...and then

Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Vaat lag gayee, Bhai.

I can't decide if Sanjay Dutt deserved the six years or not. I think his face is testimony that his is a hellish life. A birth that's riddled with struggle on the inside. No matter what he has outside.
I realise I am seeing his sentence not in isolation. But I seriously take umbrage to the fact that this man has been given six years for something he did when he was a dumbass (I know it's not an excuse, but stil...). I am sure he knows better now (or at least I hope he does) and whether it's because he expected leniency or goodwill that he is involved in all the 'good causes' he is involved in, I can't say. And I don't care.
But when that ridiculous woman becomes the president of India with all that she's done, Sanjay Dutt's sentence is not fair.
When Salman Khan walks free after running pavement dwellers over, Sanjay Dutt's sentence is not fair.
When more than half the government seriously rapes the country for itself, when most of those toerags in the Parliament are criminals, Sanjay Dutt's six years is too much.
When the current Shankaracharya goes about being effing holy after killing a poor poor man, Sanjay Dutt's sentence is not fair.
Poor chap.

What do you think?



Realisation is an oddly humiliating, gently liberating thing.
I have just realised that when a good friend gets hooked up/engaged/married most friends leave the newly-attached alone not because she or he wants the new couple to have together time but because somewhere, she or he thinks her/his place/importance in the friend's life is slightly diminished. So we leave Them alone. And wait - unknowingly even to ourselves - rather pathetically, for the newly-attached friend to call, sms, need us.


Haneef's back home. And, frankly, (my dear, I don't give a damn. Sorry...as tempted as I am to say that, I digress) it's coming out of my ears. A usually bright colleague said she thought the Saga (as we are calling it at our paper) would end after he got here. Strange. Because the circus will actually begin only when the lions get right in the middle of the ring, no? {Just for the record, I don't support circuses (circii?)with animals.}
It's odd how his personality has seen such a huge shift. At least, that's the way it looks to me. In Australia, he looked scared and pathetic (especially in that still of him in the isolation cell) but now that he's here, he's all fire and brimstone. And it's more emphatic because he isn't ranting or screaming himself hoarse. He's polite and soft spoken. And making one hell of a point. I wonder who wrote his press-conference speech for him.


I've debated and debated and debated over whether I should write a review about the Deathly Hallows. Two things have stopped me - does a review matter? And should I join the multitudes that have talked about their perspective on the whole thing? I still haven't decided but I have something to say and it'll maim me if I don't say it. After all, a reader can always skip something if it doesn't interest her, no? :)

So Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Some thoughts.

I think Rowling wrote an ending that satisfied everyone. She played to the gallery and I wish she hadn't. I am glad she didn't kill Harry but the way she went on about many important characters dying in the last book, I would have expected one of the two sidekicks - Ron or Hermione - to go. Really, that would have been a little more twistedly satisfying than killing off Lupin and Tonks and whoever else.

And I really think Harry should have done better in Divinition. Because Rowling has made him out to be this kid who can conjure truth from mid air. What he can't figure out for ages, she has him figure out in seconds when he's keeping watch or sleeping or something.

She's like Agatha Christie that way - whacking the reader with something right in the end, a little detail of which there is no clue anywhere else in the story. A little unfair, don't you think? Another similarity that I find between the two remarkable women is that both Christie and Rowling are fantastic story tellers and have a knack for humour - albeit different from each other's. They also have terrific mastery over their language and can twist it wonderfully. But the most important thing in my book is that both of them have plots with a whole lot of holes, and many inexplicable things. Perhaps, that's the reason reading their work can be satisfying.

And, lastly, after all that jazz about blocking Voldemort out, giving Harry complete access to everything the Dark Lord was doing is such a braid-dead stroke. Tch.

Good News: About time too.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, 28 July 2007

Full house!

So there's my folks, there's M (who I live with)and there's my brother and his girlfriend all at home. And I am going just a little crazy trying to be pleasant and smiling all the time. I mean, it's nice and everything but not when you have to do all the running around. These days I know what it's like to crave sleep.

Damn! I don't think I am ready for kids if I have to be responsible for their nourishment and packing their lunches and odd, dependent things like that.
And I know I'll get all control-freakish about it, because when it comes to do things for people I love, I am just not satisfied if someone else does them. It HAS to be me. And so the cook or the maid doing things is ruled out.
And, of course, divided attention is always a problem. Maybe three more visits together and I'll be less snappy with my folks for taking away what I imperiously think is attention and praise due to me :)!


Went to that strange place called a National Park. I don't get it.
Such tiny enclosures. Like seriously tiny spaces for creations such as birds and leopards that are used to vast open spaces.
It broke my heart to see a leopard walking around in an enclosure that would have been about 5000 sq feet in area. And there were six of them. With fences all around. For me, it was heartbreaking because I've seen one of these in their natural habitat and there's pride and freedom and arrogance in every pore, in every breath. And here they're just reduced to scared, overgrown cats that no one is afraid of or respects. I was wishing that, at one point, all these people who went around whistling at them and calling them all kinds of silly names would get what they deserve - which is be in the middle of a mass break-out in the Park. Just so we know what we need to fear. And be in awe of. Because they deserve that awe, that respect that we should ideally be giving another living being. Especially one that is a lot more straighter than most human beings. But if that ever happened, the poor wretches would be hurt so badly that they'd hate humans forever, if they don't already.
And the birds. So many lovely birds with a ceiling that was about 50-60 feet high. They're used to soaring in the skies, feeling the wind, diving into the sharpness of water and coming out with catch and joy. How do they live? Another thought occured to me - what if many of those birds were born in captivity? How tragic to not know the vast, mysterious sky.
I want to do something about that. I want the lions in the Park to have drier, flatter terrain to range on. I want the birds to have something that can come as close to freedom as possible. I want the leopards to not huddle together on one rock while people go around ogling. I have no idea where to begin nor what to do.

And, what's the deal with charging foreign tourists more than Indian ones?


How does one get like Bill Watterson, who completely opened himself up with Calvin? All the things we are afraid to do - for whatever tiny reason - all the things we are afraid to say, think; things we feel guilty for dreaming and most of all, being completely shamless and remorseless about being grumpy and demanding - how does he do it?:)


That Pratibha Patil is getting on my nerves. Her very face reeks of having compromised humaneness in her life to get where she has. Which is to a completely useless place. All it does is look good on your resume - first woman President of India. Shit.


Good news: A toast to freedom

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Who the hell is Eve?

Mumbai Mirror carried this report on a 10-year-old child getting severely hurt when her skirt got caught in the wheel of a car that had 22-year-olds in it, passing lewd comments at her older sister and friend. The car dragged this girl some way and then backed up on her leg and zoomed off. The girl, among many things, suffers two fractured vertibrae.

And MM called it a case of "eve-teasing".

Now, I am not too much of a stickler for PC-ness. I don't think the blind should be called visually impaired or retarded be called differently abled. Such crock makes me sick. (I should know;I have a delightful 24-year-old sister in law who is severely retarded and the family much prefers we accept that and use the specific term for it.)

But 'eve teasing' annoys me to no bloody end. Firstly, the word teasing. It gets me going like nothing else does. Teasing - implying a little fun, some harmlessness, a little masti. None of that is present in a case of molestation/harassment when a dirty lech grabs your breast or some sick frustrated creature rubs his crotch against your butt or hand in a crowded place. There is no fun, no harmlessness - no teasing there. What there is is dirty, naked perversity, humiliation and sheer rage.

My next bone of contention is 'eve'. I have NO explanations for it. I just don't bloody understand it. What eve? Who eve? What bloody nonsense!

The way I see it, it's plain harassment of women and not eve-teasing or whatever euphemism MCPs would like to call it.

And as for 10-year-old Asma, I'll be praying for recovery. And I hope they get the bloody bastards who did this to her. I hope they get them real good.


It would be so nice to have a good news page in a newspaper. We wake up every day to things like those poor, poor boys in an Iraq "orphanage" or some geeky techies being beaten up in Bangalore for being techies (I found that quite funny, actually) or that scary thing called global warming. So much unfairness, greed, pain, misery. It's enough to send you into gloom even if things are going 'swimmingly well' in your own life.
I think every newspaper should have at least one space dedicated to good news. Now on, though I am not a newspaper, I'm going to carry at least one good piece of news -mine own or about the world. (I am going to sound like a version of the Bible :)!!)

Good News: One Sunni man drove 30 minutes through the dangerous streets of Baghdad to watch the football game with his Shiite friends whom he had not seen in months.
This is what people are about, no? Warmth, friendship, tears and football, yeah!

Find it here.

Labels: ,

Monday, 23 July 2007


The woman who comes to do my cleaning and washing for me - Nagu - must weigh about 40 kilos. She's 30, a mother of a very bright child and a widow. Before she came to work for me, she says she used to work with another family.
That creature (because i have no other word for her) insisted that Nagu called her 'madam', made her work more than 8 hours a day and beat her and abused her when 'madam' thought Nagu's work was below par. Like slap her about and everything. And give her rotting food.
I feel outrage and contempt. I feel pity and sadness that human beings can do this and regularly do it.

So as a result of that treatment Nagu jumps every time I call her name. And if I once look impatient or slightly sullen, she zooms about the house doing everything that's needed and not.
This scared-rabit reaction of hers used to worry me first and I wondered where it came from. And when she told me this was what happened with her and that it took her five months to get over what happened, I was hurt enough for her to go and rip that 'madam' apart. Those five months, she sat at home with her bright daughter, not working. And I wonder who fed them. Or what she did for essentials at home. I want to ask, but how, no?
And then the other day she said something that broke my heart - she said as long as she lives in this area, she'll always work for me. No matter how much or how long.

Labels: ,

Sunday, 22 July 2007

On a rainy, sleepless evening.

One would think as one would grow older you figure more things out and people become less of a mystery.
Not in my case. As I grow older, people and their ways puzzle me to no end. People will sign letters even though they don't mean what is written in them. They'll refuse to stand up to unfairness. They'll have your best intentions at heart adn never be able to do anything about them. I don't understand any of that. I just don't.

Possessiveness is always nice when you are beginning a relationship. And then you're celebrating the third anniversary of the first time you kissed on a park bench and you realise the one reason you may not be entirely happy is because of that thing which gave you a thrill the first time - that one possessive statement.

It's painful to admit but I really want to experiment constantly with my life. I know I'll be miserable, I know it'll hurt and confuse and make me hide a part of me. But the temptation is SO great.
Experiments with my body.
Experiments with my mind. With people, with sex, with writing, with jobs, with exploration. I can't seem to stop.
But then some bit of me also says it's a choice I am making some where. Deep down. A choice to constantly choose excitement over stability and sensibility.

I hate it when people use words without knowing anything about them. Without respecting them.
Case in point: Arbid.
They can't even get the spelling right.

Bangalore is rainy. And yesterday everything looked wash clean. Headlights sparkled, the city was slick. Like a pretty girl out of the rain. Sexy.
And a little edgy as well because sometimes you couldn't see where you were going.
I've always reacted to rain romantically. Perhaps because I lived most my life where life was not disrupted by rain. But now that I've been in Bombay, and now Bangalore rain is pretty annoying. Especially when I can't find a hot pink translucent raincoat.


Labels: , ,

Wednesday, 18 July 2007


K asked me today if I ever get bored with colour. Well, it was because I went shopping for bedroom things and everything I picked turned out to be hot pink, parrot green and purple. And all of it complements each other beautifully. No, really. So I was describing it all to K and he asked me a question that I'd never thought of. "Don't you feel like you need a break every once in a while?"
And that got me thinking. Like everything in my house is a fun colour. Hall drapes in purple, my favourite vase is in just the right shade of red, my bathroom tiles are bright yellow. And now my bedroom is a kitchy pink-green-blue-purple swirl.
(I know it sounds loud as hell, but it's not ok?)
So I still haven't answered K's question to myself. Truth is when I am feeling sober and balanced, then I'll whip out the beiges, cremes and whites to do up the place but that's more the exception than the rule. But that's only about the house. What about me? What do I do when I need a break?
Because I do.
All this rush of colour is indicative of another thing that I am about - noise. Movement.
I don't quite know what it is to be still. And if I am there I am wondering why it's so quiet and that's noise enough.
It'll be nice to be in a place that's without the prospect of noise. Then maybe I'll do my home up in beige, gold and white.

Ever notice how, invariably, people feel good when you tell them they've just said something you hadn't thought of? How low is our opinion of ourselves anyway?

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Soul searching

I felt like putting labels to myself. In about five weeks, I'll be cringing with embarrassment but now I just want to look good to myself.

I'd like to think with me what you see is what you get. Like most human beings I love life, only I suppose I love it lustily, joyously and in a very involved way.
I like to think I have sense of humour even though I might not be the funniest girl about. I get over things pretty easily.
These days nothing seems impossible for me. I am a decent enough writer, a good human being, an honest friend, a feisty woman, a colourful child and a rather intelligent creature on the whole. I also make tons of mistakes, I can barely tell right from wrong because I can justify both, almost always. My smile starts from my heart and I am constantly looking, searching - inside, outside, in between - for myself.
I have a thousand stories to tell. And thousand more words. The connect between the two, however, hasn't shown itself to me yet. Waiting.
I am super sensitive. But it'll take you years to figure that one out. Last year was the most defining year of all my 27 years.
I was born under a star that sparkled, crackled, was filled with music and light and spun like crazy while emitting rainbow coloured showers. It was labelled "Super Blessed".
I believe JK Rowling didn't make Harry Potter up.
I love Calvin's dad. He rocks.
I like or feel indifferent towards people immediately. And everytime I have gone against my instinct, I've learnt not to do it. Till the next time.
I hated pink for most my life. I love it these days.
I make a mean coffee. Give a mean massage. Love myself. And look forward to life.
In short, I am that spunky, happy, content-with-life girl that I sometimes doubted I'd be.



Maybe it's because I am in the news business that nothing seemingly touches me any more. I mean July has been tumultous this year, (funnly enough July has been that way for the past couple of years as well) to say the least. Tomato fever, Puja Chauhan, Kafeel and the Bombing Mess (seriously, what was he thinking), a 24-year-old who went out on a picnic with his girlfriend and was killed by scum while they left the woman tied to a tree, monkeys irritating the crap out of Bangaloreans, earthquake in Japan .... among other things. And personally, finishing a month in with my current paper, ordering furniture for the first time in my life and a false pregnancy alarm. It's been like a kaleidoscope spinning crazily. But through all that I've just gotten up, thought about issues like when I'll lose weight and when I'll get to go to Chichen Itza and such. I've cooked, shopped, smiled, visited friends, partied and well, basically lived life. And at the end of few days I think, why am I relatively unaffected by all that's happened.
Really, it's worrying me. I used to be the kind who had at least one cause to call her own at any point in life. From saving water and hugging trees to donating blood and writing away body parts to science. Everything. These days I just take care that I do these things in my life and not actually go out and preach. Why? Will I lose friends if I do? Or have I learnt to live and let live? And if I have, is that such a good thing?
The only thing I seem to be doing this year is talking a lot about the things that are happening. Like everyone else. Talk. Talk. Talk. Talk. Talk.
So many opinions. But I just can't figure out how to do something for someone so that it makes a difference.

Labels: ,

Monday, 16 July 2007





Opportunity rarely leaves a business card.

Labels: ,

Monday, 2 July 2007

Will the real you please stand up?

(Is there a terrible self-help book that's titled that?) Oh, never mind. What I am going on about now is people playing games. Saying things, retracting, telling me they don't want me to quit, telling someone else they want me to, saying we'll meet for dinner and not SMS-ing back if we are.
For god's sake, I am a girl alright. When you say you'll buy me a sandwich, I expect you to call me by 8 and ask me if you can pick me up (only because I work in HellHole and fresh autodrivers turn around and touch me). Failing which, I will SMS you because I have no pride and put uncanny connections before ego. So right now, the number that I SMS-ed has just seen delete key.
It's little games that annoy me really. Not talking when you come online. So block me if I pissed you off, arright? Don't give me monosyllables like some middle-aged chick who is trying to tell you you've pissed her off. Or yell at me. For fuck's sake, get it out and over with. Cuz in two freaking days, I won't care. And I don't like not caring, really.
Or like this other chick, who, out of the blue, decided I was bad news for her. Why? I have no bleddy clue, I say! I blame it on marriage. Hers. She says she may "regret" it in sometime, but now she'd rather I didn't stay in touch. Okay. But tell a girl why, no?
As I've just figured, and you probably too, I hate mysteries when they are not in books. I hate games as well. But only those that people around me play.
And that is exactly what I love about friends I made in college. They'll be the same wonderous creatures they were then at their core. They'll move to Chicago and have babies and become Lola Kutty, but at the core, they'll still call me Sandy and be happy that I am deliriously excited about life - even now. Of course, when I say it's been seven years since we finished college, they want to throw something seriously injurious at me but that's alright. At least, that way I can see what's coming at me.
To easier mazes of the mind.

Labels: , ,

Random thoughts of kindness

Every few days I make a note to myself in the morning (on my phone, so that the thought doesn't vanish) about what I need to/want to/must blog about today. And by the time I've chewed on it on my way to work (which is where my writing thrives) it's gone through so many processes that I don't feel it's worth writing about it anymore.
I wonder if it's just my laziness that finds excuses by the time I do the 21-km ride.
Which brings me to a realisation - I am the only person I know (and a lot of others know) who moved from Bombay and travels more to get to work in Bangalore than she did in Bombay. 8 against 22. Tell me again why I did it.
It's been a rough few days really. So my 'Notes' section of the phone asks all kinds of angsty questions - where do young kids (who are caught in situations they shouldn't be in in the first place) find cloths to cover their faces when there is a police raid (and I am asking because none of them had a dupatta as part of their clothing)? How long do I have to wait till I have babies? When will I have enough spine to stand up to myself and say that I don't have to be near perfect all the time? Why is Amitabh Bachchan giving interviews all over the place and why are all the newspapers calling it no holds barred?
Now really, that last one is bugging me. Ever since the colourful, whirlwindy, it's-all-in-the-details Bombay, I've sort of become less enamoured with what people say. And even less believing of what they do. Of course, then there is the question of why I need to know AB is the good sort or not. I don't have an answer.
And this whole Rajni-AB comparison. I mean, for god's sake, they're just actors. Yaawwn!!
Speaking of yawning, sleep's a rare commodity these days. When my house is not sounding like some horror movie, I am busy getting myself plastered through the night and alarming my best friend of 18 years as to how much I can talk. Or smoke.
Getting home at 5 a.m. completely pasted after so long was fun.
Meanwhile, where to get super, over-the-top sexy shoes in hot pink and peacock blue feathers?

Labels: , ,