Monday, September 21, 2009


Kids are highly interesting.

They suddenly appear at your elbow, staring at your computer while you scratching your head while squinting at a 91 page pdf about Communist hardliners in the early 80s and what they said to Gorbachev and why can't they say it in English oh it is English man I need a dictionary.

You look down at them, peering up at you, the small and warm things. They are so..comfortable with their bodies. It wasn't that long ago. How can you have forgotten? They lean on your shoulder and breathe down your forearm, totally indifferent to norms of social distance.

You need to entertain them. But somehow you don't know what normal kids like. Especially these days. You were always entertaining yourself with imaginary celebrity cartoons and horse rides in the Mexican desert as a kid. Oh, and alone.

So you look through your C and D drive. Um, no not those photos of your class trip. Or that folder with all the collections from 'Marc by Marc Jacobs'. So the older one takes over your computer (after politely asking) and plays something called Pinball which you didn't even know existed in your computer.

You attempt to educate the younger one (ah, the only thing you seem to know). So you take out that ginormous atlas you have and begin by pointing out where India is. But he seems more interested in the animal illustrations that accompany it and calls out all their names. Not bad. Even though that's not a donkey with a pouch hopping over Australia...

The atlas somehow is shut and now you two are racing small cars over its surface. He crashes into your car over the flag of Ghana. "License!" demands our young enforcer of the law. "I don't have one", I mutter sheepishly (ah that's me, always adding the twist like a good obedient student of scriptwriting that I am). "Okay, five rupees" says he. And you fork an imaginary amount over. Yikes! Five years old and he knows about corruption.

The game continues, with innumerable car crashes and somersaults and red lights and eventually you move over to pay some attention to the ten year old who has achieved impressive scores on Pinball. You show her pictures of your social awareness trip and then of your former college, rather wistfully. So many pictures. Why are you showing her this anyway? She comments about the make-up you've worn in one photo and that is why you, bespectacled, ponytailed and home clothes-clad look um, different right now. Observant children these days.

You politely excuse yourself and the dignified ten year old apologises for having interrupted the collapse of the Soviet Union. You turn to your computer screen, black and white words and things that happened long ago. But the police officer demands another car crash and you succumb.

Auditory fixations

I have a genetically acquired syndrome.

It is a problem. It really is.

As you are well aware by now, I have an obsession for music. Thanks to Trilok Gurtu who declares that he feels nothing for music as it is not something you can love or enjoy. It is so much within and yet all-encompassing that it surpasses words.

Okay, but this is not the problem.

My computer is in a corner of my father's room. My eardrums are throbbing right now because Benny Goodman's 'Sing sing sing' is blasting at full volume on youtube. The tiles on the floor are going to crack because my foot just cannot stay still. And across the room, neither can my father's.

The obsession, the need, the desperation to be surrounded by music at all times and of all types is really not the issue. The need to share it is.

My mother, alas, is not very musical. She gave up on the flute after one lesson. Don't get me wrong, she likes to sing and likes a choice few songs based on their melody or danceable quality alone. But she does not go crazy. She prefers the music to be turned down low so that conversation is feasible.

But for my father and me, the music IS the conversation. We're silent but it's as if Gene Krupa's frenetic drumming is communicating all that we need to say to the world. As loudly as we can.

My mum gets up and walks out of the room. But we want her to stay. We want her to listen. We like a witness, someone to fall in love with the our music so that we can discover it through their eyes and fall in love with it all over again. Someone to listen. Because we're saying so much. Through Benny Goodman, Caterina Valente, Xavier Cugat, Harry Belafonte, Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammed Rafi, Rosemary Clooney (my father's words). Through A.R Rahman, Gregorian chants, Bach, U2, Alizee, Cheb Khaled, Juanes, Paolo Nutini (my words). And though I enjoy his world as well, he does not really relate to mine. But doesn't complain about the iTunes so I search for Caterina Valente and Los Paraguayos and Cole Porter on youtube to make up for it. Not that I mind. I'm starting to like big band stuff. Or whatever it's called. It's just too much fun to name.

Of course, it doesn't help in finishing my assignments very much. iTunes, you are to blame if I don't finish my Cold War analysis due tomorrow.

Or maybe not. It's all hereditary.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Fun's got a new name

We were taken to a village yesterday as part of a social awareness component in our course. I don't know about the social aspect, but I'm certainly more aware. Of the fact that clear blue skies exist at least.

And that there are people who offer you something out of the nothing they have. And so you end up with two roses.

And that there are people who drop all that they're doing and take you around the village in a whirl of enthusiastic banter and no sign of weariness.

And that there are people who appear so peaceful and laidback that you never would've guessed that they are responsible for transforming hundreds of lives through sheer persistence.

And that bus rides are mad fun, anywhere, anytime, especially when accompanied with a bunch of unselfconscious mental teenagers singing and dancing in their seats.

Forget the scorching Tamil Nadu sun, the lack of a shower in twelve sweltering hours and my obstacles in interaction thanks to halting Tamil. I want to go again!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Bubbles and water (Thanks, Alizee)

I have learnt something from my friend K, despite having ragged him for the same.

I have learnt to appreciate the beauty of having long baths.

There's something to be said for setting aside an hour (in K's case, four) for a cleansing of the physical, mental and emotional kind. Because that's what a long bath does to you. Especially if you do it right.

I'm the kind who spends half the week taking three 4 minute showers a day, and the rest of the week, baths that would put a slow motion feature to shame. It's fun to have all that time only to oneself. Nice not to make compromises. Quality time with oneself. Accompanied with the soothing nature of water. And of course an assorted mix of soap, shampoo, a loofah, besan and other exfoliants.

Music! Particularly the sedative variety. Or acoustic easy listening. Pachabel's Canon, 'Si tu no vuelves' by Miguel Bose and Shakira, 'Pehli baar mohabbat' from 'Kaminey', and sometimes Bach's Fugues.

The point is the slowing down. Feet get special priority. After all, they've been carrying me around all my life. They deserve a lot of attention-scrub, scrub, scrub.

My mind wanders. The previous day/days forgotten. Sounds echo and the water swirls around, leaving me to dream and let go. From water, indeed, we are born. Or reborn.

Lazy reviews


Chilling. Impact. Power of media. Downfall of one man. Life's worth of achievements discarded thanks to a few 'mistakes'. Disturbing. TRUE.


Cool quotient. Fun. Mad. Rollicking. Action. Real. Mikhail-Charlie's friendship. Talent. Shahid Kapur redeemed for all those rom-coms. Vishal Bharadwaj proves his mettle ALL OVER AGAIN. I have to be cliched, but 'Dhan te nan' sums it up.