Monday, December 31, 2007

The Red Areas of My Brain

I've been thinking of my no-compromise zones. Thought you might want to know too....

1. Privacy: I'm fierce about me-time, and I'll tell you straight-out if you're not wanted right then. I expect knocks on my door before you enter. I leave things scattered about my space in the trust that they will not be picked up/misused/poked into. Whether I am bathing, sleeping, staring into space or whatever, I would really appreciate it if you were sensitive and intelligent enough to let me be.

2. Books: I believe in sharing these small pieces of delight as fully as I can. You tell me you want to read/borrow something off my shelf...I'll gladly give it to you. But I do not appreciate books being removed from my room without my permission. Also, I will not lend books to a 'friend's friend, cousin, aunt' short, no one I have not met and evaluated. Any book lent out is expected to be returned in very good condition. I don't care if you are the most bindass, carefree person ever, you screw up my books, I'll come and cut out your tongue.

3. Writing: I write. I do ok. I'll write what I'm told if it brings in money. I'll write what I'm not told if it gives me a kick. I'll write the opposite to what I'm told because I'm feeling like a wuss and I need a small act of rebellion. Don't come round with a list of shoulds and should-nots. I'll slap you!

4. Love: I'm blind, deaf and dumb in defence of certain people. I might (and probably do) yell at them most of the time myself, but YOU can't. Don't come telling me 'I really think your mum, dad, brother, friend etc, should....' I appreciate that you have an opinion. I appreciate that you have the right to express it. I do not appreciate imposition, even verbally. If the only way you can express yourself is to be pseudo-righteous, self-satisfied and with an air of let-me-show-you-how-to-manage-your-life-better, either shut up or get slugged.

5. The politics of Bengal: This is a very recent development in my consciousness.
Yes, tis a mess. Yes, it's regressed terribly this past year. But were you there? Have you grown up in the textures and scents of Calcutta? Bengal, however she is....dark, volatile, full of woven tightly into my blood. And that's the only way you 'get' Bengal. You don't read newspapers and shake your head disapprovingly and snigger at Communism and understand.
You go into the storm. You wear the muzzle. You rally against it.
You don't show your utter stupidity by standing miles away, pointing at the mess and saying, 'Shit, what are those Communists up to?'

6. Change: I'm very good at standing outside and giving myself the critical once-over. I don't need you to do it. Don't look at me as an Improvement Project. Don't ever try and bulldoze me. If you are one of those authoritarian, thick-skinned people who begin every sentence with 'what I want you to do is...,' I suggest you tone it down. I am completely aware of the way I am...if I need a reminder, suggest, don't walk all over me simply because you have a compulsive need to manage other people's lives.

I loved writing that out!

Hope yall have just the kind of night and year you want.

Much love.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Better Song Baby

I went out and had fun today after a long time. A concert at Anandban Club. Did me a world of good just to dress, moisturize and wear kajal.

Some good music...superlative guitar and drums....some hilarious vocals, but most of all, a lot of familiar faces made up the evening.

Twas good to see Mannu and Kashmira who can chase the blues off by simply being around. Good to sing along to 'Bittersweet Symphony' and 'Summer of '69' and 'Country Roads' all while flapping my hands and doing other dance movements which clearly indicated that Coke and antibiotics do not mix well.
Weed and I did a lot of giggling and bitching. I firmly believe that the healing process is nothing, nothing without these! Missed the Rambler immensely :)
The kiddie performers were adorable, if off-key.
There was a rendition of 'Kiss Me,' which made me want to slap the singers, throttle anything but kiss them.

And it was good to tickle and have pointless arguments with the Oddball. Gives me a real rush!

So the song I'm singing is...I'm getting better I'm getting Better yeah yeah...

While you think of ways you can

a) avoid me
b) quickly slip some arsenic into my food

read this.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Waking up, slowly

I've been sick for over ten days now. I've never had a prolonged illness before experience there. I'm recovering slowly.
The temperature is subsiding, the cough softening...but the tiredness that is deeply physical, the inability to enjoy eating, the shortness of temper... will take time.

I miss my non-illness days intensely. College, meeting friends in Savera, the iced tea and cigarette that is a morning ritual for many of us, movies, insane laughter, chips and chip-books...
I've wanted to be left alone these past few days. But I've also wanted pampering, a good laugh, Mum...
I've been perfectly irritable and nasty at times..and Dad has been the best of sports about it. He's home now, so..he got to hang out with Grubby, Sick, Snappy Me the most. He worried a lot, made me lovely soup, left me alone without my having to tell him, made no demands at all...

I am definitely not enjoying this learning. The knowledge that my famously steely backbone and constitution can, in fact falter, is hardly gratifying. I don't take kindly to being looked after. I am yet to be comfortable with that kind of loving :)

What I am realizing, is that it is terrible to be sick. My illness will last perhaps two impatience to get well, to taste life again makes me think of those who may never get well. Who lie in strange, impersonal hospital beds for months and months. How do they reconcile themselves? Or do they keep fighting? How do you tell yourself, and accept, that you will never see the sun again?
I missed the tnt Christmas party at Sassoon this year. I mean, I really missed it!
I wanted to hear Yam and Nan sing. I really wanted to see the kiddies and the way they look at the decorations we put up. With all my love for Christmas, I can never get that look.
And I wanted to see Santa, cos we only get to fight once a year. So yeah Shri-Kant, even though you don't read this, and Boss there is absolutely no need to tell him...missed seeing you this year :)

I have pictures to put up and stories to tell...soon as I've woken up a bit more.

Keep in good health, now :)

Monday, December 24, 2007

Rand a Rary Rappy Ristmas Ro Roo Rooo

A Politically Correct Christmas Story

'Twas the night before Christmas and Santa's a wreck...

How to live in a world that's politically correct?

His workers no longer would answer to "Elves".

"Vertically Challenged" they were calling themselves.

And labour conditions at the North Pole were alleged by the union to stifle the soul.

Four reindeer had vanished, without much propriety,

Released to the wilds by the Humane Society.

That Santa had better not use just reindeer.

So Dancer and Donner, Comet and Cupid

Were replaced with 4 pigs,

and you know that looked stupid!

The runners had been removed from his sleigh;

The ruts were termed dangerous by the E.P.A.

And people had started to call for the cops

When they heard sled noises on their rooftops.

Second-hand smoke from his pipe

had his workers quite frightened.

His fur trimmed red suit was called


And to show you the strangeness of life's ebbs and flows,

Rudolf was suing over unauthorised use of his nose

And had gone on Geraldo, in front of the nation,

Demanding millions in over-due compensation.

So, half of the reindeer were gone; and his wife,

Who suddenly said she'd enough of this life,

Joined a self-help group, packed, and left in a whiz,

Demanding from now on her title was Ms.

And as for the gifts, why, he'd never had a notion

That making a choice could cause so much commotion.

Nothing of leather, nothing of fur,

Which meant nothing for him.

And nothing for her.

Nothing that might be construed to pollute.

Nothing to aim, Nothing to shoot.

Nothing that clamoured or made lots of noise.

Nothing for just girls, or just for the boys.

Nothing that claimed to be gender specific.

Nothing that's warlike or non-pacifistic.

No candy or sweets...they were bad for the tooth.

Nothing that seemed to embellish a truth.

And fairy tales, while not yet forbidden,

Were like Ken and Barbie, better off hidden.

For they raised the hackles of those psychological

Who claimed the only good gift was one ecological.

No baseball, no football...someone could get hurt;

Besides, playing sports exposed kids to dirt.

Dolls were said to be sexist, and should be passe;

And Nintendo would rot your entire brain away.

So Santa just stood there, dishevelled, perplexed;

He just could not figure out what to do next.

He tried to be merry, tried to be gay,

But you've got to be careful with that word today.

His sack was quite empty, limp to the ground;

Nothing fully acceptable was to be found.

Something special was needed,

a gift that he might Give to all without angering the left or the right.

A gift that would satisfy, with no indecision,

Each group of people, every religion;

Every ethnicity, every hue, Everyone, everywhere...even you.

So here is that gift, it's price beyond worth...

May you and your loved ones,

enjoy peace on Earth.


Author Unknown

Wishing yall lit candles, laughter and wonderful memories this Christmas.


I had all the realities to choose from, I chose instead the fairy tale

told to me by a gypsy

in a red-bell skirt

and pretty eyes

I chose

to believe

in sand being a natural exfoliant

In listening to the sea

In twined fingers

and love songs

Oh but the sharp edges I had to see

Before I chose...

Sunday, December 23, 2007


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Erich Fried

What It Is

It is madness
says reason

It is what it is
says love

It is unhappiness
says caution

It is nothing but pain
says fear

It has no future
says insight

It is what it is
says love

It is ridiculous
says pride

It is foolish
says caution

It is impossible
says experience

It is what it is
says love.

Bush with Heart-shaped Leaves

Warm summer rain:
When a heavy drop falls

the whole leaf quivers.

So my heart quivers
each time

your name falls on it.


At first I fell in love with

the brightness of your eyes
your laugh

with your joy in life

Now I love your weeping too
and your fear of life
and the helplessness
in your eyes

But I will help youwith your fear
for my joy in life
is still
the brightness of your eyes

Without You

Not nothingwithout you
but not the same
Not nothingwithout you

but perhaps less

Not nothingbut less
and less
Perhaps not nothing

without you
but not much more

An Attempt

I have attempted-

while working -

to try
thinking of my work

and not of you

And I am happy
that the attempt
did not succeed.


Being able to breathe out

one's unhappiness

breathe out deeply
so that one can
breathe in again

And perhaps also being able to speak
one's unhappiness
in words

in real words

which are coherent
and make sense
and which one can
understand oneself
and which perhaps

someone else can understand
or could understand
And being able to try

That again would

almost be



Rememberingthat is

the most painful way
of forgetting
and perhaps

the kindest way
of easing
this pain

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Just a little..

My neck is in spasm and I'm a little weepy. But black-and white images, Humphrey Bogart saying 'Here's lookin at you kid,'

and these lines

never fail to soften me..

You must remember this

A kiss is just a kiss

A sigh...just a sigh...

...the world will always welcome lovers

as time goes by

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Ugh...all around me are relationships! Two great ones, one a muddled up mess, one on the recycle track and one fast disappearing.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Dad-Daughter Current Favourite

Must have left my house at eight, because I always do
My train, I'm certain, left the station just when it was due
I must have read the morning paper going into town
And having gotten through the editorial,
no doubt I must have frowned.

I must have made my desk around a quarter after nine
With letters to be read, and heaps of papers waiting to be signed
I must have gone to lunch at half past twelve or so
The usual place, the usual bunch
And still on top of this I'm pretty sure it must have rained....
The day before you came...

I must have lit my seventh cigarette at half past two
And at the time I never even noticed I was blue
I must have kept on dragging through the business of the day
Without really knowing anything, I hid a part of me away.
At five I must have left, there's no exception to the rule
A matter of routine, I've done it ever since I finished school
The train back home again
Undoubtedly I must have read the evening paper then
Oh yes, I'm sure my life was well within it's usual frame
The day before you came....

Must have opened my front door at eight o'clock or so
And stopped along the way to buy some Chinese food to go
I'm sure I had my dinner watching something on TV
There's not, I think, a single episode of Dallas that I didn't see.

I must have gone to bed around a quarter after ten
I sleep so much these days, and so I like to be in bed by then
I must have read a while
The latest one by Marilyn French or something in that style
It's funny, but I had no sense of living without aim
The day before you came.

And turning out the lightI must have yawned and cuddled up for yet another night
And rattling on the roof
I must have heard the sound of rain
The day before you came.

This is originally by ABBA. Very recently, however Dad and I have been obsessively listening to a cover version by The Real Tuesday Weld. Beautiful it is.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Chhoto dadu died last night of a heart attack. He was in his 80's, my great-great uncle. He loved the song 'Bindass'. He would ask me what it meant, and was never wholly satisfied with the answer. He simply loved it.
He never let me get away with saying 'hello' and 'goodbye'. They each had to be accompanied by kisses.

He and his wife would come to the Gestapo Headquarters nearly every Sunday evening. They didn't always call in advance, they just rang the doorbell, certain the we were home. They lived quite a distance away, their bus-stop I remember, is called Bansdroni.
They would come and the Grandmother would whip up three different kinds of snacks to have with tea. Chhoto dadu and Phooldidu. How they would quarrel over everything, everything. He in his simple, humourous way, she with her nasal whine that drove me mad.

He is the second of my distant dadus to go. Toby dadu, a charming gentle man with a great love for drink was the first. Everytime we met, he would ask me how the boyfriend was. I would tell him there was no boyfriend. he would nod approvingly and say I must not commit to anyone without his approval.
In most cases, I find the men in my paternal line much more agreeable than the women. In Toby dadu's case, I think he would have been able to survive just fine if his wife had died before him. But otherwise, the women are far better able to handle such circumstances.

As dry and dispassionate as this post reads, I am...slightly numb. Death is no longer a stranger to me, but he remains strange. I am not heartbroken, not even intensely upset. I am...curious at my own reaction...or lack thereof. At my superior level of acceptance. I haven't shrugged it off and forgotten, I am watching it touch me.
I realize that I really only miss people I share my everydays with. There are some who I hardly see or talk to, but who are with me. Rare, starry creatures.
Chhoto dadu, I know would have accepted his fate with his usual humour. He rarely worried over things. Phooldidu herself isn't well, this won't be easy on her. For all that they quarrelled and whined....they were there for one another. For years and years.