Monday, November 24, 2008


Dear Backbone,

Today I head off to a brand new workplace. People around me are intensely excited, proud and constantly offering advice. For myself, I'm determined to handle this my way. This isn't my first job, and though the previous one was part-time and non-corporate, it was business and it was work, and I was taught to handle it that way.

So far the best advice has come from Mitul Pishi who very quietly told me, 'focus completely on your work and don't talk bad about anybody in your workplace.'

And that is the essence of any work I'll do. I know I'll resist corporate work life at every step, but nobody will ever fault me for the lack of hard work and personal dignity. I'll be making mistakes, looking blank and sponging up all kinds of information. And every time I come through fire or scale a corporate brick wall, I'll remember to give you a pat. And to say a silent thank you to people like Sumit Pipa and Trips who are convinced that you and I are awesome!

It's been you and me for many years, buddy. So here's to another adventure!


Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I want a vacation filled with bookshops, long browses, sleep, writing, movies....and absolutely nobody I know around!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Orange blossom, roses and being a non-tourist in Paris

I anticipated trouble this time at Charles De Gaulle. I figured it was easier than to be surprised by it. About six hours into my plane ride, I looked out and espied a lone star looking back at me. So I asked it to please ensure that my journey was smooth, and my trip fruitful.
And it appeared to wink at me and do just that.
I wasn't arrested, photographed or even looked at suspiciously. My passport was stamped, my luggage came through and I was out of there in less than five minutes.
Since Dear Old Dad believes that his children must be Super Independent, I bought myself a bus ticket to Porte Maillot and made the trip to the hotel by myself.
The first night is a frenzy of cold air and posh French food. DOD and i ate our way through scallops, snails, foie gras and finished a bottle of rather good red wine between us. I must tell you, that to see my hard-nosed, dark-rum-drinking father swirling the wine in his glass, tasting it delicately and instructing his provincial daughter on how a wine-glass should be held was tres funny.
The next morning began with an enormous breakfast. Meat, cheese, meat, cheese, meat, cheese...oh and some yoghurt for good health.
Paris on a Saturday morning is sleepy. The newspaper kiosks were open, a few florists were open (it is perfectly possible in Paris to have a sudden craving for roses at 9 am),but nobody began business till 11 am.
While walking off our breakfast, I looked at the Parisiennes. Their shoes shone, their coats were of perfect length, they walked in four-inch heels as though they had been born in them (which is very possible). I had a feeling if they were pricked, they would bring forth gushes of Chanel No.5 rather than blood. I could not imagine them breaking into a sweat, or having wind-blown hair.
Maybe it's just Paris. I mean, you're living the standard of world fashion rather than living upto them...
We had another enormous meal in the afternoon....more meat, more snails....sigh. Then we stood out, leaning against the wooden tables and smoked. In my long, felt coat, pointy leather boots, with cigarette in hand...I might have felt worldly and European...but I was too busy feeling full of food and sleepy.
Paris was a whirl this time. The few journeys I made alone...walking out at 7 am to buy postcards, the bus ride to the airport, the orange blossom shampoo that stayed on my pillow...this is what I remember best. Paris is designed for travellers, loners, lovers, gypsies. In less than two days, it gave me aching feet, cold fingers and took my breath away...
The visa officer was highly disapproving of the fact that I was travelling alone to Paris, that I had no planned itinerary for my stay. Dear sir, I wish you two weeks in Paris. Try getting lost, try gazing out at nothing and make yourself some new secrets.

Sunday, November 02, 2008 are our talks.
Language so filled with desire it forms in your brain
and transforms into an ache deep in your belly,
dark red and overbearing,
filling your body with secrets