Wednesday, January 31, 2007


I had
a cat on my lap
a dead lizard in the bathroom

Those were the easiest moments.

Last Saarang. Last Saarang. I like unexpected puns.
What can I say, really? Shall I recount how I walked to IIT from my aunt's house on three days, and still ended up spending close to Rs. 300 on transport alone? Shall I talk about rock shows with pizzas and new friends? Shall I confess to the guilt of being wrong about strangers? Shall I talk of old aches that never really go away? Talk of wounded pride and disappointments and the regret at wasted talent? Talk, once again, of the sting of outsider-ness?
Shall I wax eloquent on walks and talks with old, old friends and spanking new ones? Shall I talk of twinges of nostalgia from my Last Saarang? Aches of regret at this, my Last Saarang?
Let's not.
I shall talk of adventures instead; café adventures and transport adventures. Holding court and relating old adventures. Leaving behind camera and wallet and phone, wandering around searching on foot and in autos. No losses. Surprising, yes?
Indeed. And that's good, because surprises are the best things.

Meanwhile, resolutions failed miserably. Did I really expect otherwise?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007



I will not be the smartest there, or the prettiest, or the most funny. I will not be the most talented, nor the most sought after, nor even the most fun. I will not be the most courted, or the most popular, or the best remembered.
I will not be any of those things, but I'll be damned if I turn out to be less than the happiest. No?

Monday, January 22, 2007

them things

I just found it! THE. My favourite book! In the whole wide universe, yes I did and it's the same only less brown and the pages are still together and the cover is Orange Nell and not the Garter but who cares the important thing is it's the same the illustrations and the cakes and right down to the index and I'm so happy and two copies never hurt anyone and perhaps it will be a gift I will have to love the person loads or just want to impress them in fact if there is one person on the planet who simply has to read it if he hasn't already it is the cat and i hope he has but if he hasn't i'd say cat you must, and if only you wasn't in canada i'd give it to you.
And the happy is very very much yay!


Thursday, January 18, 2007

finishing school

Over the sea and far away
She's waiting like an iceberg
Waiting to change
But she's cold inside
She wants to be like the water

All the muscles tighten in her face
Buries her soul in one embrace
They're one and the same
Just like water

On comes the panic light
Holding on with fingers and feelings alike
But the time has come
To move along

Can you help me
Can you let me go
And can you still love me
When you can't see me anymore

And the fire fades away
Most of everyday
Is full of tired excuses
But it's to hard to say
I wish it were simple
But we give up easily
You're close enough to see that
You're the other side of the world
The other side of the world
You're the other side of the world to me

KT Tunstall - Other Side Of The World

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

old tales

With thanks to Vish.
For interruptions and such :D

There was a story I never got around to putting up on the blog, so I will tell it to you now, yes? :)

Once, our college declared a holiday on account of some issues that the board had to resolve. We assumed, naturally, that our department, as part of the college, would also be closed. We felt further justified in this assumption because the college buses were not running that day.
At eight in the morning, then, as I was enjoying my Hindu crossword and my morning cup of tea, I was midly surprised to get a call from a number that my phone insisted belonged to "H.O.D."
"Yennamma?" he said, "Yoowar class is not coming to kaallege??? You are having the Theory of Aarchitecture class with me, isn't it?"
"But sir!" I said, "There are no college buses, and we were told (notice the lack of any actual blame. Four years of being the class representative have trained me well) that the college was closed today..."
"No, no! You have to come", I was told sternly. "Call yoowar classmates and tell them to come also."
I told him I'd get in touch with whomever I could, but that I could not promise anything, especially because a lot of us lived rather far away.
"Okay", he told me, " but you are class rep of the class, you have to come to the class."
However, being me, I meekly agreed, told him it would take me a very long time because of the 40 kilometre distance and then, after some frantic messaging and numerous unsavoury epithets, I prepared to depart.
Fifteen minutes later, I grabbed my bag and an umbrella (a nice jolly big black one with a green crooked handle. i hated that umbrella but my little green one had been stolen a week prior (sigh), so I had little choice in the matter) and left the house
I walked about a kilometre to the HAL bus stand, which is where I used to find my transport back in the day. Nowadays, of course, I live elsewhere and find my transport similarly.
I crossed three roads and waited at the stop, regretting the two minute cold bath, the lack of moisturizer on my face, and the fat old man staring at my behind.
How did I know he was staring at my behind? Well, because, well, I just knew.
Plus I caught him at it.

Then, after a long wait, a bus headed to Market arrived. It wasn't a regular BMTC, but rather one of those virulent green numbers which always seem to smell like dog poop and baby vomit and cheap alcohol. Not my preferred vehicles, definitely.
I was in a hurry, however, so I hopped on regardless, catching my umbrella handle in the door, hitting a guy with my bag; etc etc.
I got in, and glared at all the gents sitting pretty on the big cushioned seats; but these particular buses, unfortunately, have no convenient sign that says "LADIES"; so I could do nothing but stand around waiting for a woman to get up.
(chivalry is, in fact, dead.), says the audience.
After four or five stops, I got comfortable enough, precariously balanced between seats, to take out my wallet. And then, as I was digging in my bag, I realized that i didn't have my wallet. Or my little blue hello kitty bag with my spare change.
As a matter of fact, the awful truth was that I had. no. money. whatsoever.

Hence began the first act. This involved muttered curses, throwing up of hands in the air and then clutching the seats as the bus lurched, and a couple of *facepalms* into the bargain.
I'd just about made up my mind to leap off at the next stop, when the conductor saw my face and asked me what the matter was.
I told him I had no money, and I milked my tears for all they were worth; and he said, "Paravagilla" and just waved me to an empty seat.
(the man's a prince), says the audience.

And after I'd spent the next twenty minutes thanking my fate and the stars and other special people; and marvelling at the way people will always, always surprise you, a new set of problems raised their ugly little heads.

For I was on my way to college, which meant I would have to catch another bus at Market to actually get there...and although I'd been unbelievably lucky and found the nicest conductor alive, chances are I wouldn't be so lucky twice.
The enticing prospect that faced me was this:
I was going to be at Market (City Market, K.R. Market), one of the busiest and messiest and most noisy places around, dizzyingly distant from the homes of any people I knew, with no money, and no way of going anywhere.

(i can feel the panic rising) murmured my audience.
Yes, I felt it too, said I. I panic very well. It's an art I have perfected.

We were almost at M.G. Road at this point, and I was hyperventilating and sending waves of panic signals at anyone who happened to be looking in my direction.
Including time-tested methods such as wringing one's hands, shooting pensive looks from under a furrowed knitted brow, biting one's lip, and twisting the handle of the umbrella till it made little squeaking sounds.
It was, you realize, a performance. One worth remembering.
After a couple of stops, a young woman, in her late twenties or so, got on to the bus and sat down next to me. I kept looking at her and giving her a full blast of my puppy-dog eyes, and then, boldly, I went ahead and asked her if she could lend me some money.
The way I figured it, I could buy one ticket to College, and then borrow money from some of the guys at the hostel (which has also happened before, oh my, what a story that was).
So I told her, "Excuse me, I don't have any money with me, and I need to go to college. Do you think you could just lend me enough money to buy one ticket?"
She said, "How much is it?"
I told her "Six rupees".
And she gave me twenty, and said, "You'll need to go home also, no?"
:'( People are beautiful

So I took down her phone number and her address, chatted with her till she got off a few minutes later, and then sat back, very content with my lot in the world despite the fact that, of all the students from my class who lived in my locality, I was the only one going to college. I felt like a good human being.

When I finally got to market, the green bus went completely off the usual route, and ended up in a little side road that I had never been in before. So I wandered around the bus stop and got slightly lost, asked people for directions, and stepped in slush and had other such enjoyable experiences.

I reached the main bus stand, and called my HOD again.
"Sir", I told him, "I've just reached Market; I will be in college in another half an hour."
"Actually..." he began.
I paused, sensing something unexpected.
"It's okay, ma", he continued. "College is not running today, I will give you day off. We will have special class afterwards. You do one thing, you don't come to college. You go home itself."

"Thank you, sir", I said.

I walked over to the other end of the bus stand.
I went home.
The End.

I almost miss architecture adventures.

disclaimer: story has suffered memory loss over two years, compounded with embellishments. please excuse.
also, damn, but my a'venture posts are too long.

a month of me

Yes, most of my ideas are selfish and vain.
I like this one, though.

A month of me; all i'd said.
Please stop by?

Monday, January 15, 2007

crawling membranes

Throw your dollar bills and leave your thrills all here with me
And speak but don't pretend I won't defend you any more you see
It aches in every bone, I'll die alone, but not for you
My eyes don't need to see that ugly thing, I know it's me you fear
If you want me hold me back

I don't need a friend, I need to mend so far away
So come sit by the fire and play a while, but you can't stay too long
It aches in every bone, I'll die alone, but not for pleasure
I see my heart explode, it's been eroded by the weather here
If you want me hold me back

Hold your eyes closed, take me in
Frail, the skin is dry and pale, the pain will never fail
And so we go back to the remedy
Clip the wings that get you high, just leave them where they lie
And tell yourself, you'll be the death of me

Seether - Remedy

Sunday, January 14, 2007

about a bee

There is a friend of mine who makes it easy for people to love her.
I envy her the way she will plunge right in and appropriate affection as though it were her due. I envy her the way she always gets that affection; the way it is always given willingly, ungrudgingly, naturally. I envy her the way she manages to throw herself into someone's life and then, without a thought, treat them as though she has known them all her life.
I find it ironic that I, wanting the love so much, find it so hard to demand it as due, perhaps only because I cannot see what in me is worth that much. And I tiptoe outside friendships before they are; and I persist in making all the wrong moves; out of fear, and ignorance, and stupidity; and I am jealous, oh, jealous, of all those who make it work without thinking.
For as much as I scream, Oh, but I knew them first, I will always lose, because she always knows them better.

And it is strange to think this is an open letter to people who probably don't stop by here any more anyway.

oh, and.
new poem.
they seem to always go hand in hand.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

terrible addictions

"Interloper of puny! You suppose the secret of Zuma it is possible to take the knowing so easily? No! There is defect for your thinking! Our cryptic hidden nature cannot be discovered so directly. Three mystery shrines protect method! Never you will strike past them!"

"I see what?!? You have lived still. Is it possible to be the one of which the ancient prophecy speaks? It was sent in order perhaps to release me from my wicked capture person finally. But no namely this was the story of the exactly old wive. You want to live, now retreat!"

"As for me it is not possible to believe! Your power namely that is large! But there is one more temple which you do not find, that the Zuma deeply buried under the land. It was hidden, it is the temple of secret! You the final temple must fight in order to take the cover of position of my jail!!"

"The final temple of Zuma was struck! Your extreme power is not possible to be defeated! As for me it can taste the taste whose almost freedom is sweet sweetly. But god of the sun can be imprisoned at only that true house.
"We come from the star, return to the star! It is of you to rescue of my star."

"Excellent work, mighty frog one! You obtained your lawful place of the stars, at the side of the ancient ruler of the Zuma. In the future, as for me, you are known as our sibling. I will call you brother, and we control the outer space together! It is joyous news! Now we are to the dance!"


Beg pardon, the brains are on holiday.

Saturday, January 6, 2007


I will pretend.
I will pretend it was charity.
I will pretend it was the money I will be spending through the gift certificates.
I will pretend I went to watch ten movies last year.
I will pretend I spent Rs 150 for each friend I made in the last ten months.
I will pretend I spent a rupee more for each bus ticket I bought over the last four years.
I will pretend I got a gym membership and never went.

twenty-twenty and very harsh.
judgements, anyone?

Oh, and. NEW POEMS.

Friday, January 5, 2007

bitter medicines

I don't usually get so specific about the things going on in my life, but frankly, I'm terribly upset.
So I wrote the CAT, yeah? Told my mum I wasn't really too keen on management, didn't want to do what everyone else was doing (which, incidentally, is what I insisted on bleating when I chose architecture over engineering, heh, and the law debacle? do not even ask etc) and then, at her insistence, I went ahead and registered to write it.
A month before the exam I got my hands on some four-year-old study material, and spent a little of my free time each week memorizing my tables and remembering my algebra.
I wrote the CAT in November, the day before my birthday. I had a very pleasant time writing it. Almost walked into the male loo at Christ College, lent strangers my pencil, made scornful mental remarks about some of the idiots in the hall... you know, the usual.

Two days ago I found out the CAT scores were out. My father told me they were. I'd forgotten they were supposed to be out this month. (well, i went in for the exam not knowing how long it was supposed to be. what can i say?)
So I went online to check out how badly I'd done, and found out I'd gotten a 98.72 percentile score.
Today I found out that I might have been rejected from IIMB because of my score in college, that 70% average I've been maintaining with such difficulty. Does anyone even know?
And I had applied nowhere except the IIMs. Not one of the numerous reputed colleges of management that would have, might have, been happy to extend me a call; and now it's too late again, always too late what is it with the bloody lateness, T??
I thought I didn't want to do management. And now I feel bad enough to cry. I guess it's because I suddenly realized I had a real chance.
have had.
Until now I only thought I hated architecture.

Of course, knowing my life and the watchful eyes of the Irony Gods, I'll probably just end up an architect in spite of myself. That might actually be funny enough to watch out for.
I'm still not in a very happy mood.
eh meh bleh bleh etc
Why must I always be such a goddamned fool??

Well, I know how to spell. Most of the time.
separate, chauffeur, onomatopoeia. Small small comfort.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

also in blue

And I'm sorry I was so blind, but I'm glad I was wrong.
Isn't that what the relief means?
But I have lost the wisdom I had before; lost my safety and my walls; forgotten lessons I learnt so early (say nothing tell no one hush yo' mouth it's not for them to know only you only you)
And from unexpected quarters I get my boosts
Nice words will always make me cry
And I told them all I was shy
But got only big eyes as reply
Do I hide it so well, or is it simply me I'm fooling?

as best I could
in my own fashion
in spite of myself

And once the trust goes, there is nothing, nothing, only accusations and doubt and give the dog a bad name and hang him.
underdog undertow
And I am so tempted. This is how the guilt wears you down, a little at a time, a little less each time, till there is only relief in the breaking.
And it's easy to stray; easy.
Throw caution to the winds and betray betray betray. Once the name is mud what use is trying, anyway?

all i ever wanted.
crossposted elsewhere.

Monday, January 1, 2007


And I return from family vacations on New Year's Eve. Vacations are good for the soul.
So are pictures.

Imagine a family of four; two parents, two girls; off on holiday in the family car. Imagine overloading and shopping and spilt food in the back seat. Imagine tender coconut and thali meals; teas by the roadside and restroom stops.
Imagine driving a car at 110 kmph, the highest you've ever driven it, while beside you your father dozes with his head on the window, and behind you the girls sleep with mouths agape. There is nothing as frightening as knowing that the lives of those closest to you lie in your hands.
Oh, but I never knew fear could be beautiful.

Imagine a Tibetan village. Imagine a monastery where monks drive motorbikes I wouldn't mind road tripping on. Imagine gardens immaculate and serene, imagine coloured flags flying in the breeze, imagine dancing skeletons. Imagine a temple full of the sounds of birds. Imagine five hundred prayer wheels.
Imagine somewhere where electricity vanishes without warning, where there is no reception on your cell phone, no telephone, no internet, no computer. Imagine the nearest convenience store at a distance of eight kilometers.
Imagine dinners around bonfires with a dog or two in artistic repose heaving huge sighs at your feet. Imagine night walks with your sister under a moon as bright as neon streetlamps, only prettier, prettier. Imagine playing charades by the light of hurricane lamps and telling ghost stories by the fire. Imagine morning walks through the woods with the lord of the manor and his dogs; imagine finding little surprises city eyes will never see. Imagine sunsets in a sky so unpolluted the entire horizon is a uniform colour. Imagine green. And some more. And a little again. Imagine evening walks through coffee plantations, with two long girls and a boy in rubber slippers.

Imagine a sky so full of stars your eyes ache for the looking. Imagine lying back on a stone in the middle of the garden, with a blanket around you and three sweaters on and shivering for all of that, and wishing for someone to identify constellations with.
(how badly did I want someone else awake with me at four in the morning? do not ask. i cannot bear to remember. but when asked, the sister said, not now, i'm umph hrmgunf; and the mother said, lovely too cold cover your head I'm going back to sleep; and so i went out in the morning alone.)
Imagine climbing barefoot up stone steps to gaze at a view that you could only capture a fraction of because you were too tired to charge the batteries the previous night.
Imagine the tall one on her voyages of discovery. Imagine the fat one and her constant whine.
Imagine snapping and biting and screaming and fighting and all the other little things families do.
Imagine laughing and laughing and laughing.

Families are a good invention.

Happy New Year, everyone.
The one just past deserves to be dated from.