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Weight of Love

Aloha, dear reader. It's time for our monthly installment of "What's happening with G" or, as many of you likely know it, "Is this silly sod still cribbing about the same issues?"

Not much has been happening apart from work. The twinge of disappointment I feel writing that is easily assuaged by a cheery factoid - no one else I know has it much better. Isn't that typical folks? We may not be overjoyed with our current lives but at least we're all sailing in the same boat, even if that vessel does happens to be the Mary Celeste.

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, I did make a valiant attempt to write something in the fiction line and mailed that off to a few trusties for their views, which led to a rather curious if gratifying discovery. Which is that we have all become pretty coy about being critical or calling a spade a spade. Why, whatever do I mean? Well, take that thingummy I wrote; it had something going for it to be sure but it was nowhere near be…
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Flash Light

So then, dear reader. Another year, another post to get the ball rolling. In terms of writing here, I may not surpass 2017's quantity so I'll aim for quality. While there is a strong need to vent (Already? Yes. I know.), it may be in your best interests for me to take a tangential path and put down a few things I've realised over the last 3 weeks. Sure, I could have spun each of the below into a post by itself but that'd be cheating.

On Dating Apps

Since humanity is now firmly entrenched in the internet, itseems only logical that the opportunities to meet people have also migrated online. Being a paranoid Luddite, I resisted the urge to try various dating apps for the longest time. However, there are only so many moments one can enjoy one's own company, so I capitulated and downloaded a few to see what they were all about. And, made a startling (to me) discovery. If you are not on FB, your options are rather limited, since every app I tried (okay, two) requires you…

Drink up and be somebody

Dear Reader,

History will boldly testify that your favourite blogger is usually slow on the uptake, a state of affairs that's blooming with each passing year like a reverse-Revital. "Why this self-harshness, G", you may ask? Well...

I've been doing the Bom-Pune-Bom trips for 9 years and it's taken about that long to accept that MSRTC Shivneri, still the best bus service of them all, simply cannot (or, realistically, will not) cope with 3-day weekends. Since my job profile does not allow me to plan my travel in advance on said Fridays, I land up at Dadar, view the queue of potential passengers snaking a long way from the ticket window and mentally prepare to arrive home at the hour of morning reserved for sheepish teenagers and dacoits. The Expressway doesn't help anyone's cause thanks to truck drivers spreading themselves generously across 3 lanes and clogging the Lonavala pass to a point where the traffic jam is about 3 km long. A stretch that would tak…

Wedding Bells Part - 5

It takes a wedding to understand how different family ties were even a generation ago. People tried harder to stay in touch, undertook uncomfortable and often complicated trips, making it to minor ceremonial occasions and (this is a point of personal amazement) recalled the names of distant relatives with ease. Sure, I'm guilty of generalising the above solely based on my experiences. But, ask yourself, dear reader, if your family ties haven't eroded a bit? We do this more and more, no? Adding a neat twist of lime to our "live and let live" philosophy, well on the way to being indifferent to others' lives as long as we are allowed to go through the motions of ours, unmolested. And when we cannot avoid a familial occasion, we tolerate it, externally all smiles, internally dying to get back to the drudgery of our routines. Or am I wrong?

The cousin's wedding was special because it was the first of my generation. Relatives had been forced to wait a lot longer t…

Wedding Bells Part - 4

Weddings can be many things, no? A nerve-wracking exercise to those planning it. A draining couple of days, weeks or even months for the bride and groom. A legit occasion to run into old friends or hope elder relatives will forget you're no longer in school and slip you some cash anyway. A chance to compare X's catering arrangements with Y's, with the lunchtime payasam or masala bonda served as part of evening snacks by the latter invariably being hailed as the pinnacle of matrimonial gastronomy. And, heck, sometimes it can even be a valuable teaching tool.

For instance, I learned that no one remotely associated with the jamboree will remember the vaadiyar missing a shloka here or a "swaaha" there. But, lord help you if the food is a tad late in getting to the hall. This minuscule transgression will receive a postmortem so detailed, it's a wonder more of these people haven't joined the medico-legal profession (graduating only from CMC Vellore, or if you&…

Wedding Bells Part - 3

Years ago, the pater's idea of inspiring me to pick up car driving skills was to draw up a ghastly scenario where a loved one would fall ill, need to be rushed to the hospital, but alas, be failed by my inability to differentiate between 1st and 3rd gear. Shaken to the core, I joined a motor learning school and got my license in 1 month flat.

What a gullible babe in the woods I turned out to be.

In the days leading up to the cousin's wedding, I scanned the guest list and discovered that a lot of relatives had been excavated from under god alone knows what pile of rubble and extended invitations, which they'd accepted. Like I'd mentioned in the last post, family sentiments do not usually stretch themselves to cover the warm, heartfelt "come to my arms" sort of emotions. Family gatherings are stare-down contests involving gimlet eyes, cutting observations and short, furious brouhahas in various corners and rooms.

Not that we're short of the 'jolly uncl…

Wedding Bells Part - 2

Dear Reader,

Was it mere chance that brought Baba Budan and the coffee bean, not to east, west or north but south India? Only if you don't have even a dollop of romance in your soul. I'd like to think it was destiny; an inexplicable, subsonic thrum, a collective call with the resonance of "Om" that bubbled and brewed for centuries, needing just a handful of dark, bitter beans to bring it to boil. Lord in heaven, the southern states love filter coffee. And why not? Walk into any (and I mean ANY) south-themed store in India and the smell that envelopes you in a warm embrace is that of ground coffee. Who amongst us doesn't hanker for a warm embrace? One that tastes delicious to boot.

Earthy, metallic, heady, with a promise of sourness, filter coffee is the only "no-bullshit" drink I know. Significant literary paeans have been sung about this lovely brew so I won't add to them. Suffice to say, I still think it's magical how you can add boiling wat…