Not In The Details

Before we get into the meat of the post, a masala…err, caveat, in the form of a conversation with a friend.

Take a pic!

I don’t have a camera on me.

Use your phone!

This piece of shit? Nope. I only do good photos. :-)

Ah well. I only do good sights even if the images aren’t good. Is that too much of a compromise?

Not in my esteemed opinion. Besides I’m a chronic thinker, not a chronic genius. And I’m in a city that clings to civilization just about, not a model of perfection. So save the comments on how blurry the photos are, how I should have used a triple-resolution grade A filter (or something like that). If you can’t make out what my photographs are, I’ll spell them out for you!! Yeah, A.E., that’s a special note to you! :mrgreen: 

Now to proceed to the main course….

~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

Love is looking in the same direction….or into the same mobile phone! Read more of this post

Habit, Actually

I would have said..

I could get really used to you

…except I find I already have.

~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

Habits are like huge foam pillows
Comforting, cuddly, warm
Suffocating and restrictive as well

And yeah, they aren’t easy to break. All they do is bounce right back on you.
Your only hope is to tear through even if some of the residue sticks to you.

~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

A ritual is a habit with an over-inflated sense of self-importance

~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

Relationships that are habits
aren’t exciting any more
but they are a helluva lot more comfortable.

And consider, if you had to let go of that flashy new bling outfit you got last week
OR your favorite holed-and-patched-and-ripping pyjamas…
…which would you really, really miss more?

~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

Some people are sad or bored or boring out of habit.
Actually by the same token some people are joyful or involved or interesting by habit.

All it is, is about getting used to thinking about the way one is…or decides to be.

~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

I’m a creature of habit – a bad habit of hobnobing with worse creatures.

~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

Discipline is nothing more than habit with good PR.

Discriminatory

Sex
Love
Time
Attention
Loyalty

The issue isn’t over not getting any.
It’s about not getting enough from the right people.

Discrimination has many merits, virtue not one of them.

I Style! – Beautiful Buggers

We do seem to have a rather strong foot festish here at I Style!, don’t we? Hmm, it seems to me like the only place we’re truly comfortable tucking away our individual style, is under our feet. The shoe-mania continues with something I spotted in one of the Catwalk stores that carried a ‘SALE!’ signboard.

I would have bought this pair, I swear I would have. The only problem is that since the bugs would be under the arch of my foot, they wouldn’t be visible. And methinx the style that doesn’t show isn’t stylish at all!! Even so, I’d love to have them up on my shoe-rack where people can see them. This is soooo my style, I Style!

~O~O~O~O~O~O~

* Cross-posted to Divadom.

SMS

1:25 a.m. is more Saturday night than Sunday morning, no matter what the calendar says.

After a day of light drizzle or no rain, the clouds let themselves go again. For a few seconds all I can hear is the rain. Not the sound the ground makes as the water hits it, nor the metal and glass and concrete shrugging off droplets. Just the sound of the rain.

And perhaps because it’s raining, Bombay is quiet outside my window, even on a Saturday night.

I pick up my phone and thumb out,

I guess you are in sleepy-bye land. It’s pouring outside my window and so the road is quiet for a Saturday night. A good time to be alone and watching the world sleep. Know what I mean? Tell me in the a.m. when you are awake and I’m not.

When I talk, I wonder if the person listening, gets what I’m saying.
After awhile when I know they do, I listen appreciatively and in anticipation for them to validate that impression.

I savour their silence,
allowing me to speak
as I know I will
let them taste my silence
with their words, shortly.

So if listening in silence is really just giving the other person a space to speak…
what else is sleep
but giving them the space to be themselves,
without you,
examining the world around
and picking what they want to bring back to you…
…and letting you do the same?

Truly, my lovely solitude is sweetened by thoughts of you.

Auto-wheelie

Did anyone get stuck in a gargantuan traffic jam in Vile Parle/ Andheri/ Jogeshwari/ Malad earlier this week? Yes, yes, I know that’s roz ka jhamela in aamchi Mumbai. But this was like the baap of all traffic snarls. Your vella bloggy-reporter takes you straight to the scene of the crime…errr, traffic jam.

In that dirty, dingy gulli called Andheri subway, an autowalla seemed to have been trying some stunts. Okay, not auto but what do you call those auto-looking things that carry goods instead of passengers? Going by the way the autowallas drive, I don’t think they know the difference but anyway…

This vehicle was stuck in the most extraordinary position of all – nose up in the air and forehead (!) caught in the roof of the subway. A couple of workers were perched up there hammering away in a bid to get it unstuck. Wheels up in the air, my first thought was,

Was that an auto-wheelie gone wrong??

auto-wheelie.jpg

Perhaps he skid. After all Andheri subway is a messy puddle even in the height of summer and we’ve been facing lagataar baarish for a week now. It wasn’t till evening when someone suggested the most probable reason. The back was probably overloaded and it just unbalanced, right under the subway. Kya timing, boss.

As far as I can see, there were no casualties. Except for oh, about two hours of everyone’s time in the peripheral areas. Yeh Mumbai ka traffic, na

auto-wheelie-2.jpg

She Is There

I spotted something in the bookstore today.

bookshop-you-are-here.jpg

Congratulations, Minna!

Blogos Unf@air: Quoted in Hindustan Times article on Women Bloggers

On the same day, Hindustan Times ran a very well-written story on women bloggers and the problems we face. Trolls, stalkers, perverts and stereotypes!! I saw it online since it was only the Delhi edition that contained it.

(Click to view story)


With men constituting 76 per cent of all bloggers in India, the common perception is that “chick-bloggers” get more hits simply because they are women. “I resent this. I use a unisex pseudonym, write about things of general interest like cityscapes, humour and relationships. I find it painful that my identity has to be defined by my gender and not the quality or content of my writing,” says R@my@, who writes as IdeaSmith.

Much of my anonymity has been been about protecting my privacy from people I know but some of it has also served as a security blanket against trolls and what-nots. I guess that’s gone now. So hello world, hello non-anonymous life! I just hope I can face it with as much grace and style as my fellow women-bloggers who’ve also been quoted.

Misquoted in DNA's story on Professional Bloggers

On Sunday, DNA ran a story about professional bloggers. I recognized Gautam Ghosh in there and oh, what’s this – I found my own name there too! What on earth am I doing in a story about earning money from blogging? Nothing I’ve seen in the past four years leads me to believe that I can get paid to write about my personal life, the city and general ramblings on relationships. But ah, wait, that’s not what I’m supposed to be doing. According to DNA,
Read more of this post

I Am Jill's Last Wish – version 2

(See version 1 here.
This is a modification after Kavita Bhanot’s workshop on fiction-writing)

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Julia labored up the dirt path, thinking, not for the first time, how long the years had been and how much had happened in them. Minute to minute, thunderstorm to typhoon, everything had kept changing. Of course, she admitted, the typhoon in those situations had almost always been her own will. There was so much be lived in one life, after all! She had always enjoyed shaking people out of their complacency, out of their stereotyped ways of thinking. Sometimes people just needed another perspective. Or another person to show it to them.

These last few years she had not felt inclined to play rain-maker any more. Actually, Julia surmised, I suppose I never did like the discomfort it caused, these changes. But one does what one must. And the wheels had been rolling for ages now. How appropriate.

She sighed, a little out of breath. Almost near the top. The sight never failed to move her. An open sky spotted with pinpoint diamond-bright stars. And what was the colour of the sky? Orange? Brown? Black? Blue? An evening coloured sky with sepia undertones, she decided.

twsky05.jpg


The grass was coming up from the ground in little clumps. She sat down with an undignified ‘oof’. Anita would lecture her to doomsday about trampling on moths. What a thought! A moth would be there tomorrow and if not, another would be born. That was the way of life and the world would not end for the loss of one insignificant creature.

Anita was an environmental activist and may well be on her way to politics some day. Save the world, thought Julia, save it from Anita! She grinned to herself and added as an after-thought….they’ve done much to earn someone like her. Talk about a force of nature! Anita could run over a bulldozer. Good thing she had managed to channel that vitality into something that could only bode well. Julia was glad she had revised her original plans for Anita. There were enough of rats in the race, the capitalist world must not profit from yet another Anita. She was well placed caring for the real world.

There had been some trouble with Kenny initially. Julia frowned, thinking that his keen mind and sensitivity would have been well applied in creating something tangible. He would have been a wonderful architect. Or an urban planner perhaps. A perfect complement to his green-minded sister. And Anita needed a safety-valve like her gentle brother.

But Julia had realised that she could no more teach her shy son to turn gregarious any more than she could turn Anita into a dignified lady. Even Anita’s fire could be tamed but it was hard to mould Kenny’s uncomplaining persistance. Kenny was born to make music and teach it to children. Which he did well, gently coaxing out melody from restless, impatient young lungs.

It would have been nice to have him be the leader making sweeping changes to a difficult world. But well, there was always Anita for that. Anita, her brash, opinionated, hard-headed first-born. Quiet, unobstrusive Kenny was adding beauty to a world that his big sister was busy scouring with her acid speeches and protests. They could take care of themselves and the world. Julia was done with changing people’s lives.

Feeling her breath relax back to normal, Julia sank back into the still-moist earth. A trickle of childhood memories seeped into her along with the delicious chill from the ground. Wandering off during games of hide-and-seek. It was fun to hide but she discovered shortly after how much more delightful it was to be the seeker. The trouble was people always wanted to tell you what and who to look for. And eventually they started dropping her from the games that her abrupt rambles would disrupt. Couldn’t have the seeker going off after butterflies instead of her friends. It was annoying and it took a great deal of effort but she learnt to play their games.

Ah, well, time to indulge again, she thought with a faint smile on her lips. And she closed her eyes.

 

~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

 

Jacques heaved out another box out of the tiny apartment. What a surprising load of stuff people kept in their houses! Potted plants – not the flowering variety but some sort of mini vegetables…what were they called? Sprouts? Herbs? All of them were being shipped off to that socialite-activist lady who was in the news recently. Something about aerosols and insects and the ozone layer. Whacko sort, he imagined, hoping to God that there was no bomb tucked away in any of the boxes. And then he smiled. Probably just a crazy old lady who collected strange plants the way some old ladies collected cats.

Plenty of books as well, he noted. He’d know, he had packed 8 cartons full of them! And these were going to an university down south. A will beneficiary, he supposed, probably a cherished and much-suffering nephew.

He stepped into the kitchen for a drink of water. Nice view, he thought, though it might seem lonely to someone living alone. Outside on the ledge, he noticed a slim notebook and cursed under his breath. Why did people leave their stuff in such unlikely places? A notebook on the window-ledge indeed! Like he was a bloody maid to pick up after them. Normally there was any amount of sentimental rubbish that people thought they just could not live without but left in all sorts of places. The odd thing was this crazy plant-lady had been fairly immaculate with her possessions.

He sighed and opened the book, wondering if he could just toss it into the trash. Who would notice one single missing notebook?

To go alone from a mountaintop on a twilight summer evening on an untended grassy patch…warm breeze turning just bearable, insects chirping and a distant stream flowing. Stars in a sky not black yet and the moon sliver-like. Incomplete. And then complete.

Suddenly he was interested. There was something about peeping into other people’s lives and watching their silly idiosyncrasies. That was probably why he stuck to this crummy job. Packing people’s stuff and lugging it around may not be the best job in the world but it did allow him to look into other people’s lives without them realising it. He shook himself and read the next page.

Give me an evening
with the stars starting to shine
and an incomplete moon

Let me go with the vision of all that is perfect and complete
As well as the thought of all that still remains to be lived
Life and the universe will go on

I have done my share
May there always be water for every thirsty mouth
And a song for every melodious voice

No more lessons, no more games
No more fanfare, no more pomp

A celebration of one in a crowded world
Let that be my final bow.

Jacques shut the book gently. And then he did something he had never done before. He picked up the tiniest pot with a single baby basil plant in it and put the notebook into his pocket. As he walked out of the empty apartment, he tipped his hat to a lady he had never met.

Goodnight, Jill.

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