Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Auto Rides

There is something to be said for auto rides. I mean, seriously. Beside my fascination with the profession, an auto ride is an experience you cannot forego. Particularly in Chennai city.

Okay, okay, so you have to come equipped with a full wallet. I agree. And you cannot be delicate or faint-hearted because you have to be able to survive the potholes and swerves and manoeuvring that an auto does. It is literally a video game that emphasises survival at all odds.

There may be distractions such as an impossibly large display of Vijay on the windscreen, or an array of God and Goddesses, thereby testifying to the Automan's secularism.

But if you survive the obstacle course and manage to get over the colourful decorations, an auto is an excellent place to think.

This morning, I reached office only to find that I was not allowed to park in my usual spot due to a police programme. I had really no choice but to go back all the way home, leave my car and take an auto. I hate wasting money on autos but this time I surrendered.

It was a pleasant change to have someone drive me around. When I'm driving, there's atleast one half of my brain concentrating on the road (while unconsciously emulating Speed Racer on an Obstacle Course). The other's listening to music and trying to psych myself for the day ahead. But in an auto, there's nothing of that sort. I am not alone with myself. There's a person who's having his own thoughts in that little space. There's no need for conversation. Silence is implied but it is not forced. For once, you don't have to be someone or say something or convey an impression. You're alone and also, you're not.

Maybe it's the open sides of the auto that add to the effect. Whatever it is, I definitely feel connected to the world.

There's noise, there's dust, there's confusion as can only be in India and you're part of it all.

And when you place a couple of notes (not a couple anymore, I'm afraid) in the stranger's hand and get out of the teeny little vehicle, you realise that you're never going to see this person again.Maybe you're more privileged than he is, maybe you're educated and he is not. But for ten minutes, you shared a world.

The Year that Was?

What was 2008?

20th anniversary of my existence...

History was rewritten as a real leader was elected as president of the USA causing an interest in politics as part of popular culture..

So much drama in the friends circle that I would never have seen coming...

Three out of station trips after a hiatus of three years...

New perspectives on age old feelings...

Bollywood attempting to come out of the closet...

A dead actor leaves behind a legendary performance...

Some growing up and a lot of teenage nonsense...

Shifted my Windows Live blog into this! One whole year of blog writing...

And the best part? The fact that so many people visit Estarra (tourism is booming!) and I've gotten so many friends, thanks to this little island of my mind. It's so funny, I never really expected this to happen. And Vimal, you can call me HRH of Estarra. President would be great too. (Kidding. Actually, not)

Happy new year everyone!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Year Resolutions

1. To find myself a hobby that distracts me when I'm down and to which I can fully absorb myself when I get cranky/lonely/low on self esteem. A hobby which is not dependent on other people (so this rules out reading Meg Cabot.) and which will remind me that there is more to my life than whatever it is that is bogging me down.
Something besides writing!
Video games? Self-styled workout sessions? Collecting bookmarks?

2. To go with the flow and not say no to any outing but while making sure it does not compromise on my SLEEP.

3. To be myself. Whatever that may be at that moment.

4. To enjoy my youth while it lasts without whining about missing being fourteen or hyperventilating at the thought of the time period after April '09.

5. To relax, let go and unwinnnnnnnnnd. I was not built for worrying and so I'm not going to let it enter my system. YES! And this is going to be the resolution I am going to HAVE to keep.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Pure Magic

Love is magic, right?
And I guess magic doesn't like to be chased.
So how do you want something without chasing it? Is it a mind trick? You tell yourself "Ah, I don't mind waiting a hundred million years, yawn, I've got a million things to do" so that you'll finally catch love unawares.
Yeah, right. SO NOT working.
While I continue to enjoy my single, uncluttered, unfettered relationship status, I have discovered that it is hard to bury the romantic in me (Extremely hard while being exposed to Rabbi's songs and movies like 'P.S: I love you') So, I'm embracing my romanticity. I'm no Mills and Boons but I cannot subdue an 'Awwwww!' whenever Ross and Rachel get back on 'Friends'. But there are some lucky ones who can live without the magic because they've experienced it in some other form, like finding God or because they have children whom they love unconditionally.
But, for all my single (and seeking to mingle) friends out there, here's what I say: it's okay. Join the club. Don't be afraid that you miss love or yearn to experience love, whatever the case may be. It doesn't make you weak or desperate or incomplete as a person to feel what you're feeling. I don't think there's any other magic that can replace being in love (and being loved! VERY important!) no matter how many coins you've collected or how many parties you've attended. If you like someone and it works out, WOW! But if it doesn't, move on with a smile on your face. Atleast if you've had a taste of pure magic.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Alter egos/Secret talents I wish I possessed

1. Secret martial arts expert.
(Karate, kick boxing, whatever. Something cool with roundhouse kicks and rock-solid punches. The only martial art I learnt was 15 days of summer karate camp of which my most vivid memory is the 6-year-old boy who was probably the first ever official fan of M.S.Dhoni.)

2. Speed racer through mean streets
(Yes. Shh. Don't tell my mother)

3. Hip-Hop, break dancing superstar or atleast Vijay
(I've always been fascinated by people who are in complete control of their body. I don't even know what to do with my arms when I talk to someone.)

4. Bono singing 'Bad' at Live Aid, 1985
(Mannnnn...the power of that song. It just changed my life. Actually, I'd love to perform any U2 song. High as a kite is what I feel singing a U2 song)

5. Parkour expert
(The first dream I remember having is of a large green T-rex chasing me as I jumped from my roof to another. Being good at parkour would help if I come across a real-life situation such as that.)

6. Class clown
(Heehee. )

7. Basketball star!
(I have dreamed of playing this sport since the 5th standard and am still incapable of doing a lay-up, despite going to camp for two years continuously.)

8. Princess in a historical romance

9. A mermaid
(So I could swim with the whales and listen to their songs and not be so terrified yet obsessed with the deep as I am)

Friday, December 26, 2008

I Got Therapy

So, I survived.
It was a fabulous Christmas, most unChristmasy in terms of no cake, no tree, no presents (sniff!) but it was a family time. And friends are family.
Christmas eve night: Me in my Chick Magnet T shirt, wrapped up under the quilt, laughing my head off at Ryan and Colin in 'Whose Line is it Anyway?'. Show's over and I prepare to spend my Christmas night glamorously NOT.
K messages and we decide to attend Midnight Mass for the first time in my life. It's been AN AGE since K and I met. After a sudden bout of hysterics for no reason- or maybe too many reasons. (Not been feeling so top notch of late. Guess it all came crashing out. Must vent more and not keep things so compressed) , we finally left. It was late but we got to listen to K's favourite carol ('Mary's boy child') and my second favourite ('Jingle bell rock'. 'Oh come all ye faithful''s my absolute favourite). Then we headed to Barista where I got sick and tried to avoid looking at them while they shared some gooey chocolate cake. Is it possible to be physicaly sick and emotionally rejuvenated at the same time?
Christmas Day! Woke up and put 'I want to break free' on full blast..ah, there's nothing like having Freddie Mercury's voice bring in the celebration. I absorbed the therapy and then dressed up for a girl's day out.
Ah, it was so nice. The four of us had a giggle-fest (seriously. I'd forgotten I was capable of those) and hogged some sandwiches (and i had a choco tart. GUILTY AS CHARGED!But it's CHRISTMAS!) and then we traipsed around till my fuel tank pointed to empty and then we ran home to check a few priceless scenes of OUR movie ('Kaho Na Pyaar Hai'. This cinematic gem redefined our 11 year old lives and gave us all our first crush in the form of Hrithik Roshan). Then we wandered over to Numbi Jim's house and did some more nonsense. I think these three mad girls contribute to my Peter Pan behaviour, seeing as how they're pretty much the same.
Well, so I'm feeling much much better now. Socialising helps... and so does church!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Ra and Estarra's brain exercise (don't try this at home)


ok then


The name’s Champ
Chump v/s champ
Grump v/s gramp
Chubby champ
Chubby dubby
Chubby duckling
Chubbly duck
Duckling dust
Duck fry
Fried Chubling
Chubling ice
Chub Bling bling
Bling Bling Singh
Bing is Kinng
Bing is king bing is king
King Bling
Kings C Bling
Blatantly Bling
Bltantly Singh
Singhfully Bling
The Seven Singhs
3 wise Singhs
Singing Manmohan
Singhing, “Man More Hun”
“Man mohanaaaaa”
Atilla the Manmohan
Im done

Monday, December 22, 2008

Have yourself a Merry Christmas

I wanted to talk about something. It was brilliant and enlightening and I conceived of it in those few nano seconds right before you drift off to sleep.

And of course that's where it went.

It's called something, right? That state of mind right before you sleep. Supposedly your creative channel opens up then and you welcome the universe's ideas.

Tricky thing, the channel. It willingly supplies you all those ideas, knowing that you won't remember all that stuff in the morning, try as you might. Or even if you happen to foresee its intentions and lay a notebook and pen by your pillow, you end up scrawling some unintelligible rubbish which you can't decipher or it just sounds way too ridiculous in the daylight.

Well, it's Christmas time. The cubicle which I mostly inhabit (when not wandering about to get circulation in my legs) has been decorated in red and green. Which brings to mind my childhood memories of Christmas, right from the tree to the presents under it and of course the stockings me and my best friend back then, Sandeep used to hang at the foot of the bed. Back then G.I Joes and Relish chocolates were topmost priority on our list.

Of course, the tree got planted outside my window and I think I caught my Mum wrapping the presents. I wasn't as disappointed for myself than for Sandeep. He believed my house was an urban legend for Santa Claus happen to land up only there. (My household has always celebrated the best of all religions)

As time went by, Sandeep drifted away. And my school girl friends and I began having Christmas parties (when we were going through our Disney Princess stage) replete with Bollywood-Kollywood dancing. (Now, that's something that hasn't really changed. The inability to resist a dhinchak song). We exchanged presents and cards and I'm sure we gobbled Mum's lovely cake. (For which I am still in repentance)

Somewhere before that, Christmas used to be visits to St.Thomas Mount (wayyy back when I wasn't the family driver and when my aunt and cousin used to visit). Now that's a beautiful place, as far as I can remember. I'll never be able to shake off the feeling when I gazed at the whole of Madras from the top of the mount. Madras was certainly the most beautiful place on earth.

In the last years of school, I sang along with a youth choir (Soprano, can you believe it? I only croak bass now). Carols by candlelight, choir uniforms, the whole works. Truly Christmasy. I loved being part of it.

Let me get back to trying to recall what it was that was swept away in the current of the Creative Channel (someone put a dam on it) and you have yourself a Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 19, 2008


I've fallen in love, yet again, again with a Rabbi song. This one's off his first album. And it's called 'Ishtihaar'.

There's something about staring into the winter sunlight and listening to the soft voice of this amazingly talented singer. Originally a poem by Shiv Kumar Batalvi, the words (oh my God, the words) become soul stirring under the influence of his voice and the gentle pluck of his guitar. This, is THE song.

Okay, promise me, you will listen to the song and then read the lyrics along with it. Only then will you feel what I feel.

Sitting quietly by the window still and freeing your mind of thought would enhance the experience.

So, check it out.

For the Lost Love:

ik kudi / A girl

jihda naam mohabbat / whose name is love

saad muradi / simple, dainty

sohni fabbat /a lovely sight

gumm hai gumm hai / she is lost

gumm hai / lost

gumm hai / lost

gumm hai / she is lost

surat osdi / Her face

parian vargi / A fairy's likeness,

seerat di o / temper

Mariam lagdi / a picture of Mary

hasdi hai tan / when she laughs

phul ne jhardhey / the petals fall

turdi hay tan / when she walks

ghazal hai lagdi / a melody play

slamm salami / her graceful height

saru kadd di / like a wicker tree

umar ajey hai mar ke agdi / her years are still of nascence

par naina di / but the language of eyes

gal samajhdi / she comprehends

gummian janam janam / she is lost from many

han hoye / births

agolagda iyon jyon kal / though it seems as affair of yesterday

di gal hai / yesterday

iyon lagdai jion ajj di gal hai /why, it seems an affair of today

iyon lagdai jion hun / why, it seems this moments affair

di gal hai hune taan mere kol kharhi si / just now she stood by my side

hune tan mere kol nahi hai / and now she has vanished

ai keha chhal kehi bhatkan / what trick what chase is this

soch meri hairaan barri hai / my senses, they're mystified

os kudi nu tol rahi hai / searching for that girl

oss kudi nu meri saunh hai / I call out to that girl in my name

os kudi nu apni saunh hai / I call out to that girl in my name

os kudi nu sab di saunh hai / I call out to that girl in my name

os kudi nu rab di saunh hai / I call out to that girl in my name

jey kittey parhdi sunhdi hove / if she reads or hears this

jeyundi jan o mar rahi hovey / if she be alive or dying

ik vari aa ke mil javey / come and meet me once

vafa meri nu daag na laavey / do not sully my devotion

nahi tan maithon jia na janda / lest I can't live

geet koi likhia na janda / nor write a word

nahi tan maithon jia na janda / lest I can't live

geet koi likhia na janda / nor write a word

nahi tan maithon jia na janda / lest I can't live

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

This train don't stop here anymore

Oh I am soooo happy..happy happy happy! Thank you for all the comments, it really made my day (and that's saying a lot, considering the day I've had) and even though there are so many people I can talk to, orally, I mean, it's a real different high when you see these written down responses to your unmonitored rambling.
So, thank you!
Why was my day not so number one? Well, I think I'm in this permanent transition phase wherein I'm not dwelling in the past and I am waiting for this one little twist that'll help me paint myself a happy future. Where does that put me? On this permanent subway train where everything outside is a blur.
This is when you turn on the TV and lose your mind in 'Whose Line is it Anyway?'. This is when you go borrow this stack of Meg Cabot books and fall in love with a ghost (whom you imagine to look like Enrique Iglesias) This is when you vaguely realise that there's something slightly wrong with you-when you fall in love with a ghost who's also a CHARACTER IN A BOOK and would rather re read similar books than go to 10 D or wherever.
Talk about problems with reality.
Anyway, I'm not minding myself much. Let's see where this train stops. It can't just keep going, can it?
Oh it can?
Ho hum. Now where did I put my copy of 'Airhead'?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Memorieeeeeeeeeees (to be read with Barbra Streisand's quavering soprano in mind)

Ohhh wooohhh hoooooohhhh it is my last weekend of being empty-headed till I get to work on Monday and begin a two-month internship...So adieu to college for a while (don't worry, I spared you the senti-ness by sniffing melodramatically at random desks and blackboards and all the profs in my department).
I want to say a word I hate but which accurately sums up my state of mind:
College is almost over!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This cannot beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee, oh no, no, no.
So much has happened, so much has been learned.
Six semesters, 16 major subjects, five actual crushes, tons of salwar-kameezes, one id card, three five-subject notebooks, a hundred million games of Hangman, ten million lists of hot guys, top TV series and others (me and Butterfly, that was), one best friend, one bestest friend and eight adorable close ones, a zillion messages back and forth, a billion IMing sessions, four major fights and possibly one final goodbye, a hundred veg rolls and 200 cup o noodles, inconsolable tears which dried, hysterical laughter that caused tears, and not to forgot atleast 500, 000 pages in XEROX ..... the list cannot even begin to end.
Three years.
Whaaaaaaat mannnn.
This can't be it. There should've been a warning.
I'm going to stop listening to my father's old songs now and go watch Miss World to lighten my mood.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Time for some whining

No fair.

I want to be Meg Cabot.

I mean, look at her! She churns out a book a month? And I'm sitting here scribbling some ratty confusing nonsense which I get tired of when it turns too autobiographical. She's so glamorous. The closest I get to being glamorous is leafing through Vogue, walking over to my closet and pulling out the same floppy yellow T-shirt (the one which has a picture of a baby chick followed by a picture of a magnet. Yup.) She gets to write stories about princesses and teenage girls and pop culture for a LIVING. She travels all over the place and people CRAVE for her books. A total of 4 people read my blog.

Like I said, no fair. I wanna be THAT.

Okayyy, maybe she was somewhere close to where I am when she was my age. Sigh. Maybe I'll get there someday. Till then, it's quite a relief to lose myself in Mia world . Waaaah, I miss my teens.

I really must quit whining.

Ooh, all you girls (and boys, if you happen to be interested), check out her blog.

Oh and another one of my favourite authors. I really want to create characters the way she does.

Oh wait, a total of THREE people read this blog.

I'm shutting up. Go read.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

You greedy happy pig you

I am being haunted.
I woke up last morning to a picture of Sweet Chariot's chocolate mousse in the Weekend section of the paper. I ignored, deftly flipping through the pages for non-food articles, chanting "I can do this, I can do this" in my head.
So I manage through the day, drinking sugar-less juice when I craved for cold coffee. So, we go out for dinner, my mind going "soup", my stomach going "pizza".
Thankfully pizza was not available. But look what else was! On the menu, where Nut and Date Tart and Apple Pie and other non-appetising (to me) dessert items normally reside, was printed in tiny letters:
Chocolate Mousse.
Which to me, of course, meant:
Ohhhhhhhh heavens!!!! What am I going to dooooooooooooooooooooooo? Is there no will-power in this heart of mine? Why can't I replace the drool in my mouth with an image of all the clothes in my closet that do not fit? Why can't I run up the stairs and keep on running when there is the slightest tingling of chocolate craving in my belly? Why oh why oh why?
Some of life's mysteries remain unsolved.
And so I ordered.
And much as I'd like to pretend I hate myself for it, I don't.
Hee hee hee.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Growing is a Pain

Something is seriously, very wrong with me.

Puer Aeternus is Latin for eternal boy, used in mythology to designate a child-god who is forever young; psychologically it refers to an older man whose emotional life has remained at an adolescent level, usually coupled with too great a dependence on the mother. The puer typically leads a provisional life, due to the fear of being caught in a situation from which it might not be possible to escape. He covets independence and freedom, chafes at boundaries and limits, and tends to find any restriction intolerable.

The "positive" side of the puer appears as the Divine Child who symbolizes newness, potential for growth, hope for the future. He also foreshadows the hero that he sometimes becomes (e.g. Heracles). The "negative" side is the child-man who refuses to grow up and meet the challenges of life face on, waiting instead for his ship to come in and solve all his problems.
"For the time being one is doing this or that, but whether it is a woman or a job, it is not yet what is really wanted, and there is always the fantasy that sometime in the future the real thing will come about.... The one thing dreaded throughout by such a type of man is to be bound to anything whatsoever."
"Common symptoms of puer psychology are dreams of imprisonment and similar imagery: chains, bars, cages, entrapment, bondage. Life experienced as a prison."

Okay, is my imagination over active as usual or do I detect a familiarity in the above paragraphs? Am I, the ruler of Estarra, in reality a Peter (or Patricia?) Pan???

Oh no, I don't want to think about it.

But wait! Isn't that a typical tendency? Oh no, oh no!

Should I be psychoanalysed? Am I stuck at some stage that hasn't been resolved yet? Is this why I am the way I am? How come no one's ever realised? How come no one's worried???? I seem to have a problem growing up!!

Let's make a list and see:
Adult tendencies
1. I drive. (okay, okay! But that clearly indicates that I have the ability to be responsible for something that is bigger than myself. Though I still don't know how to check the water coolant and stuff. Sigh. My father's gonna kill me.)

2. I do all my homework and assignments and presentations on time. I submit them first (or I'll panic from paranoia!)

3. I am very bossy when it comes to group projects that I HAVE to do. (Otherwise, I couldn't care less. Hmmm.)

4. I have managed to earn money, much to my surprise-twice as an anchor on Doordarshan. Once as an actor in a educational film. One as an MC's assistant at a friend's event. That's it. That's my job history. So I can survive.

5. I hate partying and get a thrill out of organising and arranging and filing all my belongings. (That is not adult-like. That is just plain WEIRD!)

6. Barack Obama is my idol and 'Dreams from my Father' has been way inspiring. I want to bring positive change to this world somehow. I don't know what I have to offer, I don't know how or what I'm going to do. But I figure the first step should be to sort myself out first!)

7. I think and think and think before spending on myself. (Check me out, digging for reasonably priced files and debating to buy Vogue magazine for a month- I ended up missing the anniversary issue and the next one too. Finally, went crazy and bought the one with Katrina Kaif on it.)

Kid-like tendencies
1. I watch Hannah Montana. I want me and Numbi Jim to be Miley and Lily. (Oh the shame)

2. The maximum I can cook is make Top Ramen. Okay, not even Top Ramen. CUP O NOODLES. (Are you happy??? I am embarrassed!! But I do have a big file of internet downloaded recipes that I plan to make someday...someday...)

3.I fall in love with celebrities and fictional characters. Alright, that's got nothing to do with age (I KNOW that my mum had crushes on Zidane and Dhoni.) But I know something's wrong when most of my friends have decided baby's names and wedding venues (okay, not in that order) while I declare my passionate adoration for Enrique,Hrithik, Darius, Arjun Rampal, Edward Norton, Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and characters like Michael Moscovitz and David (Meg Cabot), Kostos Dounas (Ann Brashares- Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants) and right now downright scintillating vampire boy Edward Cullen (Stephanie Myer) etc (WAIT A MINUTE. They're ALL taken. Waaaaaaaaah!)

4. My favourite movies include 'The Little Mermaid' , 'Anastasia' and 'The Road to El Dorado' and my dream is to buy myself an 'Aladdin' DVD. (Even though I have enjoyed films such as 'Impromptu', 'Blow' and other legends that I cannot recall right now. But I must confess I still cannot bring myself to watch Akira Kurosowa. Sorry, Bunny. Your cultured cinematographer's taste has not rubbed off on me.)

5. I sneak into the library, head for the kids section, grab a 'Princess Diaries' and run before anyone (particularly a kid) sees me. I head for the librarian's counter to issue it and pretend to scan through a copy of Business Today to avoid catching his eye.

6.I begin to fall asleep standing at the discussion or perusal of gold/diamond/silver/platinum jewellery or sari shopping. (Or could this be a sign of tomboyish tendencies? But that doesn't explain my fascination for Vogue magazine spreads? Then again, I just stare at the clothes and photos and don't do anything about it. I guess it's like colour and gloss therapy for me) I tune off and you can bring me back to consciousness only at the mention of hilarious headlines on 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno'. Or just Jay Leno for that matter. Comedy wins over dress-up anytime.

7. I have no clue what I want to be doing for the rest of my life.

Sigh. Sigmund Freud, leave me be. I'll take a while and you can't do anything about it.