Wednesday, June 30, 2004

It’s just not fair! You give the REAL reason for being late to work and people think that you are fibbing. An elephant truly did block my path yesterday. Scout’s Honour!
And trust me it was not very pleasant to suddenly come across a dirty grey wall on my face. (I was looking down at the ground to avoid stepping into puddles.) And then imagine looking up into a huge face with ears flapping in way that could well serve as a Maharaja’s fan. My shoo-shoos were barely heard. Elephants might have a good memory power (“An elephant never forgets”- Jungle Book) but they sure don’t have keen ears. And trust me you really don’t want to mess around with something so huge. So what do you do? Simple. You wait patiently for it to move on.
And that’s why I got late. Now why is that so hard to believe?

Monday, June 28, 2004

After much contemplation I have finally accepted that I am obsessed with my roommate S. (It could be because she is sweet and funny. Or it could be that she is the only human soul outside my office whom I regularly interact with. Which reasserts my need to get a life.) And thus, I have started a blog dedicated to her.
My roommate S and me.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

My roommate S is the nastiest unkindest cruelest meanest person I know. One week after an abscess was removed from my body, the surgeon advised that I should get my dressing done at home instead of traveling to the hospital everyday. (Yes, the Operation Theatre experience was very painful. Yes, I cried, but not too much. Yes, I am a brave girl. Yes, I should be resting at home but there’s too much work. Yes, health comes first, but if I am jobless I shall starve and that’s not healthy either. Yes, I am open to all the sympathy that I can get. Yes, I sound needy. Yes, I am needy. Yes, Yes! I shall get back to the story.)
S had a field day changing the dressing for me. We locked the door lest the maid found us in a compromising state. S could not stop giggling. I gave her a reprimanding look and told her that it just showed how ‘close’ we are to each other. S, still giggling, removed the dressing and gasped. A deafening silence ensued for a brief five seconds. And then she spoke, “There’s a big gaping hole”. Breaking into another uncontrollable giggling fit she said, “We can use it for a candle holder.”
As I said, my roommate S is the nastiest unkindest cruelest meanest person I know.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Q: What am I?
A: Monsoon stars. Hidden in the cold black of the sky, I exist unknown and unseen, obscured by even clouds of gray.

Monday, June 21, 2004

Maybe there's a God above
And all I ever learned from love
Was how to shoot at someone who outdrew you
It's not a cry you can hear at night
It's not somebody who's seen the light
It's a cold and it's a broken hallelujah

~Hallelujah, Rufus Wainwright

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

My roommate S and I have started our family planning. We had long discussions on whether it was the right time. Were we thinking straight? Were we ready for a deeper commitment? Would it be sensible to have a baby in the house with the hours we keep? Were we financially capable of supporting a baby? Of giving it a good happy home and upbringing? There were a million and one questions and the same answer to each of these questions, ‘Where there is a will there is a way.’
After days of dilly-dallying, we decided to be honest with ourselves. Did we want a baby because we wanted to give it a good home or did we want a baby to give us company in the long lonely weekends? Were we being selfish?

We shall wait for some more time, we decided. We have each other we said and exchanged fond glances.

I had thought then that we had pushed back our family-planning thoughts till at least next year when late one night S started talking. It was a cozy scene. I was reading a book under a lamp and S sprawled on the floor was watching TV, switching from channel to channel restlessly. She turned to me with big sad eyes. “Please let’s get a baby,” she cried. I looked at her sternly, giving her a ‘We’ve discussed this before!’ look. Teary-eyed she said, “It doesn’t take much to keep a tortoise. They don’t eat much. They stay in their quiet shell. They are ok if there’s nobody home. Imagine now, if we had a baby tortoise in the house, it would be crawling all over the floor. There would be life in this house.” She heaved a long sad sigh and turned back to the TV.
Women! I swear!
Q: What do you do when a poor absent-minded girl in your office says things like “I am getting screwed from both ends” and “I would put anything in my mouth”?
A: You ensure that the whole office gets to hear about it.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Bombay in the morning looked like a huge taxi carnival. The black of the sky and the black of the rain-washed streets dotted with the bright yellow raincoats of the traffic policemen.
I think I just might fall in love with Bombay.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

My parents have suddenly woken up to the fact that their daughter is not getting any younger. My father called me out of the blue sometime last week and said that it is high time I got married. Being the obedient daughter that I am, I meekly said ‘Ok Papa’. The next problem that arose was ‘Whom do I get married to?’. Coming from a family with a tradition of love marriages, an arranged marriage is out of the question. Even my grandparents had love marriages for God’s sake. And that was in the 1940s. Surely I can do better now.
The phone was then passed over to my mother who gave me a whole list of things that I should do to meet a prospective husband. And there I was listening patiently to the most unlike-parent like advice. I mean, one is usually told ‘Don’t go out too often. What will the neighbours say! You should have a crystal clear reputation in the neighbourhood. Don’t talk to too many men. And stop going out with all men, even in groups. ’ And here was my mother telling me, ‘Go out. Meet more men. Keep your eyes open. You never know where you’ll meet the right guy….’
Somebody help me!

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

In Calcutta, the pre-summer thunderstorms, aptly called Kaal Baishakhi, are frightening. Even though they are expected during the months of April they still take you unawares. A hot sunny afternoon sky suddenly turns black. Rapid winds start blowing, winds so strong that they often uproot trees and poles and destroy houses. And then it starts raining. Lashing rain that stings your face like a thousand whips. Scared, you take shelter in the comforting safety of your homes. Sharp sparks of lightening flashes on you like a camera gone havoc. You watch from behind the curtains of your latched windows, thankful that you are not out there exposed to the wrath of nature. You wait for the clouds to clear out and sun to shine bright again. The storm quietens eventually but the sun does not shine again till it rises the next day.
Life to me seems to be like a series of these thunderstorms. You brave the fiercest of storms hoping that everything shall soon be alright. This too shall pass, you tell yourself. But it seldom does. Seldom.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Feels like I'm wasting my time
Hanging on this same old line
Got to get you off of my mind
There's nothing left for me to find

~Something More, Train

Friday, June 04, 2004

Me: What if he was ‘the one’ for me? What if I let go of ‘the one’?
S: If he was ‘the one’ he would have not made you cry.
Me: Everyone makes everyone cry.
S: But did he really understand why he made you cry. Did it matter to him?

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Chakri ta aami pey gechhi Bela shunchho
Ekhon aar keyo aatkate paarbe na
Shombondho ta eyee barey tumi bhenshtey deete paaro
Ma ke bole dao beeye tumi korchho na

Chakri ta aami pey gechhi Bela shotyi
Aar matro koyakta mash byas
Startingeyee ora egaro sho debe, teen mash porey confirm
Chup kore kenoe, Bela kichhu bolchho na

Eta ki 2441139
Bela Bose tumi parchho ki shune
Das baro baar wrong number periye tomake peychhi
Debo na kichhuteyee harate
Hullo 2441139
Deen na deke Bela ki ekti baar
Meter jacchey bere eyee public telephoney
Jorori, khoob joruri dorkaar

Shopno ebaar hoye jaabey Bela shotyi
Etoe din dhore etoe opekha
Rastar kotoe shosta hotel bondho cabiney
Bondi dujoneyer rudroh shaass koto protikha

Aar kichhu din tar porey Bela mukti
Kasba’r oyee neel devaler ghor
Shada kalo eyee jonjaler bhora mithe kothar shohore
Tomar aamar laal neel shongshor

Eta ki 2441139….
….Jorori, khoob joruri dorkaar

Chup korey kenoe eki Bela tumi Kaandchho
Chaakri ta aami pey gechhi shotyi
Kanna-kaati holla-haati’r shomoye gechey beriye
Hullo, tumi shuntey parchho ki

Eta ki 2441139….
….Jorori, khoob joruri dorkaar

(I got the job, Bela are you listening
Nobody can stop us now
You can let the marriage proposal go
Tell your mother that you will not marry him

I got the job, really!
Just another few months
I’ll start with Rs 1100 and get confirmed in three months
Why are you quiet Bela, why aren’t you speaking?

Is this 2441139
Bela Bose can you hear me?
I got through after 10 wrong numbers
Am not going to let go that easily.
Hullo. 2441139
Please call Bela to the phone once
The meter’s ticking on the public phone
And it is really really important

All are dreams shall come true now Bela
All the waiting for so many days
Sitting in closed cabins of those countless road-side restaurants
Two people trapped, the long sighs and the long wait

A few more days Bela, and then we shall be free
Blue walls in our house in Kasba
In this city of lies filled with black and white garbage
Shall be our world of red and blues

Is this 2441139…
….And it is really really important

Why are you quiet Bela, are you crying?
I have really got the job
The time to cry and the time to grieve has passed
Hullo, can you hear me?

Is this 2441139…
….And it is really really important)

~ 2441139, Anjan Dutta

I have been downloading Bengali songs tonight and have got into a very nostalgic mood. I was in Class XI when I had first heard this song that I have posted. And I remember I had started crying. The plight of the person who sings had torn my heart. Why wasn’t Bela Bose responding? Was she too oversome with emotions to respond? Or was it her mother listening to her ardent boy-friend’s talk? Had Bela Bose already gotten married? Or had she frustrated by the hopeless situation committed suicide? A million questions unanswered.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

I walked five steps and turned right and walked five steps. I turned left from there and walked four steps. I turned left again and walked five steps. From there I turned right and walked two steps. I kept walking on and on. After a while not caring where I went and how far I walked. Two steps to the left. Five steps to the right. Turn right again and walk 10 steps. Turn right yet again six steps. Right and two steps. Five steps to the left. Two steps to the right. Two steps to the left. Five steps to the right. Five steps to the left. Two steps to the right. Two steps to the left. Five steps to the left again. Three to the right. Turn right and then nine steps.
I stopped. I was back where I had started. I had walked on and on for years, pointlessly.