Monday, December 31, 2012

It happened last night

Casper took a swig of rum from the bottle. Old Monk, it was always Old Monk and nothing else. His head swirled as he got up and walked towards the balcony to start his scooter, his grandfather’s actually. He was surprised at how the rickety old thing still worked perfectly, except that he had to kick-start it 5 times at least.

“Damnit, damnit, damnit!” yelled Casper. “Why can’t I see anything in front of me, maybe I had too much rum.” It took a full minute to realize that he hadn’t had his spectacles on.

“Of course, I have to forget them as well. Why can’t everything go right today?” he said.

Casper ran into the house to fetch them. As he picked them up and wore them, he looked around the house and started to get grasp of things. Everything seemed different. Everything was cold and distant. He turned his head to the table right next to him. Lying on the table was a bloodstained knife. Casper’s eyes grew wide.

Sensing another presence, he turned himself around. A pair of yellow, unnerving eyes was fixed upon him. Slowly they traced his form and the figure stepped in front.

“Meow,” she called.

Casper took hold of the rum bottle and flung it at the sallow-eyed beast. She jumped sideways and raced forward to claw him with a piercing call. He ran for his life and started his scooter and as if by fate, it didn’t start. He ran past the creature and into the hall once again, trying to look for the knife—but it was nowhere to be found.

“Clang, clang.” Casper turned towards the entrance. It was the gate. Someone was coming in—but who was it?

And there he spotted the knife, lying on the same table. He grabbed it, ready to meet his attacker. The cat suddenly came near him and was circling him and moving in between his legs, Casper tried to move away, but she followed him—it was as if she knew his every movement.

“Who’s there,” Casper called out.

He got his response in the form of a wheezy and rasping cough. Suddenly the room became silent.

“Who’s there,” he called out again. “I have a knife and I’m not afraid to use it.”


Casper stepped backwards and banged on an old chest of drawers. The cat screamed and hid herself under the sofa, her bright eyes radiating eeriness.

“A knife that has already been used before, one which has YOUR fingerprints on it? Go ahead use it on me,” the voice growled. A throaty voice that hid nothing, a voice that gave people the shivers, a voice that seemed familiar and oddly comforting to Casper.

At once Casper dropped the knife and got ready to run, but powerful, unyielding hands gripped him from both sides and pushed him back. “Let…ugh…me…ughhh…go,” Casper struggled.

“HAHAHAHAHA,” the voice boomed and seized him roughly. Writhing in his grasp, Casper cried aloud. “LEAVE ME ALONE, I DIDN’T KILL ANYONE. I DON’T KNOW HOW MY FINGERPRINTS ARE ON THE KNIFE. PLEASE LET ME GO, I’LL PAY YOU…” However, he wasn’t allowed to finish. One hand moved from Casper’s shoulder to his mouth. Casper tried biting but in vain.

Hot tears streamed from Casper’s eyes, there was nothing he could do but to silently hope that this was all a bad dream. His mother flashed before his eyes; she was crying. Father had died in a car accident, drunk and reckless. Grandfather left his old scooter to Casper and bid goodbye. Jenna locked hands with their professor and walked away. He killed someone. He wailed loudly and hung his head down.

“Cut!” yelled a voice. The hand moved away from his mouth and people were straightening him. Water. He could taste water.

“Casper! Are you drunk again?” someone exclaimed. Casper opened his eyes. It was Mihir, shaking him wildly. “Are you OK?”

“Whaa… where am I? Mihir, you have to believe me, I didn’t kill anyone I swear. I don’t know how the knife has my fingerprints; everything’s a hoax. Mihir, Mihir… help me…,” Casper spoke in one breath.
Whack. Mihir slapped Casper across his right cheek. The whole place went silent.

“Mihir what are you doing? Let’s get out of here,” Casper exclaimed. Mihir pointed out to Casper and asked him to look around the place. Casper woke up and saw at least 20 pairs of eyes stare right back at him.

“You come drunk to the rehearsal, forget your lines and if that’s not enough you scream like a child whose rattle has been plucked. I asked you to live the scene but I didn’t expect you to be this serious Casper,” Joshi sir quietly said. Casper blinked back and hit his forehead with his left hand. He grinned sheepishly at the whole cast and crew who were pointing and laughing at him.

“I hope I’m not out of the play,” Casper nervously said.

“No, no of course not. Next time, just tone it down a little bit. We don’t want the audience thinking that you’re being tortured, do we?” Joshi sir winked.

The cat purred in agreement.

This story was submitted to a competition condcuted by Helter Skelter

Thursday, November 29, 2012


It's quite early to do a 2012 roundup, we still have a month to go. Then again, there are rumors about the world ending on a certain day (Reddit has this to say). Brushing aside all that, I have a couple of announcements to make.

I'm back to good ol' Chennai (Madras); back to make a living in my hometown. Quit my job in Bangalore, made some wonderful, lifelong friends, bought books that I couldn't carry all the way to Chennai so left them with a friend (who has promised not to sell them), lived alone/with a roommate, and just gained life experiences as such.

Also a new phone is on its way thanks to my dear brother, and therefore I have given into peer pressure and will be available on whatsapp, gtalk and all that. I've heard SO much about whatsapp especially and now I'm curious to see if it'll be worth all the hype.

Friday, October 12, 2012

2000 miles

They say all these miles keep us together, but I don't believe a word of it. You seem farther away, further rather.

Are you coming back to stay, for a night at least? If not, I'll close the door. To my heart, mind and soul.

This title comes from Coldplay's 2000 miles. My shuffle played it while I was writing this post. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Suddenly my mornings have become dark
my nights are bright
I just realized that
my tubelight's caught a spark

Monday, August 20, 2012

One of those yawn days which gave rise to a story. Couldn't think of a title, if anyone out there reads my posts and you have a suitable title, do drop a message!

She tossed her umbrella sideways and turned, he was calling out her name. She stopped and stared.

“I thought I asked you not to follow me! Go home,” she urged. He looked into her eyes, she felt herself melting under his gaze.

“I can’t go home without you,” he said. “I need you right now.”

Finally, she thought. “You agree that you can’t be without me even for a minute,” she smirked. He jerked his forward pointedly in reply.

“Is that your way of saying yes,” she asked and smiled triumphantly.

He grinned widely and said, “You have the house keys and my wallet. If you pass them here I can get going.”

She half-opened her mouth in surprise and threw the keys at him. Folding her umbrella, she ran towards him and hugged him tight.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

I cannot catch a break!

Moving to Bangalore is the toughest test for me yet. Person A who was supposed to move in with me has found a place and so I'm left in he lurch. But it's OK I guess, I'm happy for her. I, meanwhile, have to start from scratch.

So if anyone in Bangalore is looking for a roommate near Indiranagar/Sanjay Nagar, do give me a shout. Please!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Good news, somewhat - 2

Remember the whole offer from two companies? Well, both of them HAD to get back to me today with their formal offers. And I have made a decision. Former. (Go check my earlier posts if you want to make head or tail out of this.) And some people are pissed by this. I know it's not conventional, to give it a tag; but it'll be different. I hope and I know. 6 months OK? If I fail I'll come back. But I won't. I want to do something different and what's wrong with that? Why must one always take the safer route? What happened to following Frost's poem in real life? Why should it stop with just reading and understanding?

Monday, July 30, 2012

23 things about turning 23

As long as I'm distracted, procrastinating and listening to jazz I might as well document this before it's too late. Who knows I might turn 24 in another 11 months!

1. The most obvious one goes first: Being a girl and seeing almost everyone on your FB getting married, I was swamped with pictures and updates. That's OK, because I didn't succumb to pressure. Just keep your head up and walk away, but don't forget to stop and appreciate the pictures!

2. I realized who my *real* friends are. Not just the ones who can make time for you, but the ones with whom you can be comfortably silent. Even if you go by long periods without talking, you both know where to start.

3. The big C affected my life in a big way: career. Changes things a lot. Currently being self-employed (my friend asked to me change it instead of half-employed) makes me appreciate the fact that a job is worth having. You may crib, rant and rave about it, but trust me it's worth having one; let's you take the focus off other problems.

4. Travel, travel, travel! Enough has been written, spoken and discussed about it. So travel when you can (this applies a LOT to me). I firmly believe that one shouldn't settle down before one has seen quarter of the world at least. Life experiences are a must.

5. I got my heart broken, and not just necessarily by the opposite sex. What I thought was real only got shattered, friends who seemed trustworthy showed their true colors.

6. Discovered that I'm an awesome wingwoman. Period.

7. Also realized that it's tough for me to say no to people I care about. Don't ask me why, but it's definitely not because I want to please people. I just love them way too much.

8. After being in an unrewarding friendship for 4 years, I realized I *can* be as patient as, to mildly put it and no offence, nature. In that period, I wasn't all that short tempered, rash and hasty as I used to be. I've learned to be patient for the good and also sometimes during wrong situations (which I'm trying to remedy)

9. Some people, no most people, aren't worth it.

10. I've made peace with my past, which in turn has worked out to my benefit! I've accepted things as they are, especially in tense situations. When you embrace it, nothing can worry you!

11. Hostel life has taught me a lot. Late night parties, talking with friends, soul searching conversations during power cuts, getting high, losing weight, falling in love with a new city and its dosais and all that will always remain in my memory. I don't know about friends for life, but there are a couple of them who I believe I will walk a long distance with.

12. I think I've finally found what I want to do. My passion and a way to earn my daily bread: Writing. I know I'm not that all that great, my blog doesn't have a million followers neither does my Twitter account, but there are some kind people out there who love the way I write and that's enough.

13. Sometimes people want to help you, no matter how much you dissuade them from doing so. I've tried arguing with them, but they refuse to budge. But I guess that's all right.

14. I have also found a person who patiently listens to me and then disagrees with me, a person who tries not to get angry with me but then has that moment where the person loses control, and then gets back to normal and forgets all about it, a person who smothers me with affection and encourages me to talk about whatever bothers me (and then advises me) and a person who cracks insane-but-bearable mokkais.

15. Started to jog and trying to keep a routine in place. I miss it on some days but I try to keep up.

16. Even if it's a cliche, travelling alone is a revelation even for short distances. For instance, I made a bus-friend, a Manipuri who loves Tamil films! Our bus got delayed by 3 hours and we reached Chennai by 1 am. Helped her get a cab and saw to it that she reached home safe. Now if that's not an adventure, I don't know what is!

17. I love my mother with each passing day and I miss my father (even though we fight a lot and end up yelling at each other, him at me more than the other way around). My sister is one of the funniest and beautiful persons I'll ever meet.

18. Strangers make an impact. While covering a story, mother of the subject was shocked to learn that I had left music after 6 years and urged me to take it up.

19. I've realized that books are my greatest comfort and are only the permanent inheritance I can pass on to my children/near and dear ones.

20. I have mixed reactions about children and I don't know if I want to have in the near future. Pets are a bigger and firmer no.

21. I absolutely adore cooking, especially for others. When it comes to me I'm really lazy to get up and make something. But if anyone else is hungry or wants to something to eat, I find myself whipping something up for them. Gives me the greatest joy!

22. As much as I'm a tomboy in certain aspects, I'm a total girl in others. Like shoes and bags (maybe not designer ones but cheap imitations are good enough for now).

23. Life's too short to have a grudge, a drink can solve most problems, laughing at myself is fun, a sarcastic comment does wonders, taking revenge is childish and overrated, sometimes being a bitch is necessary, gossip takes my mind off things, letting go is the best decision I've ever taken.

Can't wait to turn 24!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Good news, somewhat

Three people have started following me. But what is surprising is that when I had written a flurry of posts, even my usual followers didn't read. But when I took my hiatus (make that; became lazy) I gained three new followers! *gasp*

I think the universe is trying to tell me something.

Also I have got an internship offer from a company that was the pioneer to search engines but has now gone into oblivion, slightly but is trying to revamp itself (good for you!) and attended an interview at a place I interned before. While the former is an internship, the latter is a full-time job. The former has it's office in a neighboring state and the latter is in Namma Chennai. Former is  new media, latter is print. And so on. But what I do know about the latter is how much they will be paying me, something I don't know about the former.

I have to pick one and it is difficult, or as the Twitter junta put it #tuffmatch. Or not.

Will the ground split into two and make the decision for me?

Oh and speaking of decisions, a certain someone accused me of never having taken a decision.


For want of coffee, the decoction was lost,
for want of decoction, the milk was lost,
for want of milk, sugar was lost,
and for want of davara tumbler, the mind was lost.

Pretty pathetic attempt at poetry? I know. I just want some coffee, filter at that.

Monday, July 16, 2012

I had to stop drooling

Okokok so hot. Older guys are HAWT.  

I'm talking about this. THIS.

Look at Ian McKellen and Colin Firth! Ooh Christopher Walken, and Stephen Fry looks ohsocute! MYGOD Sean Bean sucha hottie. Okay the women featured are hot too. Like Meryl Streep and of course Helen Mirren.

Gary Oldman. Cha he still looks hot now.

Clint Eastwood, how can I forget you?

OK off you go now. Shoo. Go drool. And let me drool in peace. *sigh*

Friday, July 13, 2012

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Old girl, new rage

You know what happens to rage when you suppress it for a while? It turns into utmost depression. Now I'm not blaming my friends who crib to me about how much their professional life sucks, in fact I'm ready to listen to problems and sympathize -- but that's all I can do. Sympathize, not empathize. And you know why? That's 'cause I have NO professional life. Nothing to do. And yes, I was supposed to join French classes but I'm worried about the timing. What if some sucker decides to employ me at the last minute? What will happen to my classes then? What about my plans to travel before I settle? I have to travel, I just have to. Alone. Or with a bunch of random people. But I want to, I have to. Every time some one tells me they've done nothing worthwhile in life, I take a look back into mine. What have I done that is so noteworthy, besides winning a couple of Bhagavad Gita competitions, memorizing the Aditya Hrudayam, Vishnu Sahasranamam and crushing on Rahul Dravid (even now)? Nada.

Let's face it.

My life has been quite disappointing to say the least. My stash of chocolates have also disappeared. Sigh.

Thursday, July 5, 2012


YAYAYAY! I'm resisting the urge to not type in caps, cannot able to and all that. Excitement is coming, I'm forgetting the English language.

So at about 11.45 am today when I was having an early lunch the doorbell rang. As usual thinking it was the maid, my mum got up to answer the door with a customary why-are-you-late question. Only it wasn't her. A guy asked for "Apoorva Sripathi?"
Amma: Yes, my daughter
Guy: Delivery from Flipkart
Me: *Putting the down plate, forgetting yechal and other nonsense brahmin traditions raised hands in mock celebration.* The book is here! Yaaaaaaaaaaay, what a wonderful way to spend my.. er.. your money, amma!
Amma to courier guy: Ok, thanks
Me: *Plate in one hand, ripping apart the packaging with the other*

Took me 4 minutes exactly to rip off packaging, and I didn't even use my teeth. This as opposed to opening the package with two hands which takes me almost 15 minutes. I think I was also quite desperate to see the book and more importantly Dravid's autograph. (Apparently only a select few will get it. Unfair no?)

After making the book pose in various positions and uploading the same on Facebook and Twitter, I've kept it on the shelf for weekend reading. Even if it means I'm going to Bangalore.

P.S. Dravid didn't autograph my copy, tche.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


It has been a month. A successful, glorious month. Read into it all you want but only some of you know what it is. To the others I say: Go figure.

It has also been 6 months, this again connects to the earlier sentence so very few people can decipher it. The lesser, the better.

It will be 2 months. This isn't connected to the earlier sentences but I'm hoping this gets over quickly. I'm running out of entertainment. Unless one of you is kind enough to send Rahul Dravid to my house... Hello, for a friendly chat, okay? It's not what you think. Tche tche.

Friday, June 29, 2012

BOTD - 2

I skipped a day I know. I'm terribly bad at following up with let's say stuff. Also since I have so much time to kill, I don't really feel the need to keep myself busy, in other words I'm lazy and cannot get my ass off that couch.

Now back to the post. Today I'm featuring: Mugshot-Monday.

Hello, this is HAS to be the coolest website I've seen since bookshelfporn. A-what-now? Bookshelves ok? That's the only kind of porn I watch, anyway that website is for later. Back to Mugshot for now.

The description says its all: "A collection of really rad folks and their mugs" and I couldn't agree more. Forget Monday, I'd drool over this everyday, wouldn't you? You can send your mugshot as well. Apparently this site also helps people find their partners, networks and if you're lucky--a job! (That reminds me I must send my mugshot, I'd get lucky maybe.)

The website filter mugshots by cities in the U.S so if you want to see how mugs differ from city to city, there you go. It also profiles people featured. To sum up great looking mugs, go get your drool on then!

Ooh my favorite mug is bright canary yellow, what color is yours?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

New series - BOTD (Blog of the day)


I'm going to start a series where I feature blogs/tumblrs dedicated to things I adore such as books, coffee, clothes, shoes and bags, cupcakes and pretty much everything that catches my fancy.

Today I'm featuring: Prettybooks. You don't really need a stronger reason than the tumblr's title: Books!

One of my favorite posts features a girl cribbing to a guy on reading a book. She says that once she starts reading she'll eventually get to the end of it and that'll be it. The guy asks her to re-read it and I love her answer to that: "But this is the ONLY chance I'll ever have to read the book for the FIRST time!"

I agree. Some books are special and I feel sad when I finish them. Of course I can always re-read them but it doesn't beat reading them for the first time, finding out the plot, falling in love with the book and its characters, living their lives and then come back to reality with a bang. I also have this nasty (as some people call it) habit of reading the last few pages first to find out how the book ends. I know, I know I can see the daggers in your eyes, but hey I'm *extremely* impatient and this is one habit I cannot get rid of.

I'm currently re-reading Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express. I'm an out-and-out Hercule Poirot fangirl, I adore his egg shaped head and his oily mustache! I'm also working on building a collection of Hercule Poirot mysteries so if you have any of them and if you're going to get rid of it, please do give it to me! I'll be thankful.

Which book are you currently re-reading? And what is your nasty book habit (if you have one)!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Four years!

*Tan ta ra tananana tan ta ra and drumroll*

Whoa it's been four years since I started blogging and I didn't realize it!

Before you think today is the anniversary of my blog, let me clarify by stating that my first post was on the 25 of February 2008. I took a random peek at all my posts and went back to the very first post on a whim and behold 4 years has passed by.

And how many posts in 4 years? 200? 356?


A mere 79. [This includes all the drafts that are waiting to be posted and some blank posts that I have to delete, please remind me dear non existent reader(s).]

I can attribute this tardiness to only one thing. Procrastination. As some people close to me point out (I think it's my inner self, really) I put the 'pro' in procrastination. And also on some days I'm not all that creative or thoughtful. No mood I guess. Meh.

But this blog has seen me through my productive days, non productive days, romantic days (yeah, right), hungry ones, downright bored days, sleepy days and the like. I want to give a senti speech and all that but I'm never one for sentiments except for that one time when I was watching Harry Potter with cousin, sister and friend in the theatre and I cried like a baby when Dobby died. (Also said cousin embarrassed me by yelling, "ARE YOU CRYING? SHEESH!)

So, right. This is one of the things that keep me going and though updating it is not a routine it is a necessity, an enjoyable one at that!

YAY. May you go on strong like the ammi kal* in my balcony, which has been hidden thanks to enormous money plant sitting right on it.

P.S. This makes it my 79th post, but who's counting?

Ammi kal = grinding stone

Because he loved her

Her lashes blinked rapidly. As she looked at the rain-stained window, two raindrops were racing each other, "racing against time," she thought. She shook her head and went back to work. He was here again to oversee his subordinates. "Always here," she muttered. She watched him with complete annoyance as he walked here and there, cracking jokes and laughing with his head thrown back. How was it that people always surrounded him? And how does he talk to everyone? Why do they all talk to him? Questions ran through her head, she felt dizzy and sat down. "As long as he doesn't interfere with my work I'm content." As she finished muttering to herself, he stood right before her with a questioning glance. 

-"Where is the article you were supposed to hand in two days ago?"
- "It's on your table. I finished it a day earlier."
- "Oh. I couldn't find it then, make another copy and give it to me right away."
- "Why don't you search for it, in any case I don't want to waste paper." (Did I say waste paper, god that is the worst comeback ever!)
- "Those environment-friendly types you are? You can worry about saving the planet from tomorrow, right now I want the article."
- "Fine, I'll give it to you but after that I'm going home."

He watched her move around quickly to the printer. He stared at her fixedly and made no attempt to hide his amusement at her clumsiness. Laughing pointedly, he addressed her, "God! I've seen enough. Here, let me do it." As he pulled the paper out of the printer, she watched with irritation. "This is how you print an article," he remarked. Grabbing the paper out of his hand, she hurriedly wrote her name and gave it to him. "I have to leave now, if there's anything else you have to tell me give me a call. My number is on the desk."

Still staring at her, he took the paper and grinned at her. "Sure I'll give you a call," he called back after her. She walked on ignoring him. He stared happily. 
Sitting down with a cup of hot chocolate and a book she felt relieved to be sitting inside her house, away from the cold rain. She was disturbed by her phone vibrating. Looking over her book she recognised the number as his. She picked the phone with a sense of trepidation. Wondering what he might want, she casually said:

- "Hello, who is this?"
- "So you don't recognise my voice now."
- "Oh it's you. What do you want?"
- "You asked me to call if there's anything else and so I did."
- "And what is it?"
- "I love you, always have, always will. Watching you print that article today only made me fall for you even more."
Silent tears at her end.
- "Are you there? Did I scare you away? Hello, hello"
- "Yes I am. Just wondering."
- "Why I love you? I have a thousand reasons..."
- "No. Why it took you so long to admit it."
Laughter at his end. 

Travel for travel's sake and all that

I think my rants deserve a whole new blog, one isn't enough. Of course, for me the grass is always greener on the other side; the stars are brighter in another country and the cake tastes better when someone else is having it.

While I'm stuck at home with nothing to do (okay I can join some classes to keep myself occupied) people are traveling. You heard that right! My inner Parisian-Spaniard-Italian has desires too, you know. I've always wanted to travel since I learnt how to read and write. I've also wanted to be a chemist since I learnt the word (no, not "medical shop owner" as some of you know it and make it a point to tease me with) but that didn't happen, marks in Chemistry weren't THAT great. But traveling I can do no? Just have to cough up some money, that's all. I'm also open to people who are willing to sponsor me, so if you're out there please drop in a message or something. Don't dally. Chop chop and all that.

For a long time I didn't quite understand the obsession with Paris, frankly (the city, not the girl). And then Gossip Girl happened. I know, I know I can see a lot of you raising eyebrows. But the serial did have some gorgeous views of the city. And after that "Midnight in Paris" happened, it pays to be a Woody Allen fangirl! The scene where Owen Wilson and Marion Cotillard walk and share their thoughts about Paris, I think I became a convert.  As many of you know I'm not a big fan of rain (I hate rainy days actually) but hearing Wilson describe how beautiful Paris is in the rain made me fall for the city hook, line and sinker. Darius Khondji's cinematography is to die for. Paris in the rain is breathtaking! (Quick Google some images and you'll see)

Spain's party life intrigues me the most. I took Spanish classes for a year for the sole purpose of visiting the country so that it becomes easier for me to converse and make my way around it. But it has been almost three years now and I haven't got a start. Our classes involved how to ask for help from strangers, how to order food in a restaurant-especially if you're a vegetarian, understanding football commentary and watching movies.  Ten years from now if I haven't visited this beautiful, hot country I will shave my head and pierce my nose. This is a sathyam-on-burning-karpooram.

And Italy for food. Bellissima and La Dolce Vita is all I can manage for now. If I remember other words I shall call. I also make excellent pasta. Don't believe? Ask the sister, mother and fraands (they always have my back or so I assume). I'm attempting Tiramisu and once I perfect it, I'll call David Rocco to taste it. I'm sure he'll come and bring his hot wife (sometimes I watch the show only to drool at her, she is HOT ok!)

Oh oh how can I leave UK out of the equation. To me the land is all about books, castles, charming men in plaid and tweed coats with elbow patches, self-deprecating humor and accents that floor you till no end. No? Sigh, I've always wanted to study there and I came *this* close to studying there in 2008 (I think) but financial problems happened, story cut short. My secret desire is to be educated in Oxford and  assist Woody Allen with script writing. #Posh, as someone I know would call it. But a girl can dream.

I guess United States of the Amrika has to be mentioned. One word: Manhattan. Two words: Gossip Girl. Three words: Upper East Side. See you at the other end! 'Ta!

Mark Twain always has this uncanny knack of saying the right things, don't you think so? So it's only fitting that he sums up this post. (It's like he meant this quote for me)

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

Thursday, June 21, 2012

23 and whiny

Cougar Town Season 3 has come to an abrupt end (I did not see this coming)! To think that I was faithfully following that show due to lack of things to do. Damn, I'm disappointed. My night routine has become amiss. To even think I had a routine is quite ridiculous actually.

I have now been reduced to watching *gasp* How I Met Your Mother. Such a shame. I'm sorry but I don't think I agree when people ask me to watch "that awesome show, which has awesome characters in it." Okay so Robin's hot, Barney's funny, Ted's cute and Lily and Marshall make for an adorable couple, but that's about it. The plot line is mind numbingly the same every day. "Kids, ........." but Ted never meets the mother of his children. NEVER. But I'm thinking this will be a good story to tell my kids, "Kids, in the summer of 2012 your mother was SO jobless and Cougar Town got cancelled that she had to watch How I Met Your Mother. Please don't judge her."

And this new Masterchef Australia sucks. And can someone download all seasons of Mad Men and give it to me please? Pretty please.

Yes, I turned 23 three days back. Yay, or not. Anyway got 24 cupcakes and a purse from someone kind enough to gift me. Birthday eve saw me go to a sleepover with my friends, saw me cut a cake called 'Chocolate Rambo' and saw 'Rock of Ages' I haven't seen Tom Cruise like this in ages, I think none of has! Alec Baldwin sings, okay? That's reason enough to go watch the movie, if not for rock!

My hair now resembles Einstein's - unruly and unkempt. Well I have nothing to do so daily maintenance of my hair seems like such a waste of time, don't you think so? I'm also thinking of buying a much-needed bookshelf with the non-existent money I have. I can at least spend time in arranging and re-arranging them.

I'm going to end this with a question: Sometimes when I'm incredibly bored, I brush my teeth. Does that make me immensely weird?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Among other thoughts, salted ice cream

... that is how frozen yogurt tastes like.

Tomorrow marks a month of me being jobless, but who's keeping count, right? And BTW, jobless does not mean being bored in this context, when I say jobless, I mean it. No job, no work, nothing to do. Bored out of my mind. Want to smash some jam jars on the wall or anything else that's easily breakable. I need a change, after all that's what I live for.

It did happen, I'm not denying that. I just don't know how much of a change it is though. Last week ( happened in a flash (hope I'm not dreaming). I'm not going to explain how I "feel" about it, not here anyway.

You know these Hollywood films where they show a depressed man/woman (mostly the lead) lying down on the couch in their pajamas, hair unkempt and tousled, holding the television remote in on hand and Ben & Jerry's with a spoon on the other? Describes my state of being perfectly, except I'm not holding Ben & Jerry's. Kwality Wall's maybe. Well, who am I kidding. I have a controlled diet and I Hello, I go jogging every morning at 6, OK? OK.

As if things couldn't get worse, all my friends are employed and occupied. I'm not jealous, I'm NOT. Stop staring at me like that. How can they be busy when I'm trying so hard to find something to do. I've tried reading, sleeping, listening to music, watching TV (Cougar Town's finally hooked me), writing but that SIMPLY does not do it. Hmpf and people are just too busy to make time for me. Wait till I get a job and unleash the err... busy-ness back to them!

Anyway how long does defrosting yogurt take? I'm DAMN hungry. grrr.

So, to shake up things I'm not going to justify this post. How's that for a change, huh?

I need a life.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Some thoughts, some memories

If I haven’t said it before, I’ll say it again—I think a part of me is going to miss this city with its weather changes akin to mood swings of a woman with PMS. When I landed here for studies I think it was raining (I have quite a bad memory, so please excuse me) and when I leave this city to go home, it’s raining again. Normally every city follows a cycle—if it rains in November last year then one supposes it should rain in November this year. But not Bangalore, no. 

I’m not rather fond of rains;yes, I can get fussy about traveling when it rains. It’s all for good reason: I know there isn’t any scientific reason behind this, but every time I get wet in the rains, I catch a cold. I’m not exaggerating. It’s either that or sinus. Besides who wants muddy water splashed on them.It also gets uncomfortably cold and there are mosquitoes everywhere humming an annoying tune into your ear, not letting you sleep. Yes, I can see you indicating that mouth-watering food can be had at this time of the year, but I disagree one can have delectable food when they want and that it shouldn’t be dictated by weather. But if you are going to take that argument further then listen to my points.

Summer is indeed a wonderful weather for good food! Imagine ripe watermelons either cut into pieces with  chaat masala sprinkled on them or as a cold juice, whichever your mouth prefers. Mangoes! Now, I’m not a mango lover but I can see you are one. Cold mangoes and cream or ice cream or in a milkshake or just eaten without chopping it into pieces. Cold coffee, ice cream, salads, cold beer, cocktails and mocktails, iced tea… You are a hot pakodas and chai fan? Well, have them in the evening as a tea time snack.

Tell me, do you REALLY want your movie plans ruined by a rainy day, a constantly gloomy day that puts you to sleep or worse, a day that doesn’t let you shake off your blanket? Of course not!

Anyway, back to the subject, we have drifted enough. Bangalore has given me many firsts (some of which I’m not going to list here and will keep it as a secret) like standing 2 feet away from my idol, breathing the same air as him. I don’t think that would have been possible if I’d stayed in Chennai or moved to Mumbai. My first major fight with a close friend, a taste at living with unknown people (and people thought finding soul mates online was worse), north Indian friends (yes yes, all my close friends before postgrad are south Indians), one Goan friend(!), savouring Spanish wine (thank you Priyanka!), getting a story published online, cake at midnight thanks to the numerous people whose birthday is celebrated in the hostel irrespective of that person being one’s friend or not and many other memories, which I’ll cherish for years to come and try to remember most of it.

I haven’t gotten a job yet, I’m hoping to get one in the near future and I think it’ll be in Chennai most probably. I did think of moving to Mumbai for some time; yet another city, which is close to my heart but the plans did not materialize. Maybe it isn’t time yet, but I do know for sure that I have a strong connection with that city and only time will tell.

Coming back to the main subject, I have most certainly bought more books than clothes and footwear combined. Then again, no one can have enough books. Blossoms and other random book sales are my favourite haunts in Bangalore. Every time I step out of my hostel, I make it a point to buy at least one book. I don’t know what it is but that pull towards books is magnetic, almost gravity-like to the extent that I have gone broke due to it. Nevertheless, that has never deterred me from purchasing some more!

10 months have passed away amazingly quick and everything is a blur to me. When college started, I could only crib at how much I missed home and every holiday was a chance for me to escape home. At one point I realized that I knew nothing about the city I made home temporarily. I woke up. I then began my journey discovering Bangalore and I must say it’s such a fulfilling one. I’m glad I took up this decision to move to Bangalore for a short period, glad that I met some amazing people (some random, some permanent), indulged in good food and better moments. Thank you, Bangalore!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

An update

We have to create a webpage for our thesis (as we aren't multimedia students). Nothing could be more boring, especially when all classes and the thesis viva is over. One week of enjoyment also not allowed. The only thing I'm looking forward to is going home and taking a break before I land a job.

To make my time in the lab seem more er.. "attractive" I'm listening to music. And I have noted that people stink even after they take a bath or two. Why can't they use something called a deodorant? And why can't they talk softly for the love of god!

Anyway, current earworm is "Yengae Yenathu Kavithai" from Kandukondein Kandukondein

And my favorite lines, for good reason that too!
paaRaiyil seydhadhu en manam enRu
thozhikku solliyirundhaen
paaRaiyin idukkil vaervitta kodiyaay
nee nenjil muLaiththuvittaay

Friday, April 20, 2012

Had to be said

That I'm feeling like Blair Waldorf in season 3 of GG when she joins NYU.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

My short story

Recently I participated in a short story/poem/play competition conducted by NGMA (Bangalore). We, the participants, had to view a painting for however long we wanted and then get inspired and write.

Now, I may not be an art connoisseur, but when a painting makes no sense, it just doesn't make sense. I don't remember who the painter was, but I remember the painting. One word: Haphazard. There were ducks on a table cloth, an airplane, a cycle, a car and some people.

I didn't really get inspired, but the cycle set me thinking and that's how my short story evolved. I do hope you enjoy reading it. Bouquets and brickbats are welcome!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Book review — Lucknow Boy

Vinod Mehta’s Lucknow Boy, A Memoir, I’m sorry to say, starts quite unexpectedly dull. The first two chapterswere incredibly boring (in fact, I put off reading them for a while) and was quite a task getting past them. 

You would expect Mehta’s professional life, which was nothing short of a roller coaster ride, to be written in an electrifying fashion, but it hardly promises to live up to that. The book, then takes an interesting ride when he takes up the editorship of Debonair (apparently, India’s own Playboy).

How Mehta became the editor of Debonair is another story altogether. Tired of working as a copywriter for an advertising agency (modeling was his other option) and left with no other means of money, (he wrote a book titled Bombay—A Private View, which actually sold more copies than he expected) he wrote a letter to the publisher of Debonair and pleaded with him to give him just six months with the magazine.

The rest as they say is history.

After former Prime Minister Vajpayee’s remark to Mehta about how the former had to hide Debonair under his pillow, Mehta thought it was time to leave; but he wasn’t finished yet.

He would bring out India’s first Sunday paper, Sunday Observer, become the editor of Indian Post at the request of his publisher, resign due to a controversy (a word which always exists in Mehta’s dictionary) and later become the editor for yet another newspaper: Independent (and resign subsequently). In between Independent and Outlook, Mehta worked for yet another newspaper, which the skeptics dismissed at first, but Mehta’s arrival, reversed the fortunes of the paper,Pioneer.

His biggest project, the magnum opus,Outlook,would be the turning point of his life and would pose as the biggest competition for India Today (as Mehta puts it, “India Today stood like the Taj Mahal). 

With Outlook, Mehta looked like he would stay put in one magazine for quite a long time and he did. His career in the magazine spanned 17 long years (he resigned recently and Krishna Prasad has taken over as editor-in-chief).

The book also tracks Mehta locking horns with Arun Shourie, Salman Rushdie, Sharad Pawar, Shobhaa De etc., and his cordial relationships with A. B. Vajpayee, Sonia Gandhi and quite a few others.

The autobiography has two quotes before the introduction, one by George Orwell, and another by W.B. Yeats. The Orwell quotereads, “An autobiography is only to be trusted when it reveals something disgraceful.” The book agrees on that note: Mehta fathered an illegitimate child, something that he regrets. This, to me, is the single most scandalous fact in the book.

Lucknow Boy reads like a storybook, the flow is smooth, interesting, and honest and one gets a good glimpse into Mehta’s professional life (his personal life, however, does not get much of a mention). Lucknow Boy is one of those books you would want to keep on your bedside table and flip through it to understand journalism in India from 1980 until today.

Friday, March 23, 2012

A letter to Dr Singh

Dear Dr Manmohan Singh,

I have questions for you Dr. Manmohan Singh, and they’re coming thick and fast. But don’t worry; they’re only a meager three—nothing more, nothing less. I promise.

You’re just a bit short of being a wonderful prime minister. Make the ministers (sorry criminals who parade as ministers) accountable for what they’ve done (CWG scam, 2G scam) and I’ll agree you’re marvelous, if not wonderful.

Remember, you were the one who lost face after the scandals that India, not the actually tainted ones.

How can you allow someone like Anna Hazare to take the upper hand? As Ramachandra Guha fittingly writes in the Telegraph (Dec. 2011), “This last failure explains, among other things, the appeal of Anna Hazare, a man whose intellectual vision is as confined as Singh’s is large.” That Anna Hazare who has been compared to Mahatma Gandhi, how can you be so fearful of someone like him or your own government or should I say: Sonia Gandhi?

Agreed you did so well during the Indo-US nuclear deal, you asserted yourself and how! Then again, we might have surrendered ourselves to the US; a deal with the devil must be paid for.

Sometimes I think, and I’m sure many will agree with me on this, that you were a better finance minister than you were a prime minister; “father of financial reforms,” they call you. You welcomed foreign investment in India and opened up Indian economy. Before that you were the chief economic adviser, finance secretary, deputy chairman of the Planning Commission and Reserve Bank of India governor, where did all that go?

Agreed you’re the widely traveled Indian prime minister, after Nehru but why is it that you don’t travel more often within India? Yes, the world has its charms, but so does India. It’s important that you establish a rapport with Indians rather than George W. Bush who remarked that “the people of India love you.” Right now, I don’t think that’s the situation.

You’re known for being affable, a man of high integrity, and a decent man in Indian politics but at the same time you’re a social recluse, you keep to yourself and my number one pet peeve: why you don’t talk at all.

At best Sushma Swaraj sums it up for me: “Normally, our prime minister doesn’t talk, but when he does, then no one in his cabinet even listens to him.” It’s a big day for us when you decide to hold a press conference and address journalists.

Fine you have a Twitter account like Barack Obama or David Cameron, but addressing the nation when something big happens and holding criminals accountable and a once-in-a-while-friendly-chat would do. (In case if you didn’t know, there’s a parody of you called Dr Moneymohan Singh and he talks a lot!)

You really know you’re in danger and it’d do the nation good if you could answer my three questions. Rather, it’d do yourself good if you can answer those questions.

Yours sincerely,
A concerned citizen of India

This was one of my op-ed assignments in college

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A platonic, hidden love

Is it possible to love a city, which I once disliked? A city which I preferred for shopping and small visits. A city which wooed me with its variety of restaurants and nightlife (OK, restricted nightlife). I vehemently declared that I'd be back once my course gets over and there were times when I complained that Bangalore wasn't Chennai and that life here was absolutely boring. (Of course, it helps my cause that I've been removed from the city and I reside a good 20 km away from it) 

Now, however, I've slowly started to like Bangalore. I'm suddenly OK with finding work in Bangalore, because let's face: what's life without a change? 

There's something enticing about Bangalore: long walks at Malleswaram, crispy 
dosais at MTR and Kengeri, idli, sambarupittu and coffee at Press Club, buying books wherever I find them, and I find them everywhere! (I end up buying more than I can carry sometimes and I can never have enough books!) street shopping for clothes and shoes, buying magazines and going broke for the rest of the month. 

Hell, I'm enjoying the bus rides from KR Market to my college! You know how KR Market can be with those cows taking up the entire stretch of the road to themselves while they nonchalantly *do their business* - all this whilst chewing cud. 

On the other hand there's the Victoria Hospital with people scurrying about here and there, vendors with their fruit and flower baskets spitting paan on the road (no matter where it lands!), and big buses having no concern for the common man's plight - ready to ram you in a second.

All this makes a city what it is: livable, busy, noisy, full of life. 

Bangalore, you'll never be like Chennai, but I love you all the same.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Hugo: Life in clockwork motion

I suppose the theme of this year’s Academy Awards had something to with Paris (or France). Why would three films—Midnight in Paris, The Artist and Hugo have a  French connection?

One of my favorite scenes in the movie is the opening shot. Wonderfully created, it starts with parts of a clock in motion and segues into a scene of Paris at night. The camera then slowly moves into a railway station—Gare Montparnasse—and proceeds quickly like a train that is gathering momentum and focuses on a clock, from which a boy, Hugo Cabret, peers.

Hugo sees an old man, Georges Méliès, at his shop, where he sells and repairs toys. Hugo is an orphan and is effectively in charge of adjusting the time of the clock towers in the station—a job his uncle was supposed to be taking care of. Hugo is searching for something: a hidden message from his father, who died in a fire while he was working at the museum.

Hugo meets up with George’s goddaughter, Isabelle, who is craving for some adventure in her life, and together they have their own escapades.
Hugo’s obsession with an automaton passed onto him by his father leads Isabelle and him to discover Méliès’ secret—which is the turning point of the movie. The second half moves a lot quicker than the first and then the importance shifts to George from Hugo.

This film has delightful characters: Asa Butterfield as Hugo, the lonely orphan who travels through the station by ducts and roofs and pinches food from the station café while finding the missing pieces to the automaton; Ben Kingsley as Méliès, who initially comes across as cantankerous, but has a sorrow hidden inside; Sacha Baron Cohen as the overbearing but funny station inspector who fancies Emily Mortimer, the florist; and Frances de la Tour and Richard Griffiths, a pair of station workers who find love through their dogs. Jude Law plays Hugo’s dad in a blink-and-miss role, but he does justice to it.

Martin Scorsese has pulled a shocker in this one, that too in 3-D! Completely different from his signature films—Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas, which focus on crime and violence—this one is a children’s delight and an adult’s fantasy.

Hugo is adapted from Brian Selznick's novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret by John Logan. The film’s background score, by Howard Shore, is haunting and stays with you long after you watch it.

Although Butterfield is the central character, after a point the movie is taken over by Kingsley, which seems partly unfair as this is primarily a children’s movie. Nevertheless Kingsley does what he is supposed to do, as he unconsciously did for Gandhi.

Hugo won five Oscars—for cinematography, art direction, visual effects, sound mixing, and sound editing.

Watch it for Scorsese who has given a gem of a movie, a roller-coaster ride into Hugo’s life, a fulfilling experience, and fall in love with it!

He came, he saw, he conquered—and how!

I’ve never been an enthusiast of nicknames, especially misbegotten ones. I’m happy to say that my idol of 10 years is also not very fond of the sobriquet bestowed on him—The Wall.  “I’m indifferent to it,” he said, and I agree. It sounds like an insult, anyway. While Rahul Sharad Dravid is the strong and silent builder of innings, that does not make him a “wall.” That technically makes him the foundation.

On Friday afternoon, the Indian cricketing fraternity, one of the oldest and the most revered in the world, bid farewell to that strong and silent warrior after 16 years of a glorious cricketing career (tests, ODIs and T20s included). And it was only fitting that I had to be there in person. 

The name Dravid sends people into a tizzy. I remember the many heated arguments with friends, family and complete strangers I have had on how Dravid is not just good in Test cricket, but in all forms of the game. Years later when he made his T20 debut against England, he made me proud by hitting three consecutive sixes off Samit Patel.

Can you think of any other player who would’ve opened the innings, batted at Nos. 3, 4, 5 and 6 and kept wickets at the beck and call of a captain? This adaptability and versatility is what sets Dravid apart—it differentiates him from the routine and the mundane. 

Who said Dravid doesn’t take risks, or plays it safe and by the books? In fact, those who bat in a settled position are those who don’t take risks because Dravid has done it all. Hell, he has even tried his hand at bowling!

Which is the one innings that stands out the most in my mind? Adelaide. 2003. I can still visualize that day in December when I came home from school just to watch Dravid bat. I didn’t eat, didn’t change; I bunked my tuition classes and sat on the chair watching Dravid bat, watching him make those exquisite cover drives with a flick of the wrist and elegant shots in the midwicket before he got out on a splendid 233. I rose with the crowd in Adelaide and applauded. 

Each time I needed a sense of calm and peace, I’d look up his batting videos online and be content. It reassured me and bizarre as it may sound, it was as if Dravid’s batting spoke to me: everything’s going to be all right. 

One of the reasons I wanted to become a writer was so that I could interview Dravid. After reading numerous columns about Dravid, I made up my mind to somehow become a journalist-cum-writer, interview Dravid, get it published and then quit my job. That was enough, that one interview, one meet where I could confess I was his biggest fan. And on Friday, when I was clicking his photograph despite all the professional photographers pushing me away, I stood my ground and clicked away, not caring about the light, the frame or the shot. And when he glanced at me, my heart skipped a beat: I was overjoyed.

Patience, resilience, perfection, an eye for detail, perseverance, dedication, consistency…I could go on, for the words that describe Dravid are endless and no lexicographer could make an exhaustive list. It has been an honor watching him bat, and I wish it could go on, but I’ve heard that all good things must come to an end. So long, Dravid, and for your many admirers across the world like me, you will always serve as an inspiration.
The same was published in my college website