of this chaos was done, I dashed across the city to meet Apeksha, a classmate from school with whom I also share my birthday. Apu left for Australia today and we wanted to see her before she left, more specifically because her baby is a doll. One of the happiest 11-month-olds I know, Gunveer is by far the best baby I've met! I hope to see Apu soon. It was nice meeting her after 8 years. Celebrating our birthdays (that is a whole different post!) together after 8 years... sometimes I think I'm young, but when I look back and how much has happened in the last few years I don't know if the word young has any meaning or if it is an adjective we use purely for self-gratification!


Sunday, January 17, 2010


This week, I will try to put down things I really want to say. Without living in fear that someone I know will read it and will judge me to be a moral reprobate. The fact is that, by Indian middle-class standards atleast, I am some level of moral reprobate. However, that doesn't mean I take that stupid judgement too seriously. I mean, the people who are handing it out are people who probably have moral reprobates for children and can't stand that fact that I'm having my fun and have a great relationship with my family!

This is what happened on Saturday night. Judging by the turn of events, I'd have been better off making eyes at Tamang at Blend! The booze would have been good and alcohol is known for its properties of curing bad moods!

My best friend, Seema, and I planned to go for a late night movie. Pooja, our other friend, was supposed to come along, but she was too ill from our Friday night exploits so she opted out of the plan. So Seema and I went to watch Pyaar Impossible, a Yash Raj glossy "entertainer" about the geek who fell in love with the beauty in college and has been obsessing over her for 7 years. The beauty is now a divorced single mother who dresses to office in jumpers and itty-bitty blouses and skirts and has perfect hair and makeup and nails. Halfway through I couldn't deal with it, so Seema and I left! I know its a waste of about Rs200, but you know what? Its ok, I think I can afford it! I'm not going to sit and watch a movie that would make me feel violated on some level. I felt like I lost some basic fundamental right after walking out of the theatre during intermission. I can't imagine what it was, but I did, I think...

The worst part of the evening was this series of emo smses I got from my mother. Apparently because I chose to go for the 10pm show, my father was yelling at her. She thanked me for my part in that particular discussion with her husband. Then she apologises to me about getting dramatic and so on...

7pm of the same night
My mother, her sister and I were at The Taj Connemara for a meeting of the Madras Book Club. It was a discussion on Rajmohan Gandhi's book A Tale of Two Revolts. We bought copies and got them signed too and then we left. On our way back home I told the ladies that I wanted to get dropped halfway because I was going for a movie. My evening went from bad to worse then! My mother and aunt were like, "You were so late last night. You're going out tonight also. I don't see why you have to spend so much time going out over the weekends. Once, twice, maybe even thrice a month is fine, but not every weekend."

I was not sure if I was in shock or if I was just plain flabbergasted! I mean these are two women who are principals of city schools and who are also fairly broad-minded, but for some vagueaandi reason behave like they have the moral codes of tiny towners! Apparently, my weekend behaviour is going to have consequences that I am going to have to deal with. Let's see, in a country like mine, such morally inappropriate behaviour could have only one consequence, my parents will not be in a position to find me "a suitable boy" (Ack: Vikram Seth). I mean, do you even know what will happen if the man who will be my husband finds out that his may be future wife is a girl who goes out for a few drinks with her girlfriends, watches 10pm movie shows, attends office parties and has been in more than one relationship? He'll divorce me and what will happen then? My standing as a girl from a respectable family will go and I will no longer be socially acceptable. WHAT THE FUCK!

It is this kind of sheer idiocy that pisses me off. This kind of sheer nonsense that bothers me. This kind of anticipated non-acceptance that makes me want to url at every guy who comes home in the hope of finding a wife. Makes me think that I'm better off in a galaxy far far away! (ack: Star Wars). Nonsensical nonsense. Whoever invented middle-class morality is going to be exhumed from his/her grave and re-killed.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Being back home

There is something to be said about the feeling of being back home. It's not something you can describe. The word 'home' alone invokes the kind of sentiment that we can all understand but can never really articulate. Its a feeling of comfort (that is about the closest explanation I can come up with). When I came back from Singapore and waiting in the immigration line, waiting for my baggage and asking someone to give way in Tamil and then hugging my mother, it was like something about me calmed down.

Just wanted to say that. Will post in more detail later.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

In the name of the new year

Oh well. Putting down important life lessons in a new year is just how life goes right? The year is just 5 days old, so I'm thinking that this is not a bad thing to do :). So here goes...

  1. I've stopped caring. Seriously. If you have a tree branch stuck up your ass and are trying to pass on that bitterness on to other people who don't have a pain in their rears then that is solely and entirely your problem. I don't give a damn and I'm not going to let you take over my peaceful life.
  2. Family is not everything. It is most things, not everything. Lets face it ok, at home everyone has an agenda. They won't ever tell you what it is, but they have one and the sooner you realise it the better off you are.
  3. No such thing as unconditional. If you come from a typical, middle-class family then the parents expect you to live up to some kind of utopian, she-will-uphold-the-family-honour type thing. You don't have the freedom to wear clothes you want to/feel like wearing because someone at home has a problem with it. All this is done with the concern that something might happen. I'm a woman, and I could dress in rags and something still will happen if it has to. How I dress/behave is the last motivator for a pervert.
  4. I'm one of those people who gets carried away really really easily. If I find a good thing, then I cling to its goodness and pretend that nothing is wrong. When I discover the cracks is when I start freaking out. I have to attribute this to my mental OCD. I cannot deal with disorder or chaos.
  5. Environmental evangelism is truly stupid. OK, so the world we live in is damaged. You want us to use less plastic and more paper. More paper usage means more trees go down. More trees going down totally defeats your purpose of saving the world, so what are you going to do about that? Stop using the computer too. I mean, it is made mostly of plastic, it consumes electricity, so how are you going to counter that? I'm sure there is a viable answer somewhere is all the long speeches and manifestos of the eco-friendly, earth-saver race, I beseech them to find it and present it to me. I'm not convinced!
  6. God is not what your ancestors tell you he/she is. God is what you want to make of him/her. Personifying the Divine only gives it a mortal dimension so that we can understand and attempt to begin our quest for the higher. The people who re treated as incarnations ought not to be taken as seriously as we do at present. Just look at all the dissent it's creating.
  7. Experience is something that you need to seek out. It won't come your way. It won't happen if you whine about not having a life and not being able to do anything and not having the time. If you can then you should. Sleep and other assorted rest forms can come later.
  8. Love is overrated. I can't fathom the thought of loving to the point of exclusion. This vampire in Twilight does that. I can't deal with that nonsense. It bothers me. I find the idea restrictive. I mean what happens to your freedom? What happens to you if all you do is place this person at the centre of your universe? Is this overwhelming feeling you have reciprocated? If it is, then how the fuck can you people bullshit about your perfect soulmate being cool enough to give you your own space? I mean, everything you do is taken over by youe "significant other", then how do you have your own space?
  9. As time goes by, I've become more and more rigid with what I like, don't like, hate, etc. This rigidity will only get worse with time I imagine.
  10. Friendship is a hell of a lot more than it is made out to be. Those of you who value love, should try out friendship. It's one of those things that is actually tailor-made to suit your needs. Try it out. It won't disappoint.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

A rant to mark lack of occupation

I'm still in Singapore. It's 11.55pm as I'm typing this. All I've been doing while here is kill time. I mean it. I read. I watch crummy Malayalam masala movies. I watch TV. I do word search puzzles. I sleep. I eat. I dislike this stupid Chicken Pox man. I mean, whatthefuck! I'm not supposed to bad mouth it apparently. It's a superstition thing. This velaiyaatu amman (OR playful goddess) is supposedly playing the fool with you(r innards), when you have chicken pox. So, when you get it, just shut the fuck up and itch because if you curse or stare in a mirror, it'll bit back! Sigh. I think I've kept the peace for the most part. I'm tired of looking spotty with really stringy/bad hair. I want to bathe in soap and I want to shampoo my hair.

I'm going to the doc tomorrow to see what he says, and if he says nice things, I'm going to go and buy pretty, red shoes and be happy. :)

The end.