Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Glass bangle tales

Bangles make me happy. That’s just how I roll okay. Glass bangles especially. Since our magazine is setting up shop in Hyderabad, I honestly believe that a work trip is in order. I want to go to Charminar and buy bangles and just die in happiness. Just. Die. In. Happiness.

I don’t know from where or since when this bangle thing happened. I know that it has been around for a while now. My earliest memories with glass bangles are from having watched my aunt spend Sundays cleaning out her box of bangles, neatly arranging them according to colour and wiping the dust clean with a soft cloth and then using mildly soapy water to clean it proper-like.

Watching her bent over her bangles intently, with her long hair falling over her shoulders with the Chennai sun blasting in through the open balcony doors, must have left an impression. Of course, back in the day, I couldn’t be trusted with anything perishable, food included. So, I found myself with an enviable collection of plastic and metal bangles. Each set bought to match some insane dance costume that I had to wear for the insane Annul Day productions in school. Over the years, my capable-of-breaking-anything-breakable habit went on hibernation a little. Once that happened I wore glass bangles more often. While my mother was convinced that I would break everything I ever wore, I kept buying!

It was in college that this love for glass bangles became unhealthily obsessive. I had a partner in crime – S Bhuvaneshwari Rao – who encouraged my tryst with bangles and cotton sarees like it was going out of style. Bhuva and I would plan saree days and dress up – bangles, anklets, bindis – the works. Those were days when someone followed me till the bus stop to declare his undying love. I mean, I don’t see how a fat girl in a saree showing off her thoppai excites you, but it does apparently. I don’t see how you think passing on that information to the source of your excitement is going to make her swoon in absolute adoration. Fool.

Which brings me to July 2011. I have three full boxes of an assortment of bangles. All kinds of bangles in all kinds of colours and almost every single one of them is closely linked to the sarees in my mother’s cupboard. The only reason that my collecting has hit a roadblock is because, well, they don’t make glass bangles like they used to. These says, almost everything is covered with that unsightly glitter that falls on your clothes and face and you end up looking like some character from a school pageant! I want plain, cut-glass bangles.

I’m told that Hyderabad has all kinds of bangles and I hope that they have not commercialized to the point of making my favourite kind of bangle extinct. I’m looking forward to my work trip to Hyderabad. And I hope it happens soon. For now, I will be content with what I have. Chennai does not have a market where one can go mental and buy bangles. Yes, Mylapore, but even that is difficult to wade through. Till then, I have to deal with owning metal bangles like these, which seem to uncannily match the clothes I’m wearing today (I wore them because they uncannily matched okay!)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Harry Potter and silly people

So today is the great release of the last Happy Potter movie, and apparently there will be so many sad people out there that a) Kleenex is going to have a fucking field day selling its products b) chocolate manufacturers are rejoicing at the potential spike in sales caused by depressed women everywhere turning to chocolate after the franchise’s end.

I don’t want to be a bitch, but the way things are being hyped, it’s giving me a damn rash.

I confess to never having read any of the Harry Potter books, except Harry Potter and the Order of The Phoenix. I have watched the movies part 1 -5. I like the concept and the setting and the creation of a parallel universe that all of us as children have wanted to escape into. Magic, wands, spells, things that humans cannot understand – Narnia was like that as well (forget the biblical references for a second please?). Since I haven’t read the books, I will not venture to comment about what Harry Potter means to my childhood.

Here’s what bothers me bout the movie franchise hype though. It has spawned a generation of pathetic people who think their lives are irretrievably twined with the release of the next film in the franchise. It makes me sick. Some women have gone on the record to say that they will never be the same again because they have nothing to look forward to now. Uh, I want to tell them to go read the books, but fuck, these women probably will complain about how intellectually over-burdened they are because of the emotional intensity of the books.

I don’t get it. The books still sell. The books are the ones that gave the movie studios the idea to make the movies in the first place. I don’t see how the movies’ ending is going to affect such a huge change in the emotional landscape of some people that they will be forever psychologically damaged. It makes me want to vomit!

Considering how the Harry Potter hype is shaping up, I don’t think I appreciate the fact that the books are getting undermined because the movies are successful. I mean, get over it man. If you’re so upset, buy the DVDs and watch it whenever you would like. If you think you will never be the same again, buy the books and exercise your brains a little, you will find that it will be good for your health and you might evolve to be a slightly more intelligent human being.

The world is full of surprises and I want to be surprised by non-readers who discover books. But if I ever find out that you think the movie is better than the book, chances are your skull will be cracked open, with great glee and joy, by my hands with the heaviest book I can find.

Sunday, July 3, 2011


It isn’t often that I find myself teary after a confrontation. This time, it happened because the reason for the confrontation was something really important to me – food.

In my house, I’m the odd one out. In a large population, my vegetarian/left-handed self would be part of a generic statistic – the one-in-every-500-is-a-nutter type. However, in this specific case, I am the odd one out. Basically this means, when my family sits down to elaborate Sunday lunches, my plate would be the least appetizing-looking. Why? “Shit, you. I forgot” would normally be the reaction.

Over the years, I got used to it and it even became a joke. But when I’m hungry on a Sunday and there is nothing for me to eat, I feel entitled to feel like a neglected child.

It’s that simple. I mean, you get to eat things that you enjoy because that’s what everyone’s eating? How fair is that. All I’m asking is to at the very least pretend to remember that I exist. That’s all. At the very least be consistent about that.

It’s hard to not make this whiny. And I know that some people will tell me about just going with the flow and becoming non-vegetarian, here’s what I want to say to you – “shut the fuck up bitchface. I’m vegetarian, I will remain this way. Just fucking deal with it. Am I asking you to be vegetarian? No. Then you back the hell off. Got that?”

I wish food wasn’t this necessary to life. I’d deal with this somehow or the other. However, food is a necessity. We all know that, so any deprivation of any kind is not acceptable.

As for the starving, poor children in the world who don’t even have the opportunity that I do to eat and be alive, I’m sorry for it but this once, I’d like for this to be about me, okay?

Saturday, July 2, 2011


Two stories.

One is at Monkey Bicycle and the other is at The Medulla Review.

There is a third that I want to share here, not the same writer, but an amazing one nonetheless. It's a brilliantly written piece and I think it will have a resonance with women, particularly those who have experienced violence in some form or the other. Please do share these stories with your friends.


P.S: I will be back with more self-styled social commentary because this blog wouldn't be what it is without that now would it? Meh.