Thursday 31 July 2008

For Anubha

Anubha this is you. I had seen this cute card way back in someone's blog and immediately thought of you. This princess has hair just like you.




And this is me. And all that food is for you.
N.B. Both these cute pics are taken from the net. Me taking advantage of other people's creativity.

Half A Century...



Hey do you know in July I actually wrote 49 pieces, hence this to mark the half century. God knows whether I will write this much in any other month. Dont think I can churn out junk at this consistent rate forever.
But how to mark this half century. Ok let me share two photos with you. This was taken in Kensington Market, Toronto. This market was/is a bit hippie and bohemian. I lived just 5 minustes away from it and loved walking through the place on my way back from school. Each cafe/shop/individual of that area was/is extremely interesting.
This old and rejected car was standing in front of a cafe for a long time and then one day I saw they had started filling it up with earth. I loved what they eventually did with it. Enjoy.

Laughter Therapy...

Something has been bothering me a lot lately, have been fighting over it with my parents (phone fights are really funny, and you can hardly go on fighting forever, sooner or later I start laughing at the most absurd things my mom says, will share all that some other time) and generally feeling shitty. To make matters worse my horrible friends in office have been teasing me quiet ruthlessly. As it is now a days, I dont feel like working, this has added another dimension to the demotivation. After lunch was sitting in office with a long face and was about to get into big time self pity when my cousin brother called. Trust brothers to make light of situations. He took it upon himself to make me laugh and for about twenty minutes kept on and on. What he said was utter nonsense, but eventually I had to see the funnier side of the matter and start laughing. Usually I try not to have personal conversations from office (cos already I spend way too much time on the internet) but today I just didnt care. Soon enough I was giggling so hard that others were giving me looks like "abhi to glumpy face banake bathithee, ab kya ho gaya?" types. Already I feel so much better. Thank you Srimata...ok today I will call you Srimantadada (we have a huge tussle whenever I call him by his name, he demands full respect, big brothers are big bullies). Another one in my family who would not bother to read, but what the heck.

Ma...

Happy Birthday Ma.
Today is my mother's birthday. Even though I am writing this piece for her, I know she will never read it. Maybe that is why I am writing this. Maybe one of these days when I am home, I will read this piece out to her, I can almost see her nodding her head when she hears this.
Unlike my dad who was a midnight's child born in the twilight of India's freedom, my mother was born a good ten years later. She was born in independent India, much after the horrors of partition and blood shedding.
My mother's side of the family was settled in Birbhum district of Bengal. They were the traditional kobiraj (doctors) there and did not come to Kolkata till the 1940s.
A small annecdote about my mother's family. My mother tells me that her gradmother was a real fiesty lady. She took it as her solemn duty as the village kobiraj's wife to look after all the sick in the village. In the nineteenth century an illeterate lady crossed the strict caste boundaries of the village society and visited houses of the dalits and looked after them, offering them food and medicines. There was one dalit kid whose mother had died at child birth, he was brought up by the grandma and he became a part of the family, even is till today, his son has adopted my mother's family's surname and became truly one of them. The village could not alleniate the family because the kobiraj is needed but they did not eat at the house, so everytime there was some festival or celebration or social gathering raw food used to go from the house to the other village upper caste houses. And my mother says her grandmother's pet line was that "when I die these bhaggars/dalits would burn me, I dont need to go to the upper caste heaven, I will be in with the dalits wherever they are." She, my mother's grandmother, lets call her simply grandmother used to pamper my mother a lot. Her idea was that girls' are temporary gifts to a family, they soon would be going away to another family so till they are there pamper them. My mom says bypassing her four brothers she got the best food, best clothes, was not allowed to do any household chores etc. In a nutshell she was spoiled rotten by her grandparents, uncles and aunts, much to my grandmother's horror. She is another fiesty lady, but will talk about her in another post.
Thus my mother started her life on this earth and thus she continued, thankfully. Her family are practicing Hindus and sometimes too much into it. Once my mother starts visiting religious places or gets on with her rituals there she is no stopping her, making my brother and me, climb up the wall with impatience. But there are other parts to her as well. She was put to a convent of missionary sisters who wanted to educate girls. My mother knows the Bilbe by heart, was always telling me and my brother stories from it while we were growing up. And just next to her house where she grew up there was a masjid. She grew up hanging out in the masjid, chatting with the maulvi shaabs, who used to come visting to 'nazar uttaro' whenever she used to fall sick (which was quiet frequently). She loves visiting masjids, listening to ajans and peer babas are extra special to her. So my mom grew up a wieird mix of Bible quoting, Masjid loving, practising Hindu. Whenever I hear the word 'syncretic' she comes to mind. She is the best example of tolerance and respect. She is the ideal citizen modern India had in mind, till it went so horribly wrong.
Another thing which I love about her and have tried to imbibe is the immense respect she has for everyone. In her own way she is one of the most indiscriminating person I know. She is friends with just about everyone. She is the only person whom I have seen, who speaks to eunachs with respect. There was this old eunach who used to visit our house frequently when we were growing up. She would come and sit with my mom and chat for sometime, my mom would always push us towards her and tell her "bless them". She was such a gentle person, hardly the brash eunachs you meet now a days.
Anyways I think I have rattled on, long enough. So need to stop here.

Wednesday 30 July 2008

Durga Pujo & Nostalgia

Good morning guys,
How are you all? Delhi has woken up to a glorious day. It feels just like pujo (Durga pujo) time. Today the sky is a vivid blue and white fluffy clouds floating about. This kind of sky reminds me so much of pujo I cannot tell you. It is like pujo is in the air. Today is not a day to sit in office and pretend to work. Today is a day to go out pujo shopping.
I am sure pujo shopping must have started in Kolkata. Since pujo is early this year, soon the bamboos will arrive, blocking half the roads. But mostly Kolkatans do not complain when these bamboos arrive, because they are the harbinger of pujo. Soon work is going to start on the structures of the pandals. Markets are going to overflow and shops would be open till late night and all of Kolkata would be in the maddening grip of Durga pujo fever. Pujo music will hit the charts, RJs would talk about pujo all the time and on the whole Bengalis would be in better, happier moods. And this is not going to be restricted to Bengalis in Bengal. Where ever we are, whoever we have become pujo something which brings out all our nostalgia full force.
I am not much good at remembering lyrics, but have been humming this since morning and would like to share a line of one of my favourite rabindrasangeet.
Aaj ee sarat o tapan ee prabhat o swapon ee ki jani porano ki je chaye...
(Very loosely and rubbishly translated today in this autumn morning dont know what my heart wants...) It is no easy task translating Rabindranath Tagore, and I know I did a horrible job. I am sure a little search on the net would have produced a better translation, but by then my mood would have vanished. So please bear with me.
Also you know this song is very dear to me because this song has a long association with me, or rather my family. My mother told me once that while listening to this song with my grandfather (father's father) he got very sad. So she had asked him and he said that just before his father had passed away at the age of forty two he had asked my grandfather to sing him a song and my then sixteen year old grandfather had sang this song. So whenever I see a glorious autumn day I remember this song and then I feel sad thinking about the sixteen year old who was singing this for his father one last time.

HER...

A group of girls chatting and eyeing boys in the college canteen;
Some girl friends out on a shopping spree giggling over the dresses they are trying on;
Mother teaching her daughter how to bake a cake;
Elder sister taking the younger one to a beauty parlour to get her first ever eye brow trimming done.


She sees them all. She wishes she could be part of such circles, have similar experiences, know what it feels to flirt with boys, go jwellery shopping, discuss lip stick shades.
She cannot. Sometimes she feels like the Lady of Shallot of Lord Tennyson’s poem ‘The Lady of Shallot’. She can witness all, yet she can never be part of any of it, however much she yearns for it. Sometimes when she gets really lonely in her own skin, she goes for external changes, sheds her usual clothes and wears all feminine stuff, tries on make-up as best as she can. For you see she was not taught by anyone how to apply make-up, nor did she grow up experimenting with them. Whatever she learnt has been on the sly, alone in her bedroom, with no one around.
She carries a terrible secret at all times with her. She has lost many, many friends to this secret, been hurt badly and consistently. Sometimes she wishes that she could just shed off this burden and be a carefree twenty-four year old that she is. She is twenty-four but she feels like forty. Even at this young age she has faced more hurt and uncertainty than most of us do in our entire lives.
You must be wondering who she is—she is a woman trapped in a man’s body. I met her many years back, when she told me her secret, expecting instant rejection from me. Somehow I did not reject her, I could not reject her. She looked like a lost soul, braving yet another rejection to confide in me. All I wanted that day was to hug her and tell her that everything would be ok.
She is more feminine, more aware of her women’s entity, more conscious of ‘herself’ than most women I know. For her this discovery was a very painful process, something she pieced together over the years. She still vacillates between feeling like a man and a woman. There are days when practical self wins and she decides to remain a man and days when her heart just wants to be a woman. But not just any woman, a free woman, who can be herself out in the public and with everyone she loves. She has a man’s body, yet emotionally and psychologically she feels like a woman. She dares not share it with her family, friends, and so she shares a bit of herself with strangers like me. Over the years we have become good friends. She tells me I am the only person who accepts her just like she is.
So why do I accept her? I accept her because I feel destiny has played a hard enough joke on her, we humans do not need to make her life more difficult. I accept her because for me a friend is simply a friend, and physicality does not matter. I accept her because she is a damn good human being, someone I am proud to know.
The uncertainties she goes through are killers. I don’t know if I would have survived them. Yet she carries on. Not only that she is brilliant in her own right and bright as a button and going great guns in her career. Being a topper is not hard work for her, finding a friend who will understand her is. I sometimes wonder what inner resources of strength she has. It is a lonely road she has chosen. We have spoken about sex change a number of times. Yet she feels if she decides to come out in the public, her family would be too hurt and humiliated. And since she loves her parents she cannot afford to do that. In Tennyson’s words “She knows not what the curse may be”. So she lives on as a man, yearning to let the woman in her be liberated. But that may take a long time and she knows it.
Here’s to Her. I wish I could say everyting would be ok, sadly I cant, the only promise I can make is that I will always be her friend.

Tuesday 29 July 2008

White on White


While browsing through the bumper stickers in my Facebook I came across this one. Looking at this stick took me back to my childhood days. As a child I never could figure out what the white crayon or colour pencil was always included in every pack. It bothered me immensely that I could not get any colour out of it. Then I had the brilliant idea of using the white crayon on black papers. Then it looked way better.

One More Time...

Ok I know I must be going on and on about rainy days, but what to do, I do love the rains. On sunny and slow afternoon like today day dreaming about rains helps me keep awake and cheers me up. Last Sunday around mid morning suddenly the rains came. I was alone at home making some green tea. I went out with my tea in the terrace and got wet to my heart's content. Hemanta Mukherjee's eei meghla
din ee ekla ( I know I have spoken about this song also much too often, another of my favourite things) was playing loudly. Our terrace looks beautiful during the rains.
Saturday also I got wet with Smriti. We made ourselves some green tea and then I took some photos of Smriti in the rain. Had a lovely time.
Am sure all our neighbours think Anubha, Jayshree and me, we all three are mad and I am the maddest.
Our neighbours are really curious about us and our assembly. Somehow we dont fit into the neighbourhood. Not that we care. It is predominantly a family kind of place. Starting from the small press walleka ladka (the boy who comes to deliver our pressed clothes from the neighhood's press man) to our next door grocery shop owner to our maid to our landlady everyone is dying to know why we are not married and when we will do so. And when boys/men friends come visiting, curious eyes agog with thousand questions never leave us.
Talking about neighbours, a funny thing happened. Jayshree's uncle came visiting last to last week. He asked for our flat downstairs and someone apparently told him "oh that house where the three fat girls live?". Jayshree has gone to shock state since then. Beechari as it is she is sooo cautious and careful about what she eats and always trying to diet and excercise. Horror of horror she gets branded as fat. Poor dear has stopped eating (almost, she is suriviving on spinach) these days while Anubha and me, we are on yummy cakes and muffins and cheese bread.

For You & Me

Swati I was listening to this song over the weekend and I felt this has been written just for people like you and me. Here's the lyrics for you darling.

I believe the sun should never set upon an argument
I believe we place our happiness in other people's hands
I believe that junk food tastes so good because it's bad for you
I believe your parents did the best job they knew how to do
I believe that beauty magazines promote low self esteem
I believe I'm loved when I'm completely by myself alone
I believe in Karma what you give is what you get returned
I believe you can't appreciate real love 'til you've been burned
I believe the grass is no more greener on the other side
I believe you don't know what you've got until you say goodbye
I believe you can't control or choose your sexuality
I believe that trust is more important than monogamy
I believe your most attractive features are your heart and soul
I believe that family is worth more than money or gold
I believe the struggle for financial freedom is unfair
I believe the only ones who disagree are millionaires
I believe forgiveness is the key to your unhappiness
I believe that wedded bliss negates the need to be undressed
I believe that God does not endorse tv evangelists
I believe in love surviving death into eternity
Affirmation by Savage Garden. Did not copy the entire song. Love it.

Delhi Darshan: Humayun's Tomb










Location: Humayun's Tomb, New Delhi
Ambience: Simply superb. You would hardly except at the heart of Delhi in the Nizamuddin area there would be such a beautiful and serene spot. The area is pretty huge and really good for a walk.
Timing: I went in the evening with Jessica, my volunteer friend from VSO in the evening. We walked from Bhogal to the Tomb, it took us about 20 mins or so. So by the time we entered the Tomb the sun was setting. And the place looked so serene in the dusk.
Sorry the photos are a bit hapazardly uploaded.

Monday 28 July 2008

What I did last week: 19th to 26th July 2008


Ok guys I had got bored with this end of the week ritual after 2 weeks and had no intention of writing this. But then today morning Muthu wrote such a beautiful piece, that I somehow got back to this. Read Muthu's 'I Did Nothing Today' at http://muthu-booksandbeyond.blogspot.com/ to understand what I am talking about.

Books I read: ‘The Afghan’ and Paul Auster's Leviathan.
Movies I saw: Half of Izajjat.
Music I heard: FM, my old cd containing has John Denver, Jim Reeves, Bob Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel, Savage Garden’s Affirmation, some cd which I had copied called ‘The Other Side’ as far as I could understand it was flute and oh yes Hemanta Mukherjee’s ei meghla din ee ekla for about a 100th time on Sunday mid morning when it was raining cats & dogs.
Shopping/purchases done: Grocery, veggies, nothing to write about.
Gifts received: None L
Food Consumed: 5 Star Chocolate, Chocobar ice cream, home cooked food, chilli chicken pizza, chicken lollipops, Chinese khana.
Restaurants Graced: China Hut & Kadmi Dukan (Bhogal market) Ching Wagh Resturant, Jughead’s etc.
Friends/relatives/acquaintances/enemies I hanged out with: My cousins (Tumpi and Guddu), uncle, Tumpi’s friend and her dad, and my usual friends.
Travel: None, though there was a possibility of going to Dharmshala, but did not work out.
On the phone with: my parents, brother, Muthu and of course Swati.
Anything substantial at work: Time killing.
Harmful activities: Lets not go there guys.
Anything creative: Photo sessions with Smriti (Facebook) and Riya.
Sadness/depression/head & heartache: Big doses of boredom.
Hilarious stuff: General does of hahaha hehehe.
Any off beat activity: Saturday night I was alone in home when around 12.30 the calling bell started to ring repeatedly. Thankfully I was on the phone with Swati, otherwise I would have been scared shitless.
Future plans: None.
Severe Loss: Ability to work.
Highlight of the week: I survived it. Excuse enough to celebrate.

Venting...


I am angry.
Yesterday I met a man who asked me what kind of work do I do. I said human rights. Human Rights? He gave an all knowing half smile like he knows all about human rights. The he said "Oh ha, something like human resource, right? So what all work do you guys do? Is desh main kuch ho bhi sakta hain kya! (Can anything happen to this country?)"
While I was swallowing my indignation, he merrily went on " In name of human rights these NGOs take millions of dollars and blow them".
Oh really? How many years of your life did you devote to NGO work Mister? For that you need to get out of that cushy government clerical job that you hold on to for dear life.
And as for the ish desh ka kuch nehi ho sakta bit, well with cynical, given up citizens like you I dont see much hope anyways. Why blame the very few who are actually trying to do some work?
A lot of people sound really cynical when they hear that I work for a NGO. The usual reaction is after studying so hard, why are you working for a NGO? What kind of money do they pay you? Like if they pay you good money then even working for a NGO is justified. And another point of view that I keep coming across is that NGOs are corrupt and people who make these comments have never ever worked for any NGO or social casue. It just makes me so mad. The government of India should impose something like the dreaded jiziya tax, only this it should be rubbish talk tax.
And then there are some who attack us for all the wrong in the world. Achaa so you work for a NGO, so what did you do in the Arushi case, or during Gujrat or during Nandigram? Where the whole bloody civil society along with the entire government machinary is a failure, you expect a NGO to put a stop to an entire carnage? Extremely unrealistic.
These kind of reactions are part and parcel of my life. Now it is my work area that people comment on, before it was the subjects that I studied.
Some dumb people trying to be funny people would go "So you want to do politics? Become the next Mamta Banerjee" when they used to hear that I am doing my B.A. with honours in Political Science. Followed by an immensely self satisfied laugh, like hey how witty I am. ( I felt like telling them that not only are they not witty, that they are jerks and that too big time, but my mom's upbringing always makes me mum at such instances).
Would you be asking a criminal lawyer whether he commits mruders?
The only time I got respect was when people heard that I am doing my masters in International Relations/IR, though that was also steeped in ignorance. IR? Oh it is something like Industrial Relations? No it is International Relations. Oh ok ok got it, you guys study India Pakistan relations. Achaa tell me what is your solution to the Indo Pak problem? Will it ever get solved?
Initially I used to get all excited and launch into a full analysis of the situation. But soon I gave up, cos I soon realised that people heardly are interested in any kind of analysis, what so ever.
After that point the questions for which no one expect wanted any intellegent answers would just irritate me. And I would make up sharp retorts in my mind, which sadly I never subjected anyone to, mostly cos I am terrified of my mom's reaction.
In my head I have rehearsed this millions of times "Do I look like a fortune teller or a tarrot card reader? How will I know whether the problem will get solved or not. If I was that brilliant I would be queuing up for the Nobel and not just doing my masters.And for your kind information IR is much broader, but yes we do cover Indo Pak relations while studying foreign policies and bilateral studies part."
I tell you, there is this block in our country against social sciences/humanities. The only careers this country recognises are doctors/engineers and now throw in IT. Bas. Nothing else, beyond this makes much sense to the without any imagination Indians. If you cannot be a doctor or an engineer or at least do mathematics or physics honours you life is not worth it.
I am so tired of all this stereotyping and ignorance and the worst part is that these people are sp proudly ignorant. Like if I meet a nuclear scientist I would not be presumtious of his work simply because I do not enough to be so. But this is too much to expect from others I guess.
Like the man yeaterday "...at this point of grwoth we do not need human rights."
Yeah right, so go on butchering people with the excuse of growth. How brilliant!
I may be sounding really offending. But believe me it is just my frustration coming out. I have developed a though epidermis but yesterday that man just rubbed me entirely the wrong way.

Little Riya...



Riya is one year and two months old, beautiful and ever smiling sweetheart. She is my firend Jyoti's one and only daughter. They (Jyoti, Prabhat, Riya, Angira and Anasua) came to visit me on Saturday evening. Riya was hungry since her mother had left her food (Cerelac) by mistake at home. There was not much that she could eat in my house. Thoug later when I told my mother she gave n number of suggestions like a slice of bread, biscuits with milk, any fruit that I had at home. Should have called ma up, rather than wait for Jyoti's brain bulb to light on, which never did. Not that on my own I had any great ideas. Riya naturally was crying, so in order to entertain her I got out my camera. And lo and behold the one year and two month old turned model on me. She forgot her hunger and started smiling and posing for my camera. So much so that after I had clicked a smiling Riya, I could make her stop smiling and do other things for me.
Another story I must tell you. Riya's birthday came in May, I was excited, my niece was turning all of one. So I told her parents that I am going to get the cake. I went an ordered a special birthday cake but somewhere along the way i forgot her name. I called Jyoti's husband up to ask her name twice, once before going to the bakery and once from the bakery. He kept telling me 'Riya' but somehow my brain kept registering Piu. And just like you are guessing I got the cake gup to write Piu on the cake. It was a major embarassment for me when the cake cutting ceremony came and everyone went a puzzled "Piu?". Things I do, I tell you.

Sunday 27 July 2008

Thanks...

For someone like me who is always so talkative or in this context write-active, I really don't know how to write the next couple of sentences. I want to thank everyone who reads my blog.
This is sounding really bad and to boot I know I am not making much sense. So better start from the beginning. I have this childhood friend, she is the first friend I ever made in this world and before us our mothers were/are childhood friends. Now she is an extremely busy Ph.D fellow working with cancer cell and devoted her entire life studying those cells. We hardly ever talk, but get regular updates through our mother's. The other day she suddenly told me that she has been reading my blog regularly and enjoying it. I was stunned, of all my friends she was the last person I expected to read me. But she does and so does one of her colleague in her lab.
Thanks so much. I am really touched. So much so that the entire next day I could not write anything. I kept feeling what if I write utter crap and disappoint my friend? Finally got tired of this feeling and shook it off.
Then Muthu wrote me an email. One of her friends also reads me regularly. What? Me? I mean I know I do not make much sense most of the time and people actually take some time out to read me? How lovely, how surprising and how awe inspiring. Needless to say I was touched, promptly turned all red in my face-- utterly happy, utterly embarrassed and utterly directionless as to how I should behave.
Have been toying how to express my gratitude to my silent readers and now making a hash out of it big time.
Since I am into this thanks giving mode as if I have won an Oscar, ok no a Brooker would be more fitting in this context (as if), let me thank my other invisible readers like Smriti, Apoorva, Shantanu, Swetali, Vardhan, Swati, Sonal, Anasua, Angira, Rekha, Aparna, Anant...
And also the regular ones with powerful comments like Hamid and Payal (heavent heard from you in a long time buddies), Anubha, Muthu, Sharanya, Jell...
Thanks guys are all your encouragements...I do really appreciate the fact that in this busy day and age you actually take time out to read me. Makes me feel really humble.

N.B. I am sorry if I left out anyone, it was totally unintentional.

I Do So Love Marias...

The first time I got introduced to a character named Maria was when I saw 'The Sound of Music' at an early age of five or six. The movie along with its music made a huge impression on me but most of all I was impressed by Maria. Since then I have seen that old familar movie lots of times--times when I am feeling lost, nostalgic, bored, sad. And everytime I see the movie Maria makes a little stronger impression on me. Her character, her likes, dislikes, momentary lapses of confidence all seems stuff that happens to me.
When Maria sings
"I have confidence in sunshine
I have confidence in rain
I have confidence that spring will come again
Besides which you see I have confidence in me."
I know just what she is talking about. Even though till a few years back I had no idea how it felt to spend a really cold winter with snow and all, yet some of my favourite things bacame--
"Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favorite things."
My next favourite fictional Maria is the Brazilian prostitute in Paulo Coelho's Eleven Minutes. I love the character for her candidness and also because she readily takes full responsibility of all her actions. If you look at how literature/media in India has potrayed prostitutes or csw/commercial sex workers politically correct term) has always been victims of society or destiny. Maybe they are, you get to hear aout women in the West who choose to trade their bodies for a better life style but Indian nari, the ever sati savitri is a whole different ball game. But I often used to wonder by turning cws as victims are we not generalising and taking away their voices? Anyways to get back to the Maria of Eleven Minutes, she is not a victim at all, she is someone who takes money for having sex with men and goes to the library in the afternoons. She knows what she is doing and happy in her own skin. This was such a change from the usual, that its freshness immensely appeals to me.
Then comes Tabu playing Maria in M.F. Hussian's Meenaxi. This Maria was an orphan in Prague who works as a waitress. I love the air of mystery that surrounds Tabu in this movie and especially as Maria.

And last but not least is the Maria who plays a character role in the book I am reading currently. The book is Paul Auster's Leviathan and Maria was one time girl friend/ Sex partner of the hero Peter Aaron who is also the narrotor of the story. According to him Maria is "...eccentric, an unorthodox person who lived her life according to an elaborate set of bizarre, private rituals. Every experience was systematised for her, a self contained adventure that generated its own risks and limitations,...". This Maria on her every birthday threw herself a birthday party and invited the same number of guests as her age, indulge in 'the chromatic diet' restricting herself to foods of a single colour on any single day or spend a day under the spell of a single alphabet. I just love this character, she is too bizarre to be true. While reading about her, I felt she vaguely resembled Maya of the movie Izajjat.

All these characters are etched by different people at different points of time and for different purposes. But somehow the name Maria threads them togather. Maybe Maria is an easy name to give, convininet and common enough but not plain like Jane. But for whatever reasons these characters were named Maria, they carried off being Maria too well. For me, when I come across the name Maria, it means interesting characters ahead. Now I have to meet an equally interesting Maria in person.

Saturday 26 July 2008

My Claim to Petting...




I was reading in Jell's blog about his two dogs Lucca and Leche. He is so attached to them and such a proud parent, that for the first time in my life I felt missing something because I don't have any pets. Then my gaze fell on this little fellow. He is a little doggy who nods his head rather sadly at me from time to time. He was given to me by my friend/colleague Anant suddenly one day. He is a no fuss pet, sits quietly on my desk, between my computer monitor and telephone. In summer when the ceiling fan is on, he even nods his head. In winter I tickle him to make him nod his head. People come over to my desk and play with him. Several times he had been carried over to other desks. Sometimes some colleague's kids had taken possession of him. But somehow I have been able to retrieve him and get him back to my desk. I have a rather tenuous hold on me and mine. Just last week one of my colleague has been asking me if she can take him home for her son. I flatly refused. No way am I going to give up my little doggy.

Cleaning...

Finally I cleaned my drawer and threw away all the chocolate and peanut wrappers and straightened my stationary and restocked it. If you look a bit closely some of my stuff has a sticker with my name stuck on it. This wierd thing is because in this great office of ours, people just go away with your stuff and never bother to return it. So one of my friends in office devised this method. She sticks a sticker of her name into everything-- office stationary, water bottles, coffee mugs, even her table, computer and chairs, leaving nothing to chance. Sometimes we joke she will stick a sticker on her forehead claiming to be Aparna's. But this sure helps, one day your stapler goes missing just when you need it most urgently, you ask around, everyone makes innocent faces and denies all knowledge. But then you go over to your colleague's desk and lo and behold your stapler with your name's sticker on is lying there. Since you name stares back both at you and your colleague, he/she cant argue. So you just retrive it, till the next time.
I copied her with great enthusiasm initially, but soon lost steam. Funniest was sticking pencils with stickers, because sooner or later they get depleted.

Friday 25 July 2008

Moroccan Family, Lakeshore (Lake Ontario), Tonroto




Home Alone

No, I am not talking about the movie. I am talking about ME. Both my flat mates have left for a human rights meeting in Sangli which is in Maharastra. And I am left alone. The whole Friday evening stretches out right in front of me like the Bay of Bengal, no a bay can never explain the depth/enormity of my emptiness, so maybe the Indian Ocean. Yeah if any water body can do proper justice to this emptiness it would be a ocean.
Hmmm now that the depth of the emptiness of my evening has been established, I feel that I can wallow a bit in self pity. Mmmmmm self pity can be quiet fun, what say? Should ask the Virgoes, they are best at it. Wow dont attack me, dear Virgoes, as you know I love some of you. My best friend from Kolkata is a Virgo afterall, so is one of my favourite cousin sisters.
Its really funny isnt it, just last Sunday all I wanted was so be left alone and be with myself. And today, barely six days later I am complaining to be left alone. Can I blame this vacilation on my Libran self? But I am tired of shifting blames and in one of the rare owning up moods. So what the hell I am this changeable and this is me, not the Libran me or any other, just me.
I leave you with a Calvin quote. "Life is full of surprises but never when you need one."

Miss You Dear Bakery




Name: Market Bakery
Location: Kensington Market, Toronto
On Sale: All kinds of bread, pies, pastries, muffins, chocolates and everything delicious.
Price: In Canadian parlance damn cheap. $2.50 for a loaf of bread which would happily last you a week. The pies were slightly high priced around $7/8 but they were big family seized ones and the pastries and muffins all ranged between 50 cents to $2.
My Association: I lived for a year very near to this bakery and used to visit this every week, sometimes twice. I had a great time discovering all kinds of breads and deserts from different countries like potato and leak bread of the Portuguese, baguettes of the French origin, bakalava, tiramisu..you name it, I have gorged on it.

Thursday 24 July 2008

Do You Know Why?

Why is it when you are running late in the morning time just flies by? I mean I see it is quarter to nine, I rush to take a bath, by the time I am ready 40 mins have flown by. I somehow topple down the stairs of our house, (which by the way has been nicknamed Kutub Minar cos it is so far up by irate friends) and check in office huffing and puffing, it is already 9.40 and am 10 mins late. On these occasions I feel like telling the clock to take a chill pill and go slow. Sadly it never ever listens to me and runs all proper and perfectly on time.
But when I sit in office desperate to get out and freverently wishing that clock would hurry up and get to 6, it never does. Why? Oh why? Then the clock starts running on IST (Indian Standard Time) taking it own sweet time much to all the chargin of all stuck in office. Specially the time post lunch moves so excruciatingly slow that on slow days I am ready to tear out my hair out of sheer frustration. And I am not the only one, everyone complains about this.
I want to complain to Time God on the unfairness of it all.