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Showing posts from May, 2010

On a day like today

The weekend has unwittingly provided me food for though. I'm sure Saturday & Sunday don't mean to. Left to themselves, they'd have carried on being the days for which plans are eagerly made on hellish Tuesday afternoons at work, but resigned to lie-ins, late lunches and dinners in restaurants. Come to think of it, that's actually not a bad way for 2 days to breeze past.

On this S & S, a whole load of people took planes & buses at godforsaken early and late hours to come to Pune and celebrate the birthday of a mutual friend. The birthday boy (or man) in question, in passing, should, if he doesn't yet, know that he's lucky to be so genuinely liked by so many people. Or maybe it has more to do with his affable nature. Point is, a plan that would scare the bejeezus out of these people on most days of the year, came together very successfully because of the coordinator. In large parts, the chips fell together thanks to the opportunity for lib…

Power of not knowing

The world as I know it is, for the most part, stained with cynicism and extreme political correctness (PC).

Yet, in the past week, I was witness to two events that went against the common grain. A 'Rin ki shakti' as regards the stain mentioned above. The first case is that of PC. As if it was the most obvious fact in the world, a colleague intimated that I was very Quasimodo-ish, in terms of looks. She said it with a visceral nonchalance that was unnerving. Look, my life's not exactly been sheltered or subtle in its lessons. There's only so many times you can observe a girl's eyes slide clean over you, as if you never existed, before cottoning on to the fact that in a rainbow world, you are grey. So I'm very aware that this visage isn't exactly a gift from the heavens.

But I've never actually been told so.

I have heard of people told point blank that they don't possess that intangible X-factor of attractiveness. However, I have never actually come acr…

Six degrees of inner turbulence

Now that I've settled into my new job and tasted the pickled Mumbai life, assorted well-wishers, noticing my solo social status, have started asking the sensitive question. Right, you guessed correctly.
"When do you plan to go back to the U.S to study ?"
Correct me if I'm wrong, but is it becoming acceptable nay expectable to spend one's life collecting assorted degrees and doctorates ? To avoid generalising, lets just say I have no interest in studying any more. Not even that shady 6-month, correspondence course guaranteeing U.S, U.K, Aus / NZ visa office paperwork filling success. My lack of enthusiasm to once again stroll languidly under the eaves of academe is largely because of my loathing for exams, which has firm roots in history.
Being a South Indian Tamil kid comes with a special burden - your parents hold their breath, waiting for the day you exhibit Ramanujan-like math ability. No other subject holds as much importance and pride of place as arithmetic. …

The memory remains

The 8th of May 2008 was my first day at the UNODC office in Cambodia. As I was very new to the city of Phnom Penh, my fellow intern (J) kindly offered to show me around the city at lunchtime. He was an American of South Korean extraction, straddling both cultures admirably. We were walking along St. 57, being steadily broiled in the heat and humidity when the faintest waft of a very familiar smell made me pause. I turned to J and said "Its going to rain today."

He looked at the sky, which was a clear blue and sceptically asked me how I knew that. I said I could smell it. He thought I was making it up, hoped I was not crazy and laughed my words off heartily. In his shoes, I don't blame him. When a guy you've only just met suddenly makes cryptic remarks about the weather, he was bound to wonder if I was a few slices short of a loaf. I remember that scene very acutely because I could not get him to understand a sensation we take for granted in India. The smell of wet ear…

Ripple

A couple of weeks ago, I almost had an out-of-body experience. Before you go "Eh? Fool, you either have one or not..." let me explain.

The matriarch of the family, my long-suffering grandma was conversing with her oldest (and favourite) grandson. They spoke about this & that, covering everything from the impending wedding of X's second cousin's third child's wedding (a typical South Indian conversation) to the correct way of making Avial. Trust me, that dish is a lot harder than it looks on paper.

As grandmas with long years of conversational nuance experience are wont to do, she casually slipped in this little gem (it's translated into English from Tamil, so you may not appreciate the essence):

Grandma: So, I was talking to Periamma (her older sister in Madras) the other day. She was telling me about a girl she knew there & wanted to know 'when' Girish is getting married and all that.

Me: Uhuh. Okay, that's interesting. I see. Hmm...

Grandma: …

I'll be alright without you

A great book series is like a coin; there are 2 distinct emotional sides to finishing it.

On one hand, you have that extremely satisfied feeling at the end - a mental burp as it were. On the other hand, there's a mild sense of loss, knowing that the pages, plots & permutations (awesome alliteration!!) are no longer new. The feeling is similar to knowing what your birthday gift is before you unwrap it.

And yet, a gift is always welcome. Having finished the Millennium trilogy yesterday, there's quite a churning in the emotional barrel. The books are very well written & for that, I'm a little sad that there are no more in the series. But reading these books has fanned the dying embers of my book-reading patterns. I know with certainty that I'll be reading a lot more.

In my world, there's no loss in that development.

Song for the moment:The night is still young - Billy Joel