Sunday, November 13, 2011

Of Book Inscriptions

Hermann Hesse's book "Klingsor's Last Summer" found its way onto my bookshelf from I know not where. On the front pages is this inscription:
                   "My dear R. Ralte,
                             This is for my beloved.
                                        Jerry Pautu
                                         Dt: 12/3/70
                    P.S. Oh, I know it's your birthday!!"

I find myself going back again and again to that inscription, imagining who R. Ralte and Jerry (I think. The signature is almost unintelligible) are- whether they got married and had kids, and then grandchildren. I fantasise about meeting their children, and then through them, giving them back this book which carried with it a fragment of their love and their youth.

My favourite book till date is Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird". It was first loaned to me by a classmate when I was in Class XI. It was the inscription on the book that first caught my attention. I still remember it.
                     "Iba.
                             Such a little name for such a person.
                                                                         Daniel,
                                                                      Nongrim Hills"
"Those were my parents. They're still very sickeningly in love", my classmate told me. I was enchanted that her dad quoted those lines from "Little Women" that made me fall so in love with Prof. Bhaer. I harboured romantic illusions about how he would look like - academic looking, graying hair, wearing glasses, twinkling eyes etc- but when I finally met him, he turned out to be a small, pot bellied man with kwai-stained teeth. Still, even after I've forgotten my classmate's name, I still remember her parents' names and their being so "very sickeningly in love" because of that inscription.


Then there was that Stephen King Compilation I received from "Santa", with the words
                                                            "Merry Christmas, Kuku! Happy reading!
                                                                                    Santa Claus"
Santa's handwriting, by the way, is exactly like my mom's. My parents established a tradition that we would "dawh thla" until we got married, all five of us girls. Christmas mornings were, therefore, something that we always looked forward to. Amidst the pile of potatoes, ladles, nails, soaps and vegetables  that they threw in as a joke, my parents would include a small amount of money and one treasured item. Alas, we got married later than they expected, I suppose, because they have stopped that tradition about eight years ago.

This collection is one of the last gifts I received from "Santa". It was lost for a while, and then I saw it in some private library. I borrowed it, and then I never went back.

This year I received F. Scott Fitzgerald's "Tender is The Night" from an old friend. She had written
                                    Happy Birthday, Kukui
                                           To the awesomest girl in the whole wide universe".
A debatable claim, surely! But one which made me laugh out loud, and also made me feel super great. Thank you for saying that, my old friend. There is so much to be said about our friendship that I don't know where to start, and once I started, I would now know when or where to end. You'll always hold a special place in my heart.
.
And then there is Anne Rice's "Servant of the Bones", gifted to me by my boyfriend. We used to be pretty broke, then, and on gift-giving occasions like birthdays and anniversaries, we would have to save up for months at a time. This was before we both had jobs, and he didn't have his bike, and he lived so far away. So we had to pool whatever money we had to even pay for his daily bus fare to my place (we felt that we HAD to see each other everyday). On the occasions that we went out, we would sometimes visit friends' places for free lunches, heh. We never felt poor then, it was actually pretty fun to come up with ways to have fun without spending money. When he landed a part time job and he got his first paycheck, he rushed over to show me the money, and though his pay was meager at the time, we both felt really, really rich.
This book fair coincided with him receiving his pay, and there he bought me the book. And on the first page, he wrote
                      "Kukui
                                - Z"
Just that. Nothing more. And one day if ever the book lands up in someone's bookshelf, and they see that inscription, maybe they'll just flip through it, never knowing not caring the amount of optimism and hope contained in those two words.

And therein lies the romance of book inscriptions- for the stories they contain and which are almost as intriguing as the stories in the books themselves.




Monday, October 31, 2011

Wonderwall

And all the roads that lead you there are winding...

And apart from that, nothing about the long commute to the University resembles a "wonderwall".- whatever that is. Speaking of, what exactly is a wonderwall?

Yahoo! Answers says, "The concept of the Wonderwall is based on a '60s film called Wonderwall- from Psychedelia to Surrealism, starring Jane Birkin. She lives next door to a man who becomes fascinated with her, so he slowly makes holes in his wall so he can watch her through it". 

.... ...

Wasn't Jane Birkin that girl who sang that embarrassingly sexy song?

Aaaanyway, the road that leads us to the University is long and narrow and winding, muddy when wet, dusty when not, riddled with potholes and under the imminent threat of landslides during the monsoon season. Before, at least, when some VIP would come to visit, the Department of Public Works did some patch repair work, which barely lasted as long as the VIP's visit. Now that there's a helipad in the University grounds, any visiting dignitary is ferried via 'copter, so the roads are neglected.

And this is the road I have to traverse at least twice a week. It's no wonder that by the time I reach home, I'm usually a wreck.

But then again..

It takes almost an hour to reach the University, so the moment I plonk down on my seat, I put on my earphones and then there's nothing but music and the muted sounds of vehicles honking and people talking. Yes, Mr. Whoever- you- are sitting next to me, the earphones indicate that I do not wish to indulge in conversation to while away the time. 

Yes, somehow with the likes of Radiohead or Nirvana or John Mayer respectively mumbling, whining and lamenting in your ear, things just get so much better. The University bus drivers own the Univ roads, so they speed through hairpin turns and potholes, but music just makes that rough ride so much more fun. With dust coming in from the open windows and the bus practically jumping over those potholes, you do feel like you're in a continuum filled with lithiumic fake plastic trees.  Whatever that means, again.

Learning to fly- 4: 25 minutes- Khatla to Temple.. Creep- 3:55- halfway to Vaivakawn.. Slow dancing in a burning room- 4:01..Chhangurkawn- In Bloom- 4:14- Zawlnuam.... by which time the music just drifts into one another and you feel your eyelids drooping as the bus gains even more speed. Then at the point where your'e about to fall asleep, you get thrown a few metres into the air as the bus wheels over a pothole. Then suddenly Corey Taylor croons menacingly about "the unattainable, the myth that he has to believe in" etc. And the cycle repeats itself untill you find yourself jolted awake to Joshua Radin singing about a Lisa Loeb- glassed girl whose hair is always up in a bun....

And you don't want the ride to end.

If there is anything that is my Wonderwall, then it has to be music- the holes that allow me my moments of fascination despite the walls that would threaten to deprive me of them.

 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Oktober so far

Yesterday, October 13th, after almost a month of dizziness and extreme fatigue all the time, I went for a medical check-up where I found out I have sinusitis, a mild heart problem and low Blood Pressure. I was also prescribed glasses. There was a moment where, when the technician glanced at my ECG reading and exclaimed, "Oooooh", and ushered me to the doctor's room without saying anything more, that I found myself drafting my own eulogy. R.L.Stevenson's "Requiem 18" came to mind, about peacefully embracing death, as also Yeats' "When you are old and gray", which ironically, is about growing old. I then found out that my heart problem wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, though the doc told me that if I do not quit smoking ASAP, well... what idiot wouldn't choose life over death, eh? Specially someone who loves life as much as I do.

Last Sunday, October 9th, we had a guest for dinner. He had lost his wife this year and the once robust, jocular man I knew had become this silent, contemplative old man who cocks his ears as if listening for something. During dinner, he smiled wistfully while refusing the pork dish, and said, "She would sometimes hide a little bit of meat in my plate; it was our private joke- rebelling against our strict kids". My mom drew him out, and he revealed how lost and puzzled sometimes he felt at home, where her continual chatter used to fill the house. He said he rarely talks about how he misses her, because she had been the one he talked to, and with her gone, he no longer knows what to say to people. A church elder, he quips, "I grow better at sermonizing, but I no longer know how to talk".


October 8th, ten years ago, was also when my boyfriend lost his mom. This year, however, instead of visiting her grave as he usually does, he spent the day and the evening holding my gown, picking leeches off me and running with me on unpopulated roads at Hmuifang Tlang where we were taking pictures for Jamie and Henry's wedding album. When we got tired, we lay right down on the road, John Mayer playing in the background. We've regained that thing once again, where words are redundant and there's nothing more fulfilling than the other person's mere presence. His parents remain unforgotten, but we the living, reveled under the October moon, as they too must've done once upon a time.


 October 6th, my best friend Jamie got married and I was her bridesmaid. Together, Jamie and I have always been a little cocky, so during the wedding ceremony, we both pretended to be shy, because brides are supposed to look shy, even when they are so not. At the reception too, while her parents were giving a speech, she dabbed her dry eyes with a handkerchief, while I looked sadly on, because brides are supposed to get a little teary-eyed at moments like those.

'Course it caught up with us later on. Jamie's always been daddy's girl, and her dad is this awesome person. Everyone knew how he grieved at the thought of his little girl going away to become someone's wife, but he put on a game face, even smiling broadly as he told Jamie goodbye. That made Jamie cry, and though her new husband Henry told me to comfort her, it was all I could do to not bawl out loud. It's hard, I guess, to see someone being brave enough to let go of someone they love, and to do that with a smile, too, so that the loved one won't feel bad. That takes a special kind of courage.

October remains my favourite month. That last magical month before the chill of winter sets in.
"All things on earth point home in old October, sailors to sea, travellers to walls and fences, hunters to field and hollow and the long voice of the hounds, the lover to the love he has forsaken"- Thomas Wolfe



N.B: Was a little confused as to what vid to post this time. Initially posted "Deam a little dream" by Beautiful South. Then I felt this Ben E. King cover of "Stand By Me" was a little more apt- conveys hope amidst life's many heartaches. Plus River Pheonix was one heckuva goodlooking kid :)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

"The pursuit of Happyness"

"To be contented- that's for the cows"- Coco Chanel.
Well, Miz Coco, Im being quite the cow right now. 

the ultimate multi-color hazed dream, hoohoo
To be fair, I'm not living the life I imagined I'd be having when I was younger. By now I was supposed to have landed a high paying job, completed my doctoral thesis- twice, drove a mean-looking jeep, trekked all over India, attended a live Pink Floyd concert, drunk beer at an Irish pub in Ireland, be mauled in New Orleans during Mardi Gras, amassed a huge library, had either bungee jumped/ para sailed/ salsa'd on table tops, all with a husband and a fat baby in tow. And though I've done none of those, I find myself quite content. 

A friend screwed my thoughts up pretty badly the other day when she asked if I was really content or if I was actually more resigned to the blahness of my life, whether I had become too lazy or bogged down by the mundaneness of life that Ive stopped trying. I spent my pre-falling asleep moments thinking hard- am I really happy or have I been brainwashed into liking my life? Do I even like my life or have I lost the heart and the guts to try for more?

Mehhh!
Am I really a cow? Content to graze and chew my cud, never venturing beyond my pasture, uncaring that there are greener ones? Or am I truly happy? Happiness, some say, is not the freedom from want, but in wanting what you have. And Im starting to think that sentence is just a whole lot of BS.

An avid fan of pseudo-psychoanalysis, I began to think that I had been placebo-ed into contentment, psychologically conditioned to accept what I have since I do not have the freedom/ gumption/ energy to seek anything more- rather like a caged bird that grows to love its cage. If Im truly happy, would I even need to ask if I truly am happy?

I'm starting to hate that friend. For all the unadventurousness of my life, I get up every morning thinking something good's going to happen, I laugh when the weather's particularly good, I sing in the shower, I boogie while I get dressed. And I sleep peacefully at night. 

Now I find myself shying away from thinking too deeply about the H or the C words. 

So this is what I ended up thinking about happiness- a false state of being induced by novocaine-ish stimuli, escapism from helplessness through a whirling dervish of emotions. 
I want a fix of what's in this needle. Sighhhhh... I hate my friend :(




Monday, August 29, 2011

The Laughing Heart


your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is a light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.
-Charles Bukowski

N.B: Each day we all face some heartache- ranging from a broken heart or the death of a loved one, to the massacre of a beloved team or the chipping of a fresh manicure. And while some of us strain towards that glimmer of light, there are those who succumb to the darkness and choose to end it all, leaving behind a thousand "if only"s.
If only...  

Friday, August 26, 2011

Depp and stuff

Back in hostel, we devoured romance novels and I discovered a wildly impractical romantic side of myself. My favourite fantasy then was to be forced into marriage to some nasty old reprobate and, on the wedding day, the man I'm secretly in love with would come riding up on an old scooter and abduct me from the altar (I had also recently watched "The Graduate" around this time). Then we would pretend to be Chinese immigrants and move to Ireland..no wait, I was in love with New Orleans then, so yeah, we would move to New Orleans and open a Dim-Sum Restaurant, okay, okay, I admit I never really thought about what comes after the abduction.

Anyway, my roommate, who had always been disgustingly unromantic, tried to dissuade me from ever fulfilling this fantasy. "Think of the shame that your parents would feel". "Serves them right for forcing me to marry some disgusting man that I don't love". "Your'e not even allowed to have boyfriends yet, so why would they force you to marry anyone anyway?" "This will be after I'm all grown up". "Why did the man you love wait until the last minute to abduct you? If he truly loves you too, he would have abducted you long before". "Maybe he didn't know that I love him". "And why didn't you just say 'no' to your parents? Why would you meekly let yourself be forced into marrying someone you don't love?" "Shut up".

Fast forward ten years and ironically, my unromantic ex-roomie is the one finding herself caught between two men, and I'm the one trying to be all practical. She says she loves the man she's with, but she' also thinks she's in love with another man she met recently. 
"Johnny Depp says, 'If you love two people at the same time, choose the second one because, if you really loved the first one, you wouldn't have fallen for the second'".
"He's a friggin Hollywood actor, what does he know?"
"But what if its true?"
"Do you really love this second guy? Maybe you just like the thrill of possibly being with someone new. Would you miss your boyfriend if you broke up?"
"I would dieee"
"Then just let the other guy go"
"But I would also dieee". 

So, faced with the knowledge that my old practical friend has been possessed by a drama queenish, romantic demon and that she's also going to die, I decided to change the subject and we ended up chatting about Johnny Depp. 

'Course I ended up thinking about this "being in love with two people at the same time" thing, and where I had once thought that it's impossible, now that so many people are claiming to do the very impossible, I ruled that perhaps, it wasn't quite as impossible as I had thought.

We are all complex beings and I guess its possible to be simultaneously in love with two people who appeal to different facets of yourself. But what happens when you have to choose between the two, as you inevitably will have to do? 

I don't know the answer to this so I'll fall back on Johnny Depp again. And this awesome music video where I first fell in love with him. 


Lawdy, aint he the cutest thing?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Rainy day ramblings

I love this weather- heavy mists, incessant drizzle, howling winds. Never mind that I have a pile of soggy laundry gathering up a light stink. When your'e relatively jobless and cooped at home, this kind of weather is the best. Endless cups of hot red tea, a book, thick socks, Joshua Radin (for now) and the prospect of a visit from the bf (I'll cross the Sahara for you, swim the Atlantic for you..I'll come see you if it stops raining) is all that's needed.

Lately, I've been too lazy, or rather uninspired to update my blog. I've been vaguely thinking about how they said artists suffer for their art. And I've come to the conclusion that when one is too content, it becomes horribly easy to be un-creative. And I am- too content and un-creative. Not that I'm saying I'm an artist- but when I first started this blog, I was undergoing an early mid-life crisis, so my blog became sort of an outlet for me, and now that I'm so smugly content, I've been neglecting this little outlet. I think artists deliberately starve themselves in their dinky garrets just so they would be forced to create art to escape from the squalor of their surroundings and the tumult in their minds.

Rodi got married and she moved to Bangalore. Jamie's is looming. We're truly happy for them, but we're also feeling melancholy as heck because our little circle of friends will never be the same again. No more weekend bed-ins at Rodi's or Jamie's. I guess this is why Npi and Apuii have become so strangely possessive- Npi interrogates me upon every SMS I receive, and Apuii throws a sulk-fit when we order MaryKay products from someone else other than her. I suppose in a way we're all trying to hold on to "us" in some way.

My happiest moments were those days when "attending classes" consisted of spending the whole day at Big Bang Restaurant and playing "Bonus". Magic happens when you throw in a gaggle of girls, a deck of cards, a roughbook and a pen. When someone lags behind in points, we would draw a stick figure hanging himself from a tree branch near the laggard's name. Then, amazingly, her points would start to come up. On the rare occasions that the hangman failed, we would make lightning strike that tree. And that was a sure-fire points upper. Pure magic.

Yes, change happens. Life doesn't always turn out the way you expect it to, but that's not a bad thing. It's cold, so I'm going to snuggle with my little nephew. One day, maybe I'll have one of my own, and Id be waiting not for the bf to come visit, but for the husband to come home. And I won't mind at all. This from a girl who once swore she was never going to go down that domestic route. No, change isn't a bad thing at all.

And hence the reason why I'm sooo smugly content :)


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Can I write a Cosmo-type Article?

The Shocking Truth Behind His Shirt Preferences!!! (P.S. Ladies, This Could Save Your Life)

A guy's shirt preferences reveals who he really is, and how it can determine whether he's a keeper or an abuser. We break it up for you and also reveal what you can do to change his shirts and his personality.
By Perodita Fauxness

While a shirtless man is the ideal (Rowr!) it's a sad fact of life that more often than not, our men will insist on being clothed. While you might be concentrating on how the blue in his shirt makes his eyes pop, or how the colours give you an epileptic fit, his shirts actually reveal what's under the surface. No, that's not what we mean. Read on!

RUN!!
1. The Pastel Shirt Guy:  While a dude who likes his pastels (think pale yellow, baby blue or pink) might come off as a gentle man in touch with his feminine side, ladies- take heed! This is no gentleman! Dr. Pomona Fengfooey, author of the bestseller "Colours and the Mind" says, "Light colours detracts from the darker side of one's personality, so a shady personality type might choose those colours to appear less shady". The seemingly nice baby pink-wearing- nerd from Personnel who likes photography? - sweetie, his pictures are probably more "Upskirt Mart" than "Photographers Weekly"!

Baggage!!!
2. Solid Coloured Shirt Guy: Think blacks solid greys, navy blues, maroons, olive greens and browns. He seems lime a steady personality type, right? Oh no, sweet Mary, no! Just as pastels hide shadiness, solid colours hide the insecurities of a washed-out man! Men who prefer shirts like this, according to a research carried out by students at the University of Wiketa, are men with more baggage than a 747 can carry. Don't trust em!


Run Faster!!!

3. The White Shirt guy: Screams "Control Freak"!!  A guy who prefers wearing a colour that can magnify every little blemish, wrinkle and stain is a guy who tries to control his surroundings and everyone therein! If he lasts the day without a single speck on his pristine white shirt, then there is no clearer indication that he's a fussy, nit-picking, obsessively careful dude who will insist on every facet of your relationship being just as perfect and pristine!



4. The Stripes, Checks and Patterns Guy: Boring! Dr. Fengfooey reveals that people who prefer prints usually have mediocre intelligence, limited imaginations and are remarkably staid in bed. Nothing more needs to be said.

The Sweetheart! <3
5. The Bright, Loud multi-coloured shirt guy: Yes, he makes you feel like your'e ODing on LSD, and you think he has no sartorial know-how. But the bright shirted guy is actually a maverick and an artist at heart. He dares to go where few men have gone, and the colours reveal the depth, intensity and many-splendored-ness of his mind. This one's a keeper. Just invest in a few pairs of shades and your'e good to go.

Now that we've told you how to suss out a guy's personality via his shirt preferences, take a look at your man's wardrobe. If his shirts are solid coloured or patterned, drop a pellet or two of testosterone pills into his morning java and baby- he'll switch to a bright coloured shirt in no time! And if he wears pastels or, God forbid, white shirt, then get out of there ASAP. Get a new face, a new life, enter the Witness Protection Programme. Just run, baby, run!!

Eye Candy-Just Like That.

Since these findings are so new and recent, we have been unable to get real stories from real women like you and me. But be aware. Next time a news item pops up on the abuse of women, check the abuser's shirt. Nod wisely. Maybe that unfortunate woman did not read this article or maybe she chose to ignore it- and that's why she ended up like that. But you know better, right sister? So be aware.



Friday, June 10, 2011

Second time around

Patty Smyth and Don Henley sang  "Sometimes love just ain't enough" and you scoff, unable to imagine what it is that love can't surmount. And there are those couples that seem made for each other, those that shine in each other's company, those who make you reinforce your belief that love IS enough.

And then comes the stark realization that your beliefs were wrong. You watch as they go their separate ways. You watch as he drinks himself to sleep at nights, and she gives up on her ambitions. Watch as they try to find other loves, feeling resentful of the other persons in their lives. Because, well, when seemingly perfect couples break up, it makes you question your own relationship, and you hold on tighter to what you have because it could just as well might be you, constantly looking back over your shoulder at a love you can't quite let go of.

You know she doesnt really love the new guy she's with and that, nice as he is, he's not the one for her. You try to be happy for her, but in the end you grow indifferent. Then she breaks up with the interim guy and you breath a silent sigh of relief- you so want her to be happy again. You watch as she slowly comes back to life and you're almost resentful of her old love for finding someone new, and then, out of the blue, she tells you about a new guy she's met. You're skeptical at first- would anything ever live up to what she once had? You pray this one's good for her and you warn her to be cautious. You don't want her to get hurt again.

But she decides not to heed your warnings and she leaps into it - bold, impetuous, impulsive and ecstatic. And you rejoice because she has proven you wrong. Its early days yet, but he seems alright. Most of all, SHE is alright. More than alright. Here's to love the second time around- more precious than the first for taking such a loong effing time to come around!

And so you wait impatiently for her to friggin come online, so that she could fill you in on all the details already!!

This one's for you, 'D! Sorry you have such intrusive friends who insist on feeling every emotion that your'e feeling. Muah, my leetle love. May you love and always be loved!!!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Reblog

"Are you allowed to miss something that’s still here? Too often we are unaware of what we have before it slips through our fingers and is lost to the powers of the universe. But I’m aware, I appreciate.I work hard. I write inspired by your love, but everyday another piece of sand passes down the hour glass. I sit here helplessly a bystander to my own fate. I think what it would be like, telling you I feel your subtle distance or see the look in your eyes when you speak, but every time I think of this, I think of the second after, when I lose you. So I sit here, silently begging fate to grant me time, serenity, numbness."


http://www.sincesheleft.com/page/2

Saturday, May 21, 2011

MTV Rocks

Back in 1989, my family finally got the much-anticipated Star TV. There were just 4 channels then- Star Sports, BBC. Star Plus and (drumroll please) MTV. While watchable- TV before that consisted of 8 'o' clock Chitrahaar, the McGuyver series and Saturday morning cartoons,  there suddenly was this whole new world of watchable TV, all the friggin' time!!

Those of that generation would remember VJs Nonie, Danny McGill and Kamal Sidhu, the Billboard, European and Asian Countdowns, the programs like Headbanger's Ball, MTV Unplugged, and and..okay I cant remember the rest. This was the era of rock. Guns and Roses, Motley Crue, Poison, Skid Row, Warrant, Damn Yankees, hell, it seemed like all MTV played then were a series of wild haired, mascaraed rockers in skin tight leather pants screeching the hell out of electric guitars. The few pop acts like Tommy Page (fnar fnar), Erasure, Crowded House, Colour me Badd etc and hip-hoppers like McHammer, Kriss Kross, TLC and The Fresh Prince, and one hit wonders like Lisa Loeb, The Proclaimers, Julian Lennon and Spin Doctors only added to the appeal. God I loved MTV. 

MTV Unplugged, Gawwwdd! I think Eric Clapton's "Layla" was the first song I heard on the show. I still love that song. The other snatches of performances I remember were those of Pearl Jam, Queensryche, Mariah Carey, Stone Temple Pilots, Robert Plant and Nirvana, omg Nirvana. Later on, there were those acts like Dr."its my life" Alban, Snap, those people who sang "Hot stepper", "Another night another dream" etc :D U2 got zooropaed, RHCP gave it away, GnR became Estranged and rocked the Garden of Eden. A new era dawned. Take That arrived on the scene.

I admit to immersing myself in the whole Boy/Girl band scene. Im still a huge fan of Robbie Williams, and the occasional BSB, Boyzone and Spice Girl song. I remember drafting unsent "letter of the day"s to VJ Utt, complete with multi-colored fonts and pictures of artists. But alternative and grunge rock still ruled, and bands like Oasis, Foo Fighters, Green Day, Garbage, No Doubt and Smashing Pumpkins still ruled my "rewind with reynolds pen and rejuvenated -by- biting batteries" walkman. While MTVIndia started to OD on Bollywood songs and boy/girl bands, rock acts like Third Eye Blind, 3 Doors Down, Lit, Train and the like quietly made their way onto the mainstream. 

These days I only ever watch VH1's "Classic" and "Rock Rules". Most of the time, its hip-hoppers on show. Im sure those artists are all very talented in their own way and, gah! Im trying to be diplomatic and not diss anyone's musical tastes but, gawd! I happened to watch an interview by Will.i.am about his upcoming video, which he describes as a tribute to women and the legacy they got from their mothers. It intrigued me and I waited for the video. It turned out to be just another video of scantily clad women gyrating to Will.i.am's chant. "Tell me where you got your body from?" and the girls squeal "I got it from my mamma". Technically, he was right, but pleaaassseee. Why don't modern artists like Damien Rice, Regina Spektor, Schuyler Fisk, Stone Sour and the like ever get airplay???

Maybe Im old and set in my ways. I no longer find the appeal of  "friday, friday", and learning how to dougie and being a teenage dream. I'd still rather shake my money-maker, make a grown man cry, blow in the wind and crawl into my heart-shaped box. I miss MTVAsia and the era of rock and roll.  I always vowed I'd keep up with the times and that when I become a mom,  I'd try to be interested in the music of my children's generation. Now I vow I'm going to inundate my kids with rock music from the foetal stage itself by strapping earphones to my swollen belly and playing music thats actually music! 


P.S: There's a rumour circulating on the net that today the world will end. Even if it really does, then this post is a fitting swan song for me. Music, music, music. And love- the initial attraction to the love of my life was rock music. He played "Free Fallin'", "Wish you were here", "Loser" and "Plush" on the guitar the night we met. And the music plays on.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Unfinished

Nothing interests me for long these days. Same with the things that preoccupy me. Nothing holds my attention. So heres a series of posts that Ive started on, and then stopped. 


It sometimes seems like something out of a farcical movie, the way some of our policemen bungle things. While there are certainly good ones, there are those who think they are above the law, those who mess up forensic evidences, those who don't seem to understand what "police protection" means, and those who have absolutely no clue about the protocols involved in law enforcement.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------



There's a practice among certain churches to print out the list of money given by individual families to the church. Some families are lauded because they gave so much. I hate this practice because it smacks of that parable about the widow and that rich guy. The rich guy gave a lot, but the widow gave more, because, while her offering was a mere pittance monetarily, she gave as much as she could, willingly, while the rich guy's offering was just a drop in the bucket for him, and given not out of the spirit of giving, but out of a wish to appear generous. 


Its the same thing when we laud those who give the most in terms of monetary worth. The disparity in income among families is something that has to be taken into consideration. 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sometimes I think the reason why I love who I love has more to do with how they make me feel rather than who they are in themselves. Maybe that sounds screwed up. And maybe Im not the best authority on this love thing after all. I mean, how do you define love, really? 


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Ted's romantic quests in "How I Met Your Mother" grows tedious. Find the damn mother already. Damn him and Robin, the blue French horn and the rain-making and the welcome mat and the soundtrack that fits every damn situation. And Regina Spektor's "Better" playing at the end of that episode where he has to watch  the girl who left him at the altar cozying up to the other guy. Damn Ted for being such a love-whore. Why does he fall in love so easily and so often?  
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------


There is music that breaks your heart. The kind that makes you realise that other people too, know just what your'e going through, and that, while your experiences may be different, there is that universal feeling of loving and needing to be loved back... 


John Mayer makes heartbreak and the imminent death of a relationship sound so agonisingly wonderful. "Slow dancing in a burning room", especially that live performance in L.A, where the two guitars duel it out. (corn upcoming) . It sounds like the cry of two love-torn hearts locked up in a silent battle against what it is that drives them apart. 
------------------------------------------------------------------

In recent times, there has been an outcry among the older generations regarding how today's generation no longer live up to the values of Christianity and Mizo culture as so honourably upheld by them, our forefathers. One of the measures proposed towards re-instilling a sense of tradition and devoutness is the move to incorporate the Puan into the working lives of Mizo women.

Based on the way they talk about it, it would seem that the Puan is the repository of Mizoness and Christianity for Mizo women.
----------------------------------------------------------------

And nothing has changed. Im still the same. I still get bored easily. Im still unmotivated. Chaos still inspires me and calm deadens my muse, whatever I have of her. 




Monday, May 2, 2011

Bridal stuff

A friend recently said "The Royal Wedding is every girl's ideal fairy-tale wedding". I guess I'm not girl enough because it's not my ideal. I watched the wedding spuriously, not being that interested in it anyway. I noticed the funny hats, the guys in the Union Jack underpants, the bride and groom, the Beckhams and the absolutely cooooool car that someone rode in- black, sleek, streamlined, shiny..where was I?

Oh yeah. Weddings. I suppose the royal wedding was romantic - if your'e into that sort of thing. Little girls imagine what their wedding day would be like, but I spent my little girlhood being wrestled, tied up and left for dead by my cousins. Ok, not dead, just till I started crying, which was seldom because they told me only sissy girls cried and I didn't want to be a sissy girl. Maybe that was it, but I've been notoriously commitment-phobic ever since. Well, till I met this guy. And I started weaving wedding day dreams, and I'm not so little, nor so young, but I dream dreams just the same. Or maybe not the same.

 You see, I want a monsoon wedding. I don't want a decorous wedding where everything is perfect. I want to get my dress muddied and my mascara streaked and my husband's shoes all squelchy. I want my guests to run helter-skelter while I laugh out loud at the sight of matronly women clutching their puans and the men rushing off to do whatver men do when it rains at weddings.

Oh, and I'm renting a dress. I'm not the kind of girl who feels romantic when she looks at a dress. I'd actually like to wear our traditional Puanchei but a lot of the women will wear it too, and I'm vain enough that I want to be very visible on my day. Contrary to what people say, that weddings are really a show put on for the assorted guests, its going to be my day. I'm going to make sure of it. I'd rather save the money for the dress and use it to go off on a trip. That's more romantic and memorable than a dress. 


And I've always wanted it to be in the month of October. Maybe because its  the month where the moon is at its brightest, the weather is at its pleasantest or maybe because its our traditional Khuangchawi Thla, I don't know, but October just always sounded right.

But then again, I don't really care when, where and how I'm married. What matters is the marriage and the wedding's just a small part of it. So long as I'm with the man I love, I don't care if its freezing, or raining or sweltering.

I'm not cut out to be a Princess Bride. All I'm good for, I think, is being the occasional nag, the loud champion, the overprotective mom, the occasional bitch and the girl he grows old with. 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Downers and uppers

Had my 28th birthday on the 30th and it wasn't as painful as I had envisaged. Been having kind of a pre-midlife crisis on and off since last year, heh. What with the media forcing it into our heads that old is awful, I've been thinking about how I'm aging. Yeah. Bought myself Olay's youth creams, a perfume that promises to make you smell like a "teenage dream" or something, which I gave away to a friend because I feel it makes me smell like a cougar in lamb's skin. Agonised over the tyres that suddenly seem to flop all over my body, wondering where my super-fast metabolism has gone. Resolved every night to get up early and exercise, then moodily stay up drinking stomach-bloating coke.

On top of that, I have PMS-induced weepies, so I find myself getting teary-eyed over the silliest things- the thought of Ted Mosby not marrying Robin, a pic of a friend's super-cute ex girlfriend who has now married someone else, my nephew blowing spit bubbles in his sleep, old songs, my boyfriend's thoughtful gestures, old clothes that no longer fit, old photographs... sigh. You name it, I get weepy over it.  [Placebo album cover posted here to emphasise the intransigence of things and yeah, sleeping with ghosts, well, not literally sleeping with, but still courting them and feeling completely useless, blah] And the only way these PMS-weepies are going to end is when I get the crimson tide. Awesome prospect :(

Now on to the advantages of becoming old(er):
- I can get embarrassed and laugh over it: My friends and I have this habit of calling each other by the cheesiest of endearments. Last night, while chatting, I accidentally clicked on some other girl's name instead of Rodi's and I called her, "Hello, my lovely love". She was just some random chick who added me and I dont even know who she was. She didn't respond- too freaked out, I suppose, or maybe she did, I don't know, cos I logged off immediately after. Rodi and I had a good laugh at the thought of her staring blank-faced at her screen, wondering why I had propositioned her.
On my birthday too, I went out with my man, and he had to go, so I went home alone, loaded with bags and a damaged umbrella. Said umbrella flew out of my hands and went billowing off in the middle of the road, causing a minor traffic jam. Red-faced I went to retrieve it and here I must note the politeness of Mizo drivers- no one hooted. Which kind of made it more embarrassing, in a way. So I phoned my guy, for the lulz.

- Jobs and the prospect of monehhh: I have 3 tentative job offers, though nothing definite as yet. What made it awesome was that I had not actively sought them out, but they were offered to me rather out of the blue, woot. Not that anything solid's been said, but I'm on their list should the opp come up, woohoo. And I'll finally be getting my long awaited grant, so, woot again.

- Sisters become awesomer:  Sis #2 and her hubby called me at the stroke of midnight to sing me a bday song, Then they came over for dinner and gifted me their baby's extra Babywipes. "It's really good for the skin", they said with straight faces. Then after about an hour they gave me my real gift.All after I had smiled bemusedly and wondered why mummyhood had taken chic-hood out of my sister.
Sister #4 took over cooking duties from me. Then when her son crapped all over me, she smiled placidly and said, "Your'e getting free training for when you become a mom". Sister #5 gifted me cloth pieces. "You can have them stitched any way you like, any way at all".  I was a bit piqued that Sis#1 forgot my birthday, but turns out she had sent over some clothes when #4 and #5 went visiting, and the two monsters had quietly divvied them up between themselves. Ah well, they make me laugh anyway.

- I finally look good in pink: I had always shunned pink because it made me look like a walking diabetic hazard. Too sickeningly sweet and all that. Now pink makes me look "glowingly youthful", without looking like Im trying too hard, so yay. Another colour to add to my wardrobe.

-I've finally learnt how to say "no"-to an extent:  With age comes an awareness of what you want and what you don't. So I don't get bamboozled as much by pushy people into doing what I'd rather not do. And I no longer drag myself to every religious or community function because of the fear that if I don't, people might say bad things about me. I make time for them, but I now attend because I want to, and not because I feel obligated. I'm still learning to figure out how to change the things I can, and to accept what I can't. Me being me, this is the hardest of all lessons, but I'm progressing. And I've learnt to stop emo-ing too much. I'm more in control of my feelings, and no, I'm not becoming cynical, just a little stronger.

- Friends and lovers are keepers: Butterfly friending and dating is now a thing of the past. While I don't keep people out, the ones I have in my life are keepers. I know they truly care, that they'll tell me unbrutally when my ass is huge (it almost always is, anyway), that I can trust them with my ickiest secrets and they'll cringe but they'll love me anyway. Which makes me feel really, really secure right now.

So yeah, I may not rock a short skirt anymore (not that I ever really did, so its not much of a loss), or be able to walk for miles without breaking a sweat, or eat pounds of food and have them all come out in the form of bodily wastes, but life is still good. I still get heart-poundingly romantic with my man after 6 years, still giggle like schoolkids with my friends, still wake up in the mornings sure that something great is gonna happen today. And now I get up faster after being knocked down, I can roll with the punches and give back as good if I want to. And there's still room for new things. I discovered I actually dont mind watching cricket, maybe not in its entirety (such a looooong game) but bits and parts of it. So lemme go back to watching the finals now.
 Life's good. so here's a cool, pretty picture to detract from the ghostly one.

Be happy, all.
And here's a song too, for good measure. 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Re-falling in love with an old song

Watched "Raising Hope" this evening, where a woman was singing a baby to sleep and her husband was strumming the guitar. The song they sang was "Danny's song" and it brought back such a flood of memories.


My beautiful mom with her then long hair waving as she bobbed her head, accompanying Anne Murray with a guitar as me and my sisters tried to lisp along. My beautiful big sister pretending she was Anne Murray, holding a hairbrush and mouthing the words as Anne crooned on our old tape recorder. Me pretending I was big sister and mimicking her moves in front of the mirror, and then quickly pretending I was brushing my hair all along when somebody entered the room... 


Big sister seemed to us like a vision of loveliness with her long tresses. Mom had cut our hair short, and big sis' hair epitomised glamour and adulthood, and we'd watch as she brushed it every morning before school. It was long, thick and straight, parted in the middle, with a slight wave at the ends. She also had a good singing voice, so sometimes, when she felt like it, she'd honour us with a song- and she wont just sing, she'd grab her brush and dance along, and we wanted to be like her...


When big sis had a son, she would lull him to sleep with the Carpenter's "Close to you" and "Beechwood 4-5789". And of course, Anne's "Danny's song". God, I miss those days/songs.


Now 3 of my sisters have had children, and I have unofficially adopted one of my nephews. He's an energetic fat little baby who thinks he'd be missing something if he falls asleep, so getting him to sleep is a huge problem. 
Singing nursery rhymes to him only makes him more awake as he tries to babble along. Maybe its time to break out Anne Murray and the Carpenters and it will all be like yesterday once more.


And even though we ain't got money
I'm so in love with you, honey
And everything will bring a chain of love
And in the morning when I rise,
You bring a tear of joy to my eyes

And tell me everything will be alright....


"Danny's song"- Anne Murray version. Written by Kenny Loggins, who, too broke to buy his brother Danny a gift when Danny had a son, gifted him this song instead. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Beautiful disasters, bad days and drum covers.

Early 2005. He'd raved about Elton John's "Tiny Dancer" making its appearance in the movie "Almost Famous" and I was all "Oh, that's niiiceee" and promptly went back home and listened to the song over and over and over again. A few days later, when he came over I grabbed his arm and cried, "There, there, thats the song I was talking about. See, the girl is depressed and she's drawing sad pictures on the wall and the guy modifies each one so that they become all happy.." (Well, not in those words exactly, cos we spoke in Mizo, obviously) and he was also all "oh, that's niiicceeee". A couple weeks later, he said, "There is this fabulous song by some guy called Daniel Powter, you should give it a listen. I've been listening to it over and over".

That's how its been, he and I and music. The initial attraction when we met at the end of 2004 was sparked off by a mutual interest in the same kind of music. Since then, we have been recommending songs to each other, a silent unacknowledged competition over who would make the better find. When one of us makes the find, the other would act all non-committal, no matter how we might secretly like the song.  Then a couple weeks later, the other would act like it had been him/me making the original find.

But Cobus, I willingly concede the original find to him. Last year he showed me this clip of this boy doing an amazing drum cover of one of my fave songs, Breaking Benjamin's "Breath". I flipped. Then recently he gave me some more amazing covers done by the same boy, Cobus Potgeiter.

He plays the drums himself and since being with him, Ive started to pay more attention to stick-work. I don't know much, but this I know- Cobus is an extremely talented kid. But more than the talent is the enthusiasm and the sheer exuberance with which he plays his drums. And the way those hands move- Here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fmtkuNjw80&playnext=1&list=PL33553168DDBB8212

The way his hands fly towards the end of the song, it's like the comments say, he's got tentacles for arms and kryptonite in his wrist bands :D Its like he's not even banging those drums, he's making them move through sheer will-power. Aweeeesssommmmeeee. The fact that he absolutely loves what he's doing only makes him that much more watch and listen-worthy.

Been air-drumming like crazy and my arms ache and I'm exhausted and exhilarated and so darned chuffed!!

Hey Z :D 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Walking away from a slow dance

There's something about that kind of song, when you're feeling like that, that heals. It made me feel better. It feels like you're not the only one feeling that kind of melancholy.”-  Tommy Lee James.


 It's a toss-up between Johnny Lang's "Walking away" and John Mayer's "Slow Dancing in a Burning room". Mayer's virtuosity and Lang's passion. The guitar duet at the end of Mayer's performance, Lang's all-out-there performance. Pure electricity, pure soul.

And after both, you find yourself breathless- rage spent, melancholia assuaged and yet, still lingering.  And you hit "repeat" over and over. It never gets old.
Thank God for music. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Shillong part deux

So, we attended the ISFNR (International Society for Folk Narrative Research) interim conference held at NEHU in Shillong. There were three of us from Mizoram University- me, Jamie and Dr. Margaret L. Pachuau. We presented papers on our folktales (it being a folktale seminar, d-uh)- Dr. MLP on the identity of the Mizos within folk narratives, emphasising on the pre and post colonial religion of the Mizos; Jamie on the archetypal portrayal of Chhurbura within the "fool" or "trickster" paradigms, and me on the representation of Mizo women in our folklore and consequently,how this reflects society, focusing on three characters- Mauruangi, Tualvungi and Zangkaki.  


Dr. MLP's paper generated comments on the influence of Christianity on the culture of the NE tribes- had Christianity erased or distorted much of our culture? The Mizo tales of creationism- that the earth was created by a female deity called Khuazangnu, and that an earthworm helped multiply mud, that the earth rested on the back of a tortoise and that the felling of a huge tree created vales, mountains and streams- sparked a lot of interest because of the similarity with creationist stories of the Red Indian tribes. Jamie's paper on Chhurbura was also compared to the fool and trickster stories of the Anansi Spider tales from the Ashanti tribes of Africa. 


My paper attracted a rather feministic response. I did try to focus on the representation and not the repression of Mizo women through the characters mentioned, but Mizo society being hugely patriarchal, the responses generated comments from women who wanted to know if a re-reading of those tales from women's perspectives have been done, on whether the history of our Mizo women have documented. Sad to say, only the story of Ropuiliani, the chief who made the last stand against the colonialists, has been well-documented. Then there was that man who so diplomatically and roundaboutedly commented on the 'sexual freedom' of Mizo women, asking if we now had the option to choose our own partners; so I had no choice but to diplomaticaaly answer back that, yes, nowadays we Mizo women have, for the most part, the option to choose the partner we want, and that the our seeming 'sexual freedom 'is actually a free and innocent mixing of the sexes, something which those coming from more conservative communities would misconstrue and misunderstand. Okay, I wasn't quite as eloquent, this being my first attendance in a seminar, but I managed to mumble something to that effect.  Afterwards, three women came up to me to complain about the attitude of that man and his ilk and their bigoted views about NE women and they wanted to know why I hadn't been more forceful. But when your'e on that stand for the first time, and the comment is phrased so roundaboutedly, well, its rather hard to breathe fire, sorry :( 


The responses we generated made me aware of the universality of our stories and the academic appeal they hold not only to the literary field but to sociologists and anthropologists, and also on the woeful lack of documentation that is available. I've met people from academic circles who say that we Mizos lack literary prowess and that our stories are not really worth being told. Some have even gone on to say that we should focus on stories that depict Mizo valour, bravery and tlawmngaihna, and omit stories like Chhurbura, since they could create a bad impression of our Mizo forefathers and people might think we Mizos are all like that wtf???? 


Literature is not just about Shakespeare and the classics and the romantics and the epics and the dramatis personae and the three unities bleh! Granted, our literary output in no way measures up to theirs, but they have had centuries of practice and all we've had till a hundred years ago were weathered men and women, sharing stories they've heard from their parents and their parent's parents. And maybe, they are not interested, but those that have sampled literary outputs the world over are interested in our stories, our history and our people. Funny thing that- at seminars and conferences like the one I've attended, it is the outsiders who take umbrage at words like insurgency ("You were not insurgents, you were a people fighting for your basic rights and the Indian government should be ashamed to label you as insurgents"), tribal ("the word has a negative connotation; in fact, all communities are tribal to start with), headhunters (you people should never be ashamed of being headhunters. You did not venture out with the specific aim of hunting heads). 


Heh, about headhunting, there's this story that Vanglaini posted on March 3rd. During the 1890's, the British administrators often ordered the Mizo chiefs to supply them with local maidens. Many of the chiefs reluctantly complied because the Brits would burn their fields and villages if they refused. Zakapa Fanai, the chief of Khawhri village valiantly defended the virtue of his womenfolk against C.S Murray in 1891 when this "Marliana" came and demanded that he and his men be supplied with the local maidens. During a heated argument, Zakapa not only refused but also wrested Marliana's rifle from him. Marliana and his soldiers retaliated by burning the village granary. The incensed chief Zakapa took a few of his men with him and ambushed Marliana and his soldiers. Zakapa managed to take the heads of six soldiers while the defeated and petrified Marliana fled to Lunglei. 


Ashamed of our headhunting past? Oh no, not I :D 

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Shillong and back

Recently returned from Shillong where Jamie and I went in service of our geekdom- we both presented a paper for the ISFNR (International Society for Folk Narrative Research) seminar held at NEHU. That aside, I loooved going back to Shillong with its many varieties of chinky faces from all over the NE, the locals with their staccato accents, the ever-present nip in the air, the bustle of PB, the food, ohhh, the food!

Granted, I havent been anywhere much, but of all the places Ive been, Shillong has the best Chinese food. Bought mutton momos daily from a Tibetan restaurant managed by this Tibetan dude who Jamie proclaims has a certain way of looking at you that would make you blush. I wouldn't know- Im in a happy twosome so am above flirtatious looks, twalalla. But the momos, oh, the momos, served with their brand of chili sauce...

And the roadside food- friends have often made fun of my lack of qualms when it comes to roadside food because I have absolutely no hygienic standards. Whether its buying food manned by a Kong with kwai-stained mouth or by a lad with a trickle of snot hanging dejectedly from his nose, I love them all. Capsicum stuffed with egg whites and mashed potatoes, dipped in flour and fried, eggs coated in potatoes and fried, tiny morsels of pakora and roadside chai, Im game for em all.

And alu muri!! Without the muri! A concoction of boiled potatoes, raw papaya, diluted tamarind water, masala, coriander leaves, chili, black salt, a dash of lemon, oil and onions- its roadside food nirvana, a gastrorgasmic treat. Yum. And a half. And another half. (Thas me eating the alu on the roadside, with my bare hands- in the way that roadside food should be eaten) The thing about Shillong is, almost everyone speaks English so there is not much need for me to air my very rudimentary Hindi. But with the alu-man, I insist on doing it, I dont know why. "Bhaiya, khale alu, 15 rupees hai. Zyada pyas, mirchi, namak, tel, zyada EVERYTHING. Do packet packing hai, ek packet panch rupee, aur ek packet dos rupee hai". Its the butchery of the Hindi language taken to extremities, but we always understand each other perfectly. And because they think Im making the effort to talk their talk, they always give me a little extra. They do!
And friends say he (and the puchchka-man, ohhh the puchchka!!) prolly scratch their heads and their balls with the same hand they use to make their alus, but I dont mind. Besides, I dont think they'll let chilly-crusted hands too near their nether regions, so nyah nyah to you.

Strolling through the city and laughing at the signs that warns you to "Commit no nuisance here!" or the menu board in a dingy restaurant that proclaims, "Drink wine in side strickly prohibited. Drink water", or the ones that forbiddingly say, "Do not cough". Yes, that establishment really does prohibit coughing. I didnt go there, since I have a permanent cough, but my friends did, and no, they didnt cough. Wonder what the establishment would do to coughers.. And I love that sign there, from the restroom in the said dingy restaurant. Pictorial language at its best.

I love travelling. I sleep through all the bumpy parts, bobbing my head and sometimes, sleeping with my mouth wide open because the maxi-cab seats aren't exactly foetal position-friendly. And I love the food. We had lunch at Sonapur, pic is of the Sonapur river. The river's all blue because they treat it with chemicals from the factories or something. Looks rather tropical, doesnt it? They served fish caught from the river. We wanted to take a pic on the bridge, so while our travel mates were busy sitting off their heavy lunch, we trekked off towards the bridge. We passed a convoy of army trucks and we waved and saluted them, much to their delight. It also made our day. Such a simple little gesture, and yet so smile-inducing, though I dont recommend doing it when you're at a desolate place at night.

Tried to smuggle in a can of beer for my sister. Was caught by the border excise. Gave him a conciliatory smile, saying it was only the one can , so please, please, please. He said it wasn't fair, but yeah, smiles do work, I suppose, cos he let me through with my can of beer, yay! Reached home. Discovered I had acquired a double-chin, love handles and a protruding belly and also lost my cheekbones. A week's worth of sitting all day and snacking half the night would do that to you. My hair had also decided to acquire a strange parting which emphasised my newly gained pounds, so now I look like a dowdy frump. Correction: A well-fed, contented dowdy frump.

I love Shillong, I love travelling- but the best part about travelling is coming home. To Aizawl with its narrow roads, its congested traffic, its horrible infrastructure. Yet home it is, Aizawl and its "zun"- its particular brand of charm that takes hold of you and makes you its own so that you cant imagine yourself calling any other place home.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Mineps

I was rummaging through my old diaries last night when I came across this entry from 14th Feb, 2002, which got me thinking all over again. This was when I was in Hostel in Shillong, during my Higher Secondary school years, and we could get day-outs only once or twice a month, and those day outs consisted of window shopping, pigging out and looong chat sessions on Mirc and Yahoo chat. Here's the slightly edited entry from that Valentine's Day, 2002.


"Its V-day! No Valentine but we went out and oohhh, its sooo great to be young, carefree, passably attractive and healthy.
The warden told us to buy toilet cleaning brushes, and there we were, me and Kevi, all dolled up and dragging toilet brushes around PB! Still received catcalls from creepy roadside Bahs, we acted prissy but giggled when they were out of earshot.


Went online, chatted to a lotta people, C_ from Kulikawn being one of them. She asked me if I ever had feelings of insecurity when we were in High School. She updated me on some of our old classmates and mentioned that A_ who had been teased by the boys because she was such a tomboy had become a huge flirt, ck-ing with any guy who asks. She wondered if  low self esteem was responsible for that.


I had a wonderful time in high school and Ive never felt unpopular. I knew I was popular, the Princy called me by my nickname, teachers teased me on my crushes, kids from lower classes knew me, and I was with the hip crowd. Mahse the pressure was there- would a crush like my friend instead, am I up to date on 'cool' music and things like that, is a friend saying mean things behind my back, etc. Mahse Ive never felt really left out.


But what makes me guilty is that we sometimes call some people "Mi nep"- the kind of people who are wallflowers, who dont talk much, and who are not very with it. And we used to laugh at them secretly, pretend to have crushes on them if the Mi nep was a guy, and laugh at him when he responds. We just overlook the quiet ones, and make fun of the ones who try and fail to fit in. 


T_ and N_  (hostel mates) said that they felt like Mi neps in high school. I never thought they were, but, if they felt that way, I wonder what the people that we considered real Mi neps would feel. High school was such an important time and the things that happened there could really affect you later. I think I too would have hurt other people's feelings. Though I have never pretended to like a guy just to make fun of him, I laughed along with my friends when they do it. 


Maybe retribution will happen to me and Ill deserve it. Mahse I hope I will be mature and humane enough to never again judge people on the basis of their wealth, social status and their looks. And that I will never refer to anyone as a Mi nep ever again".


I know, I was a right lil bitch in high school :(  I'm sorry :(((((



Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A year auld.

Once upon a time, a year back, boredom and narcissism met. They circled each other laconically and decided to spawn a blog together. So they came together and spawned the spawn. And so was born a blogger who claims that she is a "Goddess, slave and everything in between". Mmmphrphghh. Named Doppelganger   Pachuau.

The first unsteady step was a hopeful yet apologetic little piece in which were written a list of things to do before 30. It goes:

1. write a bestseller.
2. be an accomplished flirt.
3. learn to drive and swim
4. learn salsa or tango
5. bungee jump n para sail.
6. backpack across India.
7. fall madly in love
8. learn to play at least one musical instrument.
9. charity, charity, charity.
Hyuk. 

Narcissism's genes proved to be stronger than Laziness'. So Dopey wrote. A lot. Trapped in the ego-gratifying cycle of believing that her thoughts were worth recording for posterity and actually having a few kind souls who respond to her ramblings, the Dopester wrote. And wrote. And had quite a fun time doing so. 

Completely oblivious by now to the fact that it would serve her a lot better if she had worked on getting her list done rather than writing about it, Gangy plonked herself in front of her computer, Radiohead softly wailing "Im a creep, Im a weirdo" in the background. 

A year old and what has she done?
1. Bestseller murdered before conception.
2. Charm has died of old age.
3. Driving and swimming skills defunct. 
4. Dancing skills butchered and hacked to death.
5. Occasionally jumps on stairs and sails uncoordinatedly over them, leading to raspberry coloured bruises made by impact of disastrous landing.
6. Backpacks are no longer in fashion anyway.
7. Still stands. Irrevocably. 
8. Air guitars and air drums now count as musical instruments.
9. Siiiiggghhhs.


 Changes track to Third Eye Blind's "Losing a whole year". 

Friday, February 4, 2011

Counting crows

Back in hostel, we girls would sun ourselves on the rooftop terrace. Weak sunlight would filter through wispy clouds as we shivered in the chilly Shillong winter. On the pretext of studying for exams, we would sit there with our books, munching on stolen unripe pears, wiping the bittersweet juices on sweater sleeves and counting crows in the sky.
One for sorrow
Two for joy
Three for letters
Four for boys.

We would determinedly look away if we see a lone crow. If two came flying, we would squeal with joy, the very sight of two crows becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. Seeing three crows was the best deal.

The poor postman was bombarded every other day with hordes of excited girls asking, "Letter for us?" God forbid that he should come with just a bill for the wardens. Then all he would get would be a sea of glum faces, all staring at him mournfully. But on the days he would arrive with a good load, there would be masses of excited, happy faces all beaming at him, as if he were personally responsible for our happiness. And should his arrival coincide with that of the sweet-man's, then he had his face stuffed with sticky jalebis, rosagullas and gulab jamuns. Funny thing is, for such an important man, none of us knew what our postman looked like.

'Four for boys' did not have much of an impact in our lives. We could go out of the hostel only one Saturday a month. Sundays we could go to our various churches, but our warden made it a point to know how long our church services lasted, so there was no opportunity for larking around after services ended. So even if a suitable boy turned up, there was never any opportunity to meet him. Having Church crushes that we never dared to talk to anyway were the height of our romantic escapades.

If only life was as simple as we made it then.  
One for sorrow.    
Two for joy.
Three for letters.
Four for boys.
And should there be more, than we would just start all over again.