Wednesday, August 30, 2006

been a while

I think I was overdue one of those overdone 'venturful days.
Or something.
Sometimes I wonder if the reason most of my semi-laid plans go awry is some hidden need to put myself in situations where I will experience, willy-nilly, all the fun things that the best transport-related adventures are made of. Perhaps it is a crude but extremely efficient form of self-sabotage.
Then again, perhaps it just reflects my poor organizational skills.

Grande plans. I was to have visited TISB this morning regarding a case-study. I was to have called a certain person and arranged to accompany said person to school this morning. I was to have completed the case study by lunch-time.
Needless to say, none of the above transpired as planned. Two of the three did not transpire at all. (almost am i ashamed to start another of my "look what horrible things have been happening to poor lil ol' me". almost. but then, where's the fun in life if you can't get a good cribbin' story out of a day of pain and suffering? nowhere, that's where.)
I'd set the reminder on my phone to call {mystery person}. For Monday. For Tuesday. Multiple times. Each time the phone gave its plaintive cry, however, I dismissed it; either because I was too involved in the latest novel I was reading, whatever tripe I was watching on the telly (not really a regular word in my repertoire, but i just really, really wanted to use it) or the comfort of my bed.
I did remember for a brief moment on my way to the concert (oh, the concert!) but it was only to remark the failure to call. "Call in the morning", said my mother. The moment passed. My parents are unwitting promoters of my 'venturesome spirit. The concert was fabulous. The nighttime better-part-of-an-hour phone call was fun. sort of. :D
This morning was interesting. The time from half-past six till eight in the morning was spent in trying various numbers, but to no avail. So I decided, tentatively, to call the whole thing off and read Lords and Ladies instead. Good plan, right? Wrong.
At ten, I got a call that effectively decided me on a course of action (hmmm. that sounds okay, but if it isn't, please lemme know?).
Left at half-past ten.
Caught an auto practically at our doorstep.
was surprised by the luck. shouldn't have been
Waited five minutes at the bus stop.
reflected on my father's unexpected decision to let me go to unknown parts in unknown buses. felt grimly that some sort of idiot exciting day was headed my way
Caught a bus to Marathahalli.
looked out the window
Walked to the ring road.
calculated estimated time of arrival. was incidentally not off by very much. i know my days werry well
Caught a bus to Sarjapur Road.
well. he said he was headed to sarjapur road
Took a nap.
what can i say?
Woke up and realized I was headed somewhere wrong.
what can i say?
Exited bus and asked around. Nobody knew anything.
what can i say?
Walked three kilometers and reflected on wisdom of my pet deities.
*sigh* they are very, very good, aren't they?
Asked an auto to take me to the school. He asked for Rs. 200.
i might have paid. except that i only had Rs. 100
Caught a bus to an alleged International School. Had some guy sit next to me. Realized after a rather appreciable amount of time certain semi-transparent parts of my outfit were exposed.
notice the word "alleged". also, why do these things keep happening to me??
Turns out it was the wrong International School.
aha! suspenders! alleged!
Almost gave up. Instead began walking.
now, this is *always* a good thing to do. it means you are moving, and your feet are hurting, and you don't feel the despair of sitting in one place and bemoaning your lack of foresight, viz, not getting proper directions from your mother just because she yelled at you in the morning because you forgot to call and didn't plan and you're a useless child who wastes all her potential, etc
Found some adorable people and got directions.
somebody cares :)
Walked back to the bus top I'd just left. Waited with a sweet old crone and her basket of guavas. Ate a digestive biscuit and wondered if two hours was too large an investment to just throw away.
what? digestive biscuits. they're good for you!
Caught the next bus. Got off at the right stop. Looked around and knew not where to go. Called my mother at her school and told her I was going home. Got into some random vehicle going in some random direction, only because it was the only one in the road, and the man assured me I could eventually find my way to HAL.
Spotted large yellow buses proclaiming "TISB" barely five minutes into the ride.

i mean, really. what can i say?

The rest is soon told. Or rather, should be soon told, because this post is already far too long. Here are the highlights:
security booth. crumbs. children. drama teacher. manners. food. old teachers. waiting. sleepy babies. late rides. tea. dosas. home.
All my days are priceless.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

snapshots on a tuesday

Full day. Very full.
College, and design, and discussions. Forgetting to pay the fees. Getting home at four.
Leaving at half past five.
Chowdiah Memorial Hall and a terrible driver.
Too many invitations, not enough seats.
Sitting in the aisle.
Not sitting in the aisle.
Pandit Jasraj.

Talent is good. Raw talent is amazing. But at the end of the day, the respect is for stars.The ones who hone. The ones who sparkle.
Great music will curl your toes.
hmmm. very very high.

feelin' groovy

When people greet you with "hellow yellow butterfly", how can you not smile?

So it's college once more, and design rears its ugly head. Landscape is going to be a big part of my thesis design. I shudder at my ineptitude. I will nonetheless endeavour. It's what I do.
In other news, being ill is terrible. Especially if you're that in-between sort of ill, when you can neither be your usually cheery self, nor crawl into bed and pass out. Sigh. Poor Britney :D

hmmm. someone got a cat. instant therapy. why can't i have one?

p.s. "I had actually quite forgotten that we have actually never met"
Oh, I say! :D I cannot stop the teeth from flashing.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

more than a week

And a mention only, of the weekend of August 19 and 20.
I was there.
It was glorious.
That's all.

the brothers singh

All days must end thus - at half past one in the morning in a carload of boys.

Friday was awful, I spent practically the whole day in bed, missed my play pratice, got completely disoriented and ate my breakfast at ten in the evening. Also, I couldn't do any work, watch any television or sit at the computer; imagine my plight!

Saturday was better; I slept till eleven, which is always a plus, and then went to my presentation practice at one p.m. Well, I tried, anyway. Landed up at slightly past two thanks to unexpectedly heavy traffic. Then followed some rather bizarre theatrics; because our overseeing directors all seemed to spend more time either saying "Chill, guys. Chill." and then pausing for rather an illogical amount of time, presumably to ensure we were all at the requisite temperature; or blowing up in a most spectacular way by reiterating a very pointed thought, such as "He said, 'All of you listen.' Not my problem if you didn't hear. No, he said 'All of you listen.' He said that." It was all the drama and tension anyone could desire, manifold. But they're such dears that it's impossible to stay mad at them too long. Until the next time, anyway :)
Then followed rehearsals and mess-ups, forgotten lines, dangerous props and sets, costume changes and a whole lot of confusion.

We put up our presentation at seven thirty, and it was a delicious success. I only wish I hadn't been directing my own play, I think I would have had an easier time; unfortunately it turned out to be rather unavoidable. But in the end, when you make your teacher cry because he feels rewarded, you can't really ask for more, can you?
Except perhaps three hours of laughing like loons, stuck between your two favourite people in your class, with a third a little way off; talking of grammars and phantasmagoria and other unmentionables. Oh, but it was a time. Pretty turns of phrase, agreeing to be agreeable, and the bites :) Indubitably, eh?
Back home at nearly two, and no scoldings forthcoming! Trust really is the key to freedom. And the brothers Singh are the keys to brains leaking out one's ears.
Life makes up for discomfort in rather spendid ways, to be sure.
And now the fever threatens again, so I will away.

Someone said I looked good in a sari.
And my parents are the best.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

hero worshipping

"The reason that clichés become clichés is that they are the hammers and screwdrivers in the toolbox of communication."
I love this man.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

and what did i expect?

So tagged I have been. Instructions follow:
1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next 3 sentences on your blog along with these instructions.
5. Don’t you dare dig for that "cool" or "intellectual" book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest.
6. Tag five people.

Sentence five:
> Typical interior unit dimensions: 29' x 41.4' = 1,202 sq ft

And the three
> Parking: 10 spaces each side street = 20 spaces, + 16 spaces on interior of site, total = 36 spaces
> Fig. 8. Medium high-rise apartments, density 35 units per acre
> Apartments on 1-acre site

Time-Saver Standards for BUILDING TYPES, 3rd Edition
Joseph de Chiara & John Callender

Deny that the universe has a sense of humour if you dare.
Go on.

Monday, August 21, 2006


For those who want 'venture, here are a few sure-fire steps:
  • Leave your residence.
  • Be sure to forget one or more of the following: wallet, identity cards, money, phone, umbrella or raincoat if required, and other such essential items
  • Go somewhere you haven't gone before.
  • Alternatively, take a mode of transport you have not triedbefore, such as a cycle-rickshaw, a public bus whose number is unfamiliar to you or a car you have notgotten used to yet. Or your feet.
  • Contrive to daydream so that you get lost if you are in a vehicle, or end up walking too far if you are on foot.
  • Talk to strangers.
  • Look.
  • Listen.
  • Sing.
  • Sunday, August 20, 2006

    more 'ventures; the second part

    Bandipur, no? We came back on Monday. Most of us. A few left the previous day: my uncle because he had work, the family from Boston because they were leaving for Chennai the next morning, and the other cousin because he was headed back to Atlanta (and, incidentally, his final semester at college) the next evening. This meant the bus was rattling along with only seven people in it. It was a pleasant ride. This time the food situation was not as elaborate, and that necessitated a stop for lunch. We ate apples and pears and oranges (none for me alas) along the way instead.

    Monday; 14th August 2006

    I went over to spend the evening at my uncle's place because of the cousin; where I then proceeded to take over the entire packing operation, thus effectively wowing uncle and aunt and relieving cousin. Also ate some kisses and got a pair of shorts. Yay!
    Sang some songs. Talked some talk. Had tea. (we drink a lot of tea in our family.) Reheated my uncle's tea twice in the microwave. Watched the cousin perform the touchdown dance of some Atlanta football team. Lounged on the sofa. Admired Sam Cooke. Felt happy.

    Incidentally, the three of them had been invited out to tea. Since the second load of laundry still had a good three hours to go before it could be folded and put away, I decided to accompany them. The invitation was for seven in the evening; from my uncle's neighbours, a relatively young couple living with their two children.
    At five-thirty, my aunt, cousin and I walked to the nearby supermarket and bought, for the host family, one box of cookies and two mango fruit bars. At six, we went to the temple. By six-thirty, we were back. By six-forty-five, we were all ready. (except for my uncle, who was doing his yoga in the middle of the bedroom through all the mayhem) Since we still had a good fifteen minutes to go before we were expected across the hall, it seemed like the perfect opportunity for all of us to check our mail. While my cousin was telling some friend of his to perform some rather questionable bodily contortions, I remarked, to no one in particular, "It's seven o'clock."
    "You guys had better go", said my uncle in the middle of his veerabhadrasana.
    "If we go over now, no one will be more surprised than them", I told him.

    We did finally go over, at a quarter past seven (no one in my family is very good at being fashionably late). We were greeted by the man of the house and its younger scion. The evening then passed in a series of obscure snapshots that had me in a state of unholy glee the entire time.

    We entered the house.
    "Wow, what a couch", said my cousin.
    "Yes", I said.
    The child saw us and then decided the time was ripe to begin an exciting game of "let's pretend there are no guests in the house".
    He proceeded to spend the rest of the evening by running up and down the hall in a most distracting fashion.
    Mrs. host popped her head out of the kitchen for a few seconds to nod and smile.
    The three of us sat down on the large couch.
    Mr. Host stood next to the large couch.
    The television was turned on to Eenadu Marathi.
    My aunt handed over the cookies, which were received without a sound.
    Mr. Host stood next to the large couch.
    My aunt forgot to introduce me.
    The little one ran up and down, and collided absently with his father's legs.
    Mine host continued to stand; awkwardly, remotely, uncomfortably.
    The cousin found a colour-pencil in the couch.
    The two of us had a little side conversation while my aunt tried valiantly to engage our host in conversation.
    The little one ran up and down and jumped on and off various pieces of furniture.
    My aunt and I made several forays to the regions of the kitchen.
    (we were, incidentally, utterly incompetent at convincing anyone that we needed to leave soon, that all we'd come for was a cup of tea, that it was much preferred to actually talk to one's hosts rather than simply stuff our faces. we stopped trying.)
    My uncle arrived.
    The conversation got a little better.
    I sat still and tried not to laugh.
    The elder child arrived.
    She played the same game her brother was involved in, only rather more vehemently, which only meant that she'd stare straight at us before pretending we didn't exist.
    We drank orange juice. (i did not)
    We ate chaat.
    (it was delicious. the cousin had four pieces, and also a piece his mother couldn't eat. i had three.)
    We ate son papdi.
    (the cousin couldn't stomach his, and so he crumbled it all over the plate)
    We ate some more.
    The younger child's peregrinations led him to the bedroom. He then set up a glorious wailing from that direction, which his mother proceeded to ignore.
    I pointed out to my cousin that he was sitting on an orange lace hat with bobbles.
    "I thought it was a seat cover", he said.
    The kids wanted cookies, so my aunt opened the box for them, after which they disappeared; except for the few seconds when they'd return to plunge their hands into the bowl of sev and then into their mouths.
    We started "making a move" as soon as the plates were in the sink.
    I went to wash my hands in the childrens' bedroom and stepped in urine. (incidentally, urine is such a funny word. make note, suhas my dear)
    We thanked them and put on our shoes.
    "Good night", I said.
    I was the only one.

    I like this world.

    'ventures; installment the first

    And the past couple of weeks have been glorious.
    Let us start with last weekend, shall we?

    Saturday and Sunday; 12th and 13th August 2006
    (also a bit of Monday; 14th August 2006)

    Bandipur was to have been a two day trip. The aforementioned persons were to assemble in their respective abodes, and we were to set off from our personal residence as soon as the bus we'd ordered got there. Alas for good intentions. The one day that every member of my family was ready prior to the agreed time, the transport was late. Instead of six in the morning, we didn't leave until well past seven. The bus itself was a joy; plush sets, twenty two of them for twelve people, a wonderful music system, a passably competent driver. Once we'd loaded everything onto the bus, with a commendable record of going back for forgotten items only twice, we were on our way.
    Stopped first at the house of uncle the first. Two members joined us; my dad's sister and my 20-year-old male cousin. We were, as an additional bonus, also treated to a pithy recollection of my uncle's comments on female tardiness. grrrr. Luckily, my aunt hadn't subscribed to those views, and so the journey to residence no. 3 on the list passed very pleasantly. There we picked up not only my dad's other two siblings and their spouses, but also a 13-year-old cousin and a 76-year-old grandmother. By eight in the morning, we were on Airport Road; with all twelve passengers, all their luggage, seven assorted bags and boxes of food-related items, numerous cushions and a grand spirit of adventure!
    Being the Tam Brahm family we are, it was perhaps not more than twenty or thirty minutes into the journey before the four females of the family ensconced themselves in the back of the bus, and mooli parathas were being passed forward, topped with the most delectable kothamalli (coriander leaves, that is) chutney to ever grace the taste buds. (it was a brand new bottle, and it was empty by the time we got back to civilization. you do the math). Soon after each of us had had at least two, my cousin had had three and my sister five (really. the girl eats like a horse), it was time for hot tea and biscuits. Let a gentle veil be drawn over the procedure as far as my sibling and I were concerned. Suffice it to say that dire predictions to deflect misfortune misfired by coming out perfectly true, and that not a few paper napkins and towels were put to good use.
    It was time, then, for music. My sister had put together two CDs (yes! modern conveyance, played MP3 CDs and no cassettes, which none of the other relatives had known, which in simple terms meant that my sister and I had the ordering of music to our taste entirely, so (to borrow a phrase) yay!) thoughtfully placing on one all the modern rock we'd been listening to of late, and on the other all the music the three old IITians would jive to. We started with the second, and soon The Beatles were crooning away, interspersed with Nick Drake. No one was happy. The player had to be advanced to the next song each time, and the remote could never be found at the crucial moment; so that we heard Norwegian Wood four times running before it dawned on us. We proceeded, then, to the Beach Boys (yes, I'll have to have a little chat with the sister sometime) and idlis with four different types of accompaniments.
    The rest of the trip (yes, or I'll be dredging up every last detail) was spent in singing, and talking. We played antakshari for almost two hours; two aunts, an uncle, my mother and I, and once again I felt incredibly glad to have such fascinating people in my family. The antakshari moved on to just plain singing; then to the inevitable pop backlash, in which all four cousins took part enthusiastically.
    The last leg of the journey was Simon and Garfunkel and Jethro Tull and Jimi Hendrix and CSNY. And everyone sang along, all off tune. And I heard about how two classmates of my uncle performed the entire Suite Judy Blue Eyes at a Mardi Gras many years ago. And how a person "played" the guitar riff on Ohio just with his mouth. And I learnt how to distinguish Steven Stills from Graham Nash. And I learnt to really really wish I'd lived then, oh *heap big sigh*.

    We got to the Jungle lodge at around two, checked in and then had lunch.
    Went for a safari that evening at five. Played card games at night. Read Pratchett. Talked. Walked. Sang. Wrote.
    Night walks among deer. Morning walks with deer. Games in the garden. Four corners with all adults running. Climbing trees. Breathtaking scenery. Heartbreaking silences. Hot tea. Good food. Fabulous weather. Amazing air. Congenial company.
    One heck of a vacation.

    Tuesday, August 15, 2006

    and now, when i'm me, i'm still really me

    At this point I would like very much to be grabbed really hard and kissed very thoroughly, please.


    Spent the weekend at Bandipur with relatives: Paternal grandmother; her four children, with three of their four spouses; and four of the five grandchildren. It was an impressive gathering; the last time so many of us were together was upwards of twelve years ago. It was a very good trip. I shall not be elaborating. In words, anyway.

    i like

    i like too

    the child
    it makes a good subject


    look-see, robin!

    this tree

    and me
    this i didn't take

    all done.

    Wednesday, August 9, 2006

    out of my face

    Here's a little secret.
    Anger's my drug of choice.
    Anger, the fine cold cutting kind, that leaves blood in your mouth and a burn in your chest. The kind that sets jagged edges around you with little warning signals to the wise. The kind that means "sharp". The kind that itches knife edges. The kind that will lash out at the least opportunity and slash anything in its path, regardless of whoever or whatever else is in the way. The kind that's a trip all its own.
    I've been a hothead all my life, but lately I've learnt to keep a tight rein on my temper. I believe in second chances, I really do. It's a motto I've lived by for a while now.
    There's a slight problem, though, as there is with all good intentions. You see, anger is tasty. It grabs you. It gets your adrenaline up and your bile pumping and suddenly you're so alive it's almost scary. Of course, your brain stops working for just that little split second of time, but it's a small price to pay for the way it makes you feel, isn't it? Isn't it?
    I really cannot say. I came home in a fuming fury at someone (there was a great big beautiful moon in the sky tonight and all it did was tease a hate, a great throbbing hate for a lot of other disconnected random inconsequential things; yes, hate is a strong word, but sometimes it does the clenched fist and reminds you in spite of yellow satellites behind grey heavy clouds), and then I turned around and resolved it with all the patience and tact I could muster. And now I'm no longer mad, only slightly disappointed.
    The sad thing is that I'm disappointed only because I couldn't hold onto that anger for a little while longer. Angry that I lost that fabulous feeling of power, that edginess that real bitchiness gives you.
    Not in the mood.

    And here am I unangered again. I do that somehow. I'm growing sober. It is almost a tragedy.

    P.S. Here's another little secret. Post-anger is not a pleasant time of life.
    Withdrawal is ugly.

    Tuesday, August 8, 2006

    public pills, for a change

    rrraargh. pissed off i am. rrrrrrraaargh. hissspitrrawr. i feels old cattish. the person is a fool. stupid man. harrcksparch. (ooh fun :P)
    more dishwalla and pratchett, please.
    also (aaaiyee, no more meanwhiles, watch yourself now), the boys are joys. :D :D :D
    (don't throw a stone in the river when it rains on the two-headed snake, as it would cause a famine in the king's stables; pleaes marrige me pleaes pleaes pleaes pleaes pleaes; you mean parentheses *cowers*)
    oh oh oh hugs and guhs :D
    esotericism is such simple pleasure.

    Sunday, August 6, 2006


    I feel the need for some rambling. Also some clearing of the head. Ummmmmm. Pinker has got me hook line and sinker. That was a bit too cute, no? Today's promise is: no returning to change content.
    Things bothering me: the nice one. the not-so-nice one. the little one not little and the big one not big. There's enough obscurity in that last to keep me happy, and enough patterns to keep me high. Here is a question: how much compromise is compromise? And here is my cute thought for the day: the difference between boys and girls is that boys are free to go out wherever, and girls are free to get in wherever.
    My sweet life, my dear heart, my angel. What is the use of a person without conversation? What do i want, do you know?
    I decided today that i'd make a list. a wish list. a completely insane, this-person-can't-exist-in-real-life-without-imploding kind of a list, see? I Want. i want him to laugh at the things i laugh at. to know when to laugh with me, and when to cheer me up. to not always know the right thing to say, but to always try. to have a temper sometimes. to care about animals and the environment and culture and civilization. to worry needlessly once in a while. to know what a typo is. to love satire. and sarcasm. to love music. of all kinds. to love to dance. to have no addictions. to always love learning. to not mind when he's wrong. to not care about appearances. to be a ham. to be imperfect. and then to surprise me.

    Memories are liars. And this is the danger, and this is the escape. 1mol at STP. How much of the things we miss is actually real? Nostalgia. Those Greek had good names for everything. The beauty is in how willingly we modify. That is the miracle. That we have a past that can be remembered. And that can be remembered wrong.
    Today I am toothpaste.

    And I broke the promise. But then I always do that when it comes to the writing.
    (and this one wasn't supposed to be here...)

    Saturday, August 5, 2006

    too much input

    How, logically, does one cope? Choice of music is, by the way, imperative to tone of writing. My writing, at least. Achey breaky songs completely kill the buzz from a Pratchett, a Monster House build, and unhealthy midnight carbohydrates.
    Hmm, alright. Perhaps diverted would be a better choice. Diverted my buzz. Stupid old Beth Orton and Dave Matthews and Sarah Mclachlan and John Rzeznik and Ben Gibbards and Tina Dico and Ryan Adams and Chris Martin. Ouchies.

    Here's what I've been reading over the last few days, then, O my brothers.

    Steven Pinker's The Language Instinct
    This book is the sum of dreams. It's twelve years old and I only read it now (!) , and I will read it again. I can't stop talking about it. Ask the people who've seen me in the last week. Really.
    Almost everything in it makes sense, and so much of it seems so phenomenally obvious if you only take a moment to think about it. I have ten favourite chapters. Out of twelve.
    Read it. readitreaditreadit. NOW.

    The Puffin Book of Nonsense Stories
    (selected (and illustrated yay!) by Quentin Blake)
    Nonsense Stories. Quentin Blake. Need I say more? The gem of the collection, though, has to be
    The Beautifull Cassandra, by Jane Austen.
    Oh and Oh and Oh.

    Pratchett's Interesting Times and Wyrd Sisters
    have I never read this man till now? How. Why. What the hell. I want more. More, yes? Yes. I would spend money on him. Ah, these English :D.

    John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men and Cannery Row
    Yes? Say yes. Smile and cry. Cry and smile. I love that I watched Sinese and Malkovich in this only two days ago. All actors should understand their authors that well.

    Burgess' A Clockwork Orange
    And another. This one didn't do what it was meant to, I think. I read it after the grammar, and let other parts intrigue me. Must meet it again sometime. Perhaps next week.

    and I read them all in between and over and through and around each other and right now I am oozing joyousness out my ears. Isn't language the most splendid thing? Yes, and yes, and yes; as many times as I can possibly say it.
    And now, excuse me, please, poppets. I go to read this.
    What a perfectly perfectly wonderful world. Lucky lucky lucky me.