Thursday, December 25, 2008

festivus presenting!

Boys and girls! A blog award! Wooo.
This award is given to a blog that invests and believes in PROXIMITY - nearness in space, time and relationships! These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.

How utterly delightful. I must thank this charming person for thinking me worthy, even if the reason had to do with my personal charm rather than that of this blog. Hugs, AP! You are the best, muah.

The eight bloggers I would select for this award? I fear any list of mine would comprise defunct blogs, or ones dangerously close, or ones that are no longer open to the general public. Latigo? Iz? The One? MJ? Sad, sad, sad.
I will think about it, and think about it, and return to blogland, find the old friends and write about it. Yes? Yes.

Nearness in space, time and relationships. The boyfriend (ooh, smooth. see how smoothly slipped in that was. hort, hort. details may or may not be forthcoming.) does not do the internet thing. He only stops by here to use it as a tool. A TOOL I ASK YOU. The interwebs as a pure tool?? Horrors. At least I have done my duty and introduced him to one two three.
I think he might actually read the blog sometime in the near future, that is if
a. He remembers to ask me for the address
b. I remember and actually tell him
He is delightfully, woefully forgetful. It makes me feel utterly superior much of the time, which is a healthy and painless way to keep me around, please mind it.

But to return to the "internet thing"? The two and three-separate-thirds people whom I have fancied myself fancying (and the one whom I really did fancy, oh badly badly!) were all introduced to me through blogs - directly or indirectly. Isn't that pretty?
Orkut Büyükkökten on Sunday had a number of graphs showing how people he knew met other people whom other people he knew knew and all fell in love and got married and later asked him to autograph photographs (pretty!) of their babies but we didn't get to see a single one of those graphs because someone was too stupid to figure out that one of the screens should have been tuned to his laptop until the presentation was nearly over, sigh. (and this at an IIT! i despair of the future, i tell you) All we could see was him saying, and then Tim met Alice and they fell in love and they got married and then Susan knew Ed who was in the same class as Roger and whose brother was Eric and etc etc (apologies for the nonsense, which is all my own).
He has a very charming smile, though, Mr. Büyükkökten does.

So many things!
It is Festivus. The Cat, whom I will probably never be over entirely,(and whom I might actually meet today for the first time omg omg omg), introduced me to it, but it will be the boyfriend who will be *ahem* "learning me good" about that and the other delights that the world of Seinfeld has to offer a n00b like me.

Happiness evidently does not induce writer's block.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


It never rains, etc.

In this one year I have
1. Lost a wallet, a pencil-case, a phone (my phone! my god! *sob*) and my mind
2. Shelled out Rs. 16000 to pay for damages to a car I ran into after two point five years of flawless and only-mildly-cursed-at driving
3. Spent every last paisa I earned at a job I waver between finding moderately interesting and hating with a passion
4. Spent hours and money at hospitals all over the place to no benefit, nearly. yay.


On the other hand, I said, "Will you go out with me?" and he said "Sure! When and where?"
He would have given me until January, apparently. :)
woo. hort.

Monday, December 15, 2008

a domestic mind

I have begun neglecting the T - not in an I don't have time for you now why don't you go play there's a good child sort of way but rather in blanks and absences - the way one is supposed to let go of imaginary friends. I am forgetting what I used to think she was.
I suppose this is good in a small twisted way, because most of the things she thought and felt I find I let myself feel without proxy.

I am I.
It is a new way for me to be: to be me.
Me to be me.

I think perhaps I have always been myself, only - selectively and in bits and pieces; and that is not bad, not bad precisely, just less than healthy. To split myself up into seven blogs speaks not so much of a desire for order and control (which it is, you know, mostly it is. the question is not "why do i categorize", but "how do i choose to categorize", and the answer to that tells much) as of a need to feel all I feel in parts; in manageable doses.
(worlds collide. i know half a dozen people i love who will know what that means. isn't a sally shared a splendid thing?)

I am happy again. Happy in that painful-feeling-in-the-chest feeling-like-floating sort of way. Not all the time, and not as much as I have felt before, but the recognition acknowledges it, and it is what it is.
And this time I am happy because I made myself happy.
There! What an admission, to be sure. :)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

a matter of mind

Today I have consumed the following:
A cup of tea and six biscuits
Four idlis
A cup of tea and four biscuits
Two glasses of water
Four pieces of bakharwadi
One carton of Frooti
Two elakki bananas
A cup of coffee
A glass of water


I had other thoughts in my head but the hunger is driving them away so I will return anon thank you.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


I want to be writing when I turn twenty-four. Is this a foolish wish? I don't know.
I would say, It seems odd to have been two dozen years on the planet when I feel so much younger, but I don't, not really. I feel old and painful and hopeless. This is not a nice feeling.
I turn twenty-four feeling as though I am surrounded by unpleasantness. My world - and I, confess it, I - seem forgotten and mistreated and uncared for, and I cannot summon the energy to feel anything but this stupid blind undirected misery.

Perhaps I am still a baby, and not in the nice ways people talk of babies; perhaps I am still dreaming of things I will do when I grow up, only I'm twice the age she was, poor Kate. There seems no point to my being patient and sweet and the opposite-of-belligerent any more, and the worst part is that I cannot remember what it was like when I was otherwise.

What a miserable way to begin a new year! With reproaches and despair and not a single pleasant thought of the time ahead... It is what I feel at this moment, though. It is how I feel as I am now, it is how I feel around family and friends, and how I feel without certain friends.
There seems to be no point in trying to achieve anything, because the people around you aren't looking at anything outside themselves
(and that is right, and right, and all right)
and even if you try to remember the time it felt as though everything was connected and precious and one big glorious mess, it is harder and harder to do without those daily examples of clichéd life that have grown so indispensable to your comfort.

It wants five minutes to the hour, and I am already regretting the things I did and the things I did not do this day so that tomorrow might have been just a little special.
I do not mind, really. I would forgo special, if I could have happy.

Friday, November 14, 2008

working in nightclothes!

Dear Ones!
And of course by "Ones", i mean "People who no longer read my blog".
I have returned!
No, really.

The T has spent the better part of this year in a moping haze brought on by THE SAD TRAGEDIES OF LOVE, where there is pain for unnecessary reasons which is something I learned from Heyer and when one is the villain both coming and going, but NO MORE! The time has come to realize that loving someone does not make them a better person and jerks are jerks even when they're not really jerks, OR RATHER IN OTHER WORDS a person may be perfectly wonderful in generic terms but a person who treats you like crap deserves to be thought a jerk SPECIFICALLY even if you are the kind of person who tends to think more in generic terms than not. In other words, I love him <3 , but he's a jerk and doesn't deserve me, so there. Meanwhile, I have been sucked into that hideous no-man's land of feeling sorry for myself, and neglecting the poor T sadly until she could no longer remember who she was or where she came from or even to smile for more than a second at the spectacle of being beckoned from one bus to another which was so splendid, my dears.

Have people heard of what happened with the Gmail archiver? Horrors! The T's beginning to almost maybe come around to MJ's paranoid view of Google, and regrets it mightily. She was such a fan! If anyone knows of safer alternatives that are as well-organised, be sure to let T know. Outlook is an unholy mess and not in the same league at all, pah.

Anyway, there is work to be done, but many things remain to be said, so the evening looks like it might be spent trolling blogland telling people I'm alive while SIMULTANEOUSLY postig posts that are proof of the same e.g what happened at the hospital yesterday and about the teapot and the fireplace with the iron grill etc.


Friday, October 31, 2008

this moon

Tonight, the night is wearing her prettiest moon.
Not full, with the werewolf light you could almost read by; nor yet gibbous, with that asymmetrical plumpness that sets one's eyes on edge; nor even Cheshire, with all its connotations and annotations - no, tonight's moon is the moon of December two years ago, of moonlit night rides on the back of strangers' motorcycles, of T on her first real grand adventure.

It is this moon, and this moon, and this moon.

And tomorrow, pictures of fireplaces.

Friday, October 24, 2008

sometimes love songs don't say anything about love

Hendumst í hringi
Höldumst í hendur
Allur heimurinn óskýr
nema þú stendur

Allur rennvotur
Engin gúmmístígvél
Hlaupandi í okkur ?
Vill springa út úr skel

Vindur í
og útilykt ? af hárinu þínu
Ég lamdi eins fast og ég get
með nefinu mínu
Hoppa í poll
Í engum stígvélum
Allur rennvotur (rennblautur)
Í engum stígvélum

Og ég fæ blóðnasir
En ég stend alltaf upp

Og ég fæ blóðnasir
En ég stend alltaf upp

Hoppípolla - Sigur Rós

Friday, October 10, 2008


Not to write, but just to stay.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


Dear boys and girls
Thank you for stopping by. If you're one of the kind hundreds (yes! hundreds!) who've been here in the past and liked what you read, and told me so, then I must also thank you for keeping me going for as long as I managed...

Circumstances have made it impossible for me to continue writing, unfortunately - and I didn't think I could bear to have so much of myself out in blog-land mocking my inability to write two coherent sentences. Thus it was that I scrolled down on the settings page today and clicked the little blue button that said "Delete This Blog".
(Permanently delete this blog and all entries?
I'm afraid the blog is gone: all the archives, all the comments; everything. It's a decision that I'm currently glad I took - drastic times, drastic measures. I have no idea if I'll regret it later.
Hopefully not.

If you ever want to talk, or tell me you'll miss my blog (yay!) or that I'm an idiot and should never have deleted it (double yay!!) then please do email me at

Thanks and goodbye.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


perhaps the time has come to stop telling the world about everything.

truth-telling, secret-keeping

For the longest time, the T has been an endless reservoir of things I could not tell the neighbours. She keeps secrets better than most people we know, except perhaps the dead, and those in the profession of keeping secrets. The T is my way out of madness. The T and all my friends.
Or has been.

I will make my first-ever appointment with a psychologist some time today.
Friends I've told have asked if I'm sure of this decision, and I wonder about it myself. I feel as one might feel who can no longer say, "I never stole.", "I never lied.", "I never cheated.". I feel as someone might who has by a single action crossed an invisible line into being a lesser person. I feel as though I've let myself down; I don't like that feeling. Part of me is afraid of being judged, I think: as though the admission that there are things that bother me that are beyond my control makes me less worthy than I was the instant before I admitted to it. And that is odd, because I have never had a problem with admitting to anything before...

I wonder what the difference is between someone who talks to friends about their issues and someone who pays to talk to a stranger about it. I wonder now, but I won't wonder for very much longer. In all my little life not one of the million events that put me into bed crying ever made me seriously consider therapy as a solution. Not one.
But now I do.
This amuses and terrifies me.

I could talk to friends again. I could call my friends and say, I need you. Please help me. and they would come. I did it, and they came. I couldn't do that now, though. I can't do that again. This is too big, and too painful, and has been festering for far too long for a single two-hour crying-jag over coffee to fix, as much as I wish it could.
Isn't it odd how one single solitary situation has affected everything else about my life?

I could validate this decision. I could break it down into constituent reasons and discover it makes perfect sense.
The simple truth is this, though. I have talked to everybody, and nobody made the pain go away. I tried very hard to will it, push it, pretend it away - to talk, pray, cry, meditate, exercise, work it away - and I failed. And it didn't go away. Well, a person who doesn't know her limitations is a fool.
At some point to solve a problem one must call in a professional.
Preferably before the house falls down.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

a small minded girl

Boys and girls, the T has matrimonial posting on websites. *gasp*
In fact, for the last three months she has had the dubious pleasure of coming home to find the 'rents in front of the computer discussing "occasional non-vegetarian" and "social drinking". She thinks they are very naïve. She also is quite sure that she will not get married for another three years at the rate at which they're going through profiles. While mum takes a minute to at least go through interests to find "reading" somewhere, dad is more likely to take one look at the chap's face and reject him out of hand.
T is pleased at the ancestral behaviour.

Partly in defiance of the whole "we will select a 'good boy' for you" routine, partly because she needed something to do while home sick, and partly out of that old demon curiosity, she created a profile on a site alternate to the ones mummy and daddy have been frequenting. It took surprisingly little time, and was rather fun, all said and done.
In two days, then, she has found only-maybe-perhaps-two interesting gents, but could not help but notice the vast numbers of "simple down to earth guys" out there, and wonders what it means, exactly. She did also find a farmer, in which case simple and down-to-earth might be taken more literally, but she does not think the others had that in mind.

Meanwhile, adventure! As long as profiles like this exist, anyway:
i. m very good boy sinciar and inteligent and hardwarking man. i am a good dancer. and i have a black balt in taekwondo.

Such a bad girl as the T is. It would serve her right if she got beaten up by the black balt.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Friday, July 25, 2008

a good conversation

I fell asleep on the couch in the office yesterday. Shhh...don't tell the boss. And when I woke up I went back and read old blog posts that were so happy I barely recognized them - until I went back and read the conversations they referred to...

I've always been the kind of person who remembers things. Not necessarily to hold grudges (I don't like the concept of them; they are so cruel and pointless) but only because moments that you remember define a lot more about you than you might realize.
I realized yesterday that it was a good conversation. I also realized that someone I thought a great deal of wasn't exactly all that great. Or kind, or considerate. On the contrary, and here's a list - hypocrite, immature, evasive, selfish, inconsiderate, cruel, coward.
It makes one feel a fool to always think so highly of people only to be let down. Oh, I realize that people aren't perfect, I do. I'm as imperfect as they come. It's just that one likes to believe that people want to change, or want to believe, or want to be better, always.

There was this boy who held a piece of my heart for the better part of two years. I can't call him a boy, I suppose, but as much as I'm willing to talk about him to friends, the blog feels off-limits, somehow. So this boy, he suddenly figured out that what I felt was something larger than platonic, and then he pulled the dirtiest card of all - "I know better than you, because I'm older and wiser and it makes more sense that way."
Dear me, and we all know how that turned out: I really have not the self-confidence required to combat claims of that kind. And now, after months of abject misery and the bathroom scene of episode 105 of Gilmore Girls, I'm finally ready to be the adult in the situation and let things go.

Oddly enough, I don't think it will be as hard as it sounds. This makes me sad.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

because it turned out oh-so-prettily

You have stolen my heart
Love like suicide
Like the sunshine
Let's make it out, baby
I could possibly be fading
and I keep thinking tomorrow is coming today
I want you to come along for the ride
crawl like ivy up my spine
Tell me that you'll open your eyes
I walk in the air between the rain through myself and back again
trading stories with the leaves
I still find pieces of your presence here
and oh lord, I’m not ready for this sort of thing
One more notch I scratch, to keep me thinking of you
the crumbling difference between wrong and right
So high, the sky I scrape
I'm still here but you don't trust at all
Can't you see my walls are crumbling?
These feelings won't go away
Words will go from poetry to prose
What is love, but whatever my heart needs around?
And it's all right where it belongs
Suppose I said you're my saving grace?
Yes, be what you'll be
You're the other side of the world to me
Without you here there is less to say
because if you don't want to talk about it then it isn't love
and it's not a love it's not a love it's not a love song.
That's not the only lie I told you - and you'll never notice
So I am endlessly waiting
I'm blind and waiting for you
I only make jokes to distract myself
From the truth, from the truth
There you are standing right in front of me
Yes and No are the answers written in my true love's eyes
and every word is nonsense but i understand and
I can tell you're in denial; get over it.

Too many.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

winnowing worms: an unsavoury interlude

Probably not as disturbing as that old chestnut *click at your own risk!!!*, but please consider yourself warned.

The T spent a sizable portion of her Saturday evening picking these fellows out of the night's quota (and a little extra for fun) of rice.

There are 36 worms in there. My mother and sister were highly disgusted and squealed things along the lines of "Take it away take it away take it away" (sister) and "No I cannot enjoy the wonder of the worms" (mother). My father said nothing but, "They're quite big, eh?"
I was rather pleased with the whole exercise because:
  1. They are worms that are NO LONGER IN THE RICE and it is ALL BECAUSE OF ME.
  2. This episode reinforces my confidence in my ability to detect motion of the littlest magnitude when wonderful things are to be seen. (other reinforcing episodes all involved birds, e.g. the bird I spotted just entering its hole in the trunk of a tree when we were on a bird-watching walk in Whitefield. The chief ornithologist said, "Well spotted!", yay! Everyone seems to think birds are much cooler, but a bird is not 36 worms.)
Some observations about rice-worms:
The worms begin as hefty little fellows - a clear millimeter across at least - wriggling their way all over the container and performing feats of acrobatics that can entertain for hours.
Within ten minutes or thereabouts, however, they have lost their rotundity somewhat, and their energy a great deal more.
By the time the twentieth worm is found, therefore, the first few have reduced in size to minuscule versions of their former selves. Some of this size were actually found by me while winnowing. I am very proud of this fact, because they are tiny.
Each worm has some black spots near the front, and some legs. Perhaps they are not worms, at that. They have - wossname - striations? all along their length and look rather like light-coloured very small earthworms only with eyes. And they move like worms in cartoons, and are rather fun to watch until they reach the lip of the cup and try to get away.

I have very much work to do and my sister's off to college on monday, but I still *had* to make the time to create this. Enjoy!

P.S. Kindly do not hate me because I do not agree with you on all the things you find disgusting.

The end.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

not a love song

Oh, I do like my job. :)
It's hard and confusing and tiring and sometimes means I have to put off or cancel non-work-related-happy-events, but once in a while I wake up and realize that most people would pay to get this sort of exposure.

I've actually reached that stage in my professional life when I can't really stop talking about work once I get properly started. It's exciting, you see. It's been nearly four months, and I've already worked on close to ten separate projects, each of them almost completely different from the other.
But first! Perhaps a little background.

The T[1] works for a firm that specializes in Landscape, Conservation and Research. (In fact, the boss has a Bachelors degree in Physical Planning, a Masters degree in Landscape Architecture and an M.A in Conservation Studies.) We are thus qualified to undertake a very wide range of projects,which we do.
At present, for example, we are
  • the landscape architects for one nos. apartment building, one nos. residential layout, one nos. commercial warehouse and one nos. school campus in the city
  • the landscape designers for the restoration project at the Mughal gardens at Pinjore
  • the empaneled landscape consultants for the State Bank of India
  • the Indian landscape consultants for the Delhi Airport project
  • responsible for the publication of the World Heritage Site Management Manual for UNESCO
  • responsible for the publication of Bangalore Lalbagh heritage maps
I have had varied level of involvement with all these, and the foreseen involvement is of a rather high order, and I'm rather excited. I might even be in Delhi for a few months to make the most of the opportunity to work on a project of a scale as large as an International Airport. Whee! :)
Besides this, the other partner at the firm specializes in interior design, and I've been working on her projects, too. The only thing getting to me was the fact that this was an office consisting of two bosses and a single worker bee, but I think the T needs some laziness kicked out of her before it's too late.

Our office is on the ground floor, and adjoining it is a little garden where I have my lunch. We have various visitors, including but not limited to the following:

A bird that you can see if you squint really hard and tilt your head a little and stare just exactly at the centre of the photograph.

A year-and-a-half-old visitor who wanders in and out at will and says "mamma" and "hi" a lot. A dedicated post on this visitor is in the pipeline. Perhaps with photos, if permission is so obtained.

Life is kind. :) Kind of.
One must add the disclaimer on account of things that are (still! still!) making the T mope around for all of her free time, but SHE CAN'T COMPLAIN.
Well, she had better not, at any rate.

1. Apparently I can't begin to recite facts except in third person. Whatever.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


It is raining in my city. I love this time of year; it makes my heart feel as though it were ten times its normal size.

This morning was an extension of last night, which is a pretty way of saying I didn't sleep because I stayed up all night watching season 3 of Gilmore Girls.1
I have noticed that the most dangerous ideas show up around four in the morning following a sleepless night. The latest in this series is a letter. (Oh, I know. All my worst ideas are letters. Or emails. It's a given.) It was to have been (oh horrors!) a FutureMe letter, only addressed to someone who was emphatically not FutureMe. Luckily, I was far too tired this morning, and far too busy the rest of the day, to actually carry it through. Thank the heavens for saving me from a fate worse than death, e.g. ignominy! But enough about my miseries, let's talk about me.

This year has been such a busy year. I passed my thesis with dignity, had inappropriate thoughts about the L-word, went on my first two dates with two different people, got a job (that pays me next to nothing but which I am grudgingly beginning to appreciate for the opportunities it offers), conducted site visits with aplomb, took notes at international conferences, made serious plans about future studies, conducted quizzes, went trekking, photo-walking and caferati-ing, met multitudes of new people, bought my sister her first phone, rejected multiple potential suitors that my mother picked out on, and-
gave my first public performance.

Indeed, boys and girls. T was in Gandhigram over the weekend with the sister and a couple of far relations-by-marriage putting up a grand show of dance and music for a hall full of children from the ages of five to sixteen. The sister's music didn't work, and we had to wait for the kind audio-people to fetch us a DVD player so she could dance her dances. The T sang four songs well enough to be pleased with herself, and then nearly cried when all the little girls mobbed her afterward.
It was a beautiful weekend. I don't know that I have the words to describe it yet. Perhaps in a little while.

1. Yes, I am a fan.

Monday, June 23, 2008

and now...

but first: the letter has arrived! so has the email! and one of the two has been replied to already!

For the last four or five days, I've been moderately busy, and wholly stressed out, by the fact that I was to attend this gathering. The additional fact that the boss managed to fracture her leg, thus putting her out of commission and an enormous load of responsibility on my young, untried and rather attractive shoulders made it much harder to get through a day without clutching wildly at my hair and throwing myself off the balcony. However, it must be admitted that the T is glad to have overwhelming learning experiences that restore her happy balance.

It's four a.m. and I have notes to write up, a work-out session to drag myself to and a site to visit; so forgive me if I write about this some other time?
I'm just glad I feel like writing again.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

something to look forward to

There is a letter expected. It will arrive in two weeks, yay! Yay!

There is also an email expected, but I'm not so sure about either the two weeks or the yay part. I do have a few other theories about it, though.

It will begin:
Dear (T's full name)
At this point I will get up and take a few turns about the room to try and calm myself. I will do this because my astute mind will have divined that all contents following such an unpropitious beginning will cause nothing but misery and extreme vexation (do I mean vexation?) of spirit.
The letter will then go on to say (and I paraphrase in advance):
You are young and foolish and wrong and I think you should just stay away from me for your own good etc. etc. and die. (well, it might as well say that.)
And then I will say, "Well! I knew it." and feel superior for about a minute before I indulge in a few bouts of stormy weeping and mope around for a few months on top of the months I've been moping and not feel better until perhaps I'm dating four or five gentlemen at a time and being, as the rabbit says, "promiscuous with my affections".

I don't like my imagination much.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

really rather questionable content; or, "a shrubbery!"

It has been a regular pastime of mine to moan about why people don't like me. It always seems to me that humans whose company I'm more fond of than not end up treating me as though I had life-threatening communicable diseases, and it has never yet failed to send me crying to my bed in agonies of whys and what's wrong with mes.

Over the last month, however, my standard state of despairing acceptance has been challenged by a number of romantic overtures. The actual, concrete number, from people who have actually met me in three dimensions is two, but the total, based on various vibes, and including the unofficial and unspoken, numbers closer to five. Naturally, the T urges me most strongly to disregard the promptings of my 'female intuition' on the grounds that it doesn't really exist, but I BEG TO DIFFER, T merely because now I have proof that AT LEAST TWO of those promptings weren't so awry after all...

Funnily enough, the two kind gentlemen who've asked me out to dinner and given me dizzying (because they are unprecedented, you see) compliments on my looks and interestingness are both of the kind I would have run a mile from in other circumstances. Players, in fact. And they asked me! Me! I am exhilarated, and flattered, and convinced, once and for all, that there is NOTHING ABSOLUTELY WRONG WITH ME BESIDES THE INABILITY TO CHOOSE A GOOD JOB.

The only sad part is that I am not really interested in these nice boys; though they are both smart, and funny, and talented, and really rather good looking. And while I go around in a happy haze thinking thank god someone actually *likes* me, i can't help but notice the minuscule part of my brain that's going, so why doesn't *he*? why doesn't *he*??
Oh, well. So the story goes. When this fever's gone I hope to be less delirious.
And use fewer italics; but that's not a promise, so don't count on it.


Thursday, May 29, 2008

it never rains etc

Dear God, but I am unhappy. I am stuck (oh, stuck!) in a job that I hate - that I hate mainly because I am expected to do my best for about as much money as the maids in my mother's school make; without any of the benefits e.g. vacations and weekends and the time for music classes spanish classes family friends sleep and the opportunity to take a day off and not be missed.

I am the only person in the office, most of the time. I am secretary and resident computer expert and office gopher and general draftsperson. I am expected to take initiative and learn as much as I possibly can in the time I am here. I am expected to be proactive and aggressive and focussed and determined and ONE-HUNDRED-PERCENT-CAREER-ORIENTED.
And all for the princely sum of INR 6000 a month.

Oh, I don't know. Perhaps money isn't the important thing as long as you're learning something. Then again, what am I learning, exactly? That my boss will cheerfully ask me to spend over a day uploading files to a client's server and then ask me to come in on the weekend because I didn't get any work done that day. It doesn't matter what the damage is to your sleep schedule or your health or your life, as long as the work gets done.
I feel as though I'm back at college, travelling two hours by bus each morning with my stomach in a knot with the fear of proving myself inadequate to doing a good job. And for what?

People tell me to quit; let it go; leave now; T, do the things you're really good at.
(like writing, for example? but you see, the writing let me go four months ago, and i was unwilling to let a profession, however unsuited i was to carry it out, go - for the sake of a talent that seemed to have disappeared...)

If I could quit, I would. but I am afraid of repercussions; of the small small world we live in; of what happens to people with bad reputations.
And so I go in to work each day with the hope that things will get better, and that I will learn something new about the world and my work and my self.

But all I learn is that I am lonely, and unhappy, and so very tired of being here.

Monday, May 19, 2008

songs in the head

Change your heart
Look around you
Change your heart
It will astound you
I need your lovin'
Like the sunshine

Everybody's gotta learn sometime
Everybody's gotta learn sometime
Everybody's gotta learn sometime

Beck - Everybody's gotta learn sometime

Monday, May 12, 2008

but still

Now, there seems to be a direct line of progress from me doing something nice for someone I care about to the person leaving my life in rude and unpleasant ways.

- Writing letters to people in foreign lands/ other cities/ down the street.
- Making mixed tapes with songs a person has mentioned in passing conversation
- Buying books based on ditto
- Anything else that involves time, effort, energy and some thought about what someone might like to receive

There is also some sort of universal law that appears to be that none of these people ever get me anything in return for these presents I bestow them out of the affection of my heart.
No, not even the affection of their hearts, I'm afraid.

Am I really that hard to like?

Monday, May 5, 2008

right through the heart

You might make a joke on that - something about "rude" and "rued", you know.

poor bread-and-butterfly.

Monday, April 21, 2008

sodium chloride developments

Hot emo-tears!

I miss my support systems so much. Everything hurts.

Friday, April 18, 2008

with a vengeance

I missed the cat-fight at the office yesterday. Perhaps there will be a repeat performance if we set out a single cup of milk the next time they're seen together.
It is a sign of the times, I think, that I am positively gleeful at the complete absence of metaphor (woo.) in that last paragraph.

Meanwhile, as it indicates, the T is once more part of the working masses, spending her weeks at a Landscape firm, designing interiors. Today she wore a sari to work just because. The T's a beautiful woman in a sari. She is, really. These are the things she does to break monotony.
Not that it is very monotonous - T seems to have a knack of ending up in offices with plenty of sunshine, complete freedom (or as near as makes no difference) of musical expression, and much greenery around. No air-conditioned hellholes for this alter ego!!!

* * *

I wish I could talk about all the adventures I've been having. I've had loads - weekend meetings at parks and analysis of poems and Mensa MHKs and new people and old people with the average coincidence thrown in once in a while, the usual getting lost in unknown places and dropping in uninvited and people who love me because I amuse them.
Regular life-o'-mine, in fact. Only so much more so that I cannot quite summon up the energy to be witty and sparkling about it. So unfair!

I've been feeling a great weight lately. Almost as if I'm moving from day to day waiting for something - something huge and overwhelming and life-changing.
I cannot wait to see what it is. ^_^ I amine-smile at the thought.
Here's to awaiting developments of unknown film, ladies and gentlemen. And the triumphant return of metaphor.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

the wisdom that the old can't give away

Certain people think they know better than you do. They think they know what something means, or what is to be done to fix a problem. They're usually wrong, if only because they believe they are not. They are the ones who rub me up in all the wrong ways.
Still, it is true (or should be, or what's the point?) that experience gives some wisdom that the young cannot agree with until they have seen it for themselves.

The problem is, then, how the real good advice (the one-of-a-kind guaranteed stuff whose value we don't realize till we've paid heavy prices) is to be made palatable. Surely it is more agreeable to take advice from someone who dispenses it without giving you an overwhelming urge to go entirely against it as a side-helping?
Because how many of us have done something that was unwise and foolhardy only because someone gave advice that was as unpalatable as it was wise? When we are young. Young in parts, as I am. As are you. Don't deny it, you are.

Here is a thought I had. Classed in the same category as the sixteen-year-old nurse who tells her charge in a loud, strident tone not to touch something that the baby has no interest in until the instant the admonition is given, is, perhaps, the person who tells you that you could get over the feelings you have for them, if you only gave it time. Can't they see that being told that will only make one try the harder to prove them wrong? the last thing one needs is to feel an "I-told-you-so"-er sneering at one in hindsight.
Perhaps age doesn't bring much wisdom with its experience, at that.

I think I have been rather lucky in terms of the parents, at any rate. Lucky me. :)

Sunday, April 6, 2008

a bucketful of smoke

The T had an adventure Seven Weeks ago.
(When I started writing this, it was only four weeks and a day past the adventure; also incidentally a month after it by date. Just before this post, in fact.)
The 17th of February, 2008.

At that point of time in life, the T was behaving rather mopishly and refusing to write, so I had to make do with a promise and a few pleasant phrases like "the last day of my life" and "die in horrible ways, oh my poor mother" to remind me of the whole thing. I later wrote out a (later revealed to be incomplete) account to a dear friend in a colourful letter that was written two weeks later, when the T was on another adventure (this time in Chennai).
To return to Sunday, the 17th of February, then.

The back-story to the day seemed innocuous enough. There was a party, there was a sleep-over, there were friends that someone's mother hadn't met yet, there was a reluctance to ask for permission to attend aforementioned party... and there was a request for T's company.
a. It was a Sunday
b. The T wasn't really doing anything much in life at that moment
c. This was an old school friend the T hadn't hung around with in ages
d. There was going to be a PARTY!!11!!one!
T said, "Sure, I'll come."

Following which a half-lie was told, a flowery top and skirt packed, a toothbrush almost forgotten, and a long walk undertaken in some excitement. Hurrah, yes?
Not so much.

It was not until T got to ... let's call her V, shall we? ... V's house that she discovered that the party was to consist of herself, V, V's friend F (whose birthday it was) and an unknown element X who "might or might not show up". The "party", in fact, was beginning to sound decidedly unpromising.
Those who know the T, however, will remember that, once embarked on an adventure (however sordid) she refuses to back down under any circumstances whatsoever.

And so it was that I found myself in an auto at 7 PM, clutching my overnight bag, making desultory conversation about skirts and tops and "there's a sale on at lifestyle right now", and wondering what kind of evening it was going to turn out to be.
In the course of the conversation, V mentioned that F read a lot, and I made the (surely forgivable?) mistake of looking forward to some lively discussion that might take my mind off...well, whatever my mind was on, anyway.
Alas, alack, egad! The entertainment for the evening consisted almost entirely of cigarettes and alcohol, punctuated by some of the music we'd happened to bring along. So I sat on the mouldy old sofa and listened to A Perfect Circle while clouds of smoke were blown in my general direction - and tried not to compare my companions unfavourably with other people.
Then! Diversion! X (after multiple phone calls) arrived! Then I learned that we were to go dancing, and perked up for almost three whole minutes. By the end of that time I'd figured out that none of those present were the kind to arrive early anywhere, and after a third cigarette was lit, I escaped the house to go for a walk. Once outside, I admired the moon and petted a friendly dog which then attempted to hump my leg.
At forty-five minutes past nine, after we'd cut a cake and had some "fun" with "magic candles", we proceeded to the wossname. The club. Which was just a lot of smoke, followed by some more smoke, some flashing lights and cool fluorescent effects which made me glad I wasn't wearing white, and some more smoke which I couldn't get away from because those smoking were the ones I was there with. They did try telling me to "not think about it" when my eyes had gotten so raw that I escaped into the relatively smoke-free lobby, but I naturally paid no attention to that insensitive remark and continued to behave in a mildly cranky fashion the rest of the night.

The next morning I was dropped home on the back of a borrowed bike (ridden by a guy who'd gotten perhaps two hours of sleep), with an enormous borrowed helmet that kept knocking me on the side of a head, and various thoughts of messy accidents running through it.

That was the morning that I discovered that dumping an entire outfit in a bucket can make even water smell like smoke.
And about the fiasco at my University that meant I'd been failed in my final thesis project.
(This resolved itself into a comfortable 70%, by the way, so no worries.)

T will forgo adventures of this sort, if she may be so bold.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

two years

Happy birthday.

Monday, March 24, 2008

leaning against walls

Yes, it's begun again.
Don't ask me. It wasn't my idea in any way.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


The T has been teaching herself to read Kannada. (The script, not the language. She still does not know what half the things she reads mean. :( So sad.)

P.S. There's a half-written post or two in the offing, one of which was started already and might have a publish date earlier than today owing to the reference to the date in the first line. O Kind Readers, if you do exist, do please pretend that I'm not demented and crazy and attention-deficient and in love with inappropriate people; and go reads them old posts after I posts them? ^_^
Thanks ya.

Friday, March 14, 2008

the day i said i was reconciled.

There is lightning in the air and the smell of rain in my face, and all I think of is that there must be poetry somewhere that can slip words around the way I feel. I only wish I knew it. Or could write it.

For even though I spent three hours this morning being lost and footsore in the middle of a wilderness missing lectures I wanted badly to see and consoling myself with the thought of someone I could write letters to again, today was a day that ended in the taste of thunder and an expansion of my heart. And any day that ends well is worth every awful moment you put into it.

People talk too much, sometimes. They talk at you and at you and never stop to taste the shape of the words their audience hears. I wish I knew how to talk of things outside the moments they occupy.
I watched two men use a tree as a makeshift telephone pole because the one servicing their little town lay in two pieces on the ground. I walked three kilometres wishing I weren't; and part of the way I walked barefoot because my feet hurt too much. I built a brick wall while the masons sat on the edge of a well and laughed at me. I sat in a room with ten other people and watched myself be inspired. I sat in a car with strangers and had my handwriting analyzed. I smiled at a baby on the bus, and she turned her face to me and I saw she was blind in one eye. I watched people throw lit balls into the air while Chris Martin sang Sparks into my ears.
Somebody spoke to me today, and suddenly I wanted to write again.

I take every feeling and drip it out from my head - and still I feel only the inadequacy of the words I craft.

Somehow, though, it doesn't feel like the end of the world - even though I would have thought it would.
Why doesn't it?

Friday, March 7, 2008


I haven't lost my temper for more than three seconds in four years; and now, suddenly, I'm boiling poison mad and I don't know why.
Everything bothers me. It bothers me that I'm mad. It bothers me that I have no reason to be mad. It bothers me that eleven people have not replied to letters I wrote them. It bothers me that I don't have a job. It bothers me that my phone is a piece of junk. It bothers me that every second person I meet is an idiot. It bothers me to be near people who fawn and grovel and lie with their faces. It bothers me that most of the people I call friend are not worthy of the epithet. It bothers me that I give so much and get nothing in return. It bothers me to see myself treated with a double standard. It bothers me that I might have double standards of my own. It bothers me that nothing seems worth it. It bothers me that I think of the same person when I wake up every day. It bothers me that people have borrowed my books and haven't returned them. It bothers me that I have books at home that I haven't returned, for whatever reason. It bothers me that I haven't read half the books in the house. It bothers me that we don't have enough money. It bothers me that I think money is important. It bothers me that it probably is. It bothers me not to have a grand dream. It bothers me that I hate the city I grew up in more with every day I spend in it. It bothers me that people disgust me. It bothers me that everyone is busy. It bothers me to imagine that nobody knows what they're doing. The constant rape of the planet bothers me. Pollution, garbage, self-righteous assholes who don't give a shit - they all make me want to break things and burn things and destroy things. It bothers me that I can't break or burn or destroy things because...that would be wanton and selfish and wrong.

It bothers me to be alive... this space and time with all of you.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

interlude #230

I love

that the stray dogs i befriend on the road cry when i leave them and walk on.
that i can walk up to a crowd of old men laughing in a park and join them.
that i will not hesitate to throw away a stranger's cardboard cartons or fetch a stranger's ball or point out that a stranger's headlights are turned on, merely because it doesn't cost me anything to do any of those things.
that i will write letters to people i love without their ever asking me to. and that i will write them on real paper and with real handwriting and little doodles in the margin :) and post them on my morning walk.
that i can love people with such abandon. even when abandoned.
that i miss the words when they're gone; and that i always love them when they're here.
that it takes so little to calm me down.
that i can find beauty and wonder in little things.
that i have excellent spatial skills.
that, when i can sing without thinking, my singing can bring me closer to god.
that i can talk about god and not cringe.
that a morning walk can open my mind right along with my nasal passages.

him. you. yes, you. don't pretend you don't know.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

terribly depressing for a bit, what?

Well, certain people can do that to you.
Especially when you want to tell them every random thing that happened to you but they refuse to be around.

I will try turning over new leaves on the birthday.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

more answers

signs that read "Old No. -". strangers on the bus who correct my kannada handwriting. spanish classes. finding tristram shandy for rs. 50 at a used bookshop i haven't visited in two years. parks. directions. the things i do on the road that make people stare. the things that make me smile. the things that make me cry. times that i lose my temper. times that i don't. every book i read.every poem i like. every poem i hate. every poem i almost write. every fight i'm almost in. sunsets. sunrises. walks along the road. houses with gardens. foreign films with subtitles.
forty-five seconds out of every sixty.

ask me how i am to let it go?

Friday, February 29, 2008

the answer,

the following.

vegetarian adventurers. naked fat men. alice. carroll. popcorn. airports. hotels. travel. adventures. bookshops. buses. transport. time zones. toronto. vancouver. any other place in canada. chicago. edinburgh. any other place in the u.k. chennai. letters. conversations. company. koshy's. the children's section. beatrix potter. tom kitten. presents. joni mitchell's a case of you. 200 other songs. walks. dogs. rabbit. cat. mathematics. books. english. the word "poetry". the word "egad". the word "agog". squirrels. first names. last names. people. visitors. borrowing. lending. waiting. reading. writing. not writing. babies. blogs. tennis. television.
happy. sad. love.

sometimes you don't know how much until someone tears you a hole and it all falls out.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

small revelations

Ever since I can remember (I would say the eighth grade, actually. It was a sad sap of a piece called Why... or some such stuff. It did not even rhyme.) I have used sad little poems and passages to remove myself from whatever awful things I was feeling at the time. Most of these little awful feelings bordered on one big awful feeling from one direction or the other, so it wasn't very surprising, perhaps, that all my writing tended to be of the "nobody loves me i'm so misunderstood where are *my* true friends" variety.

When I first started the blog, the trend continued for a while until I realized there were people out here in blogland who thought I was funny, or talented, or interesting, or some other mild compliment...and suddenly the world wasn't such a dreary place after all. For a while, happy writing didn't really seem impossible to do.

Lately, though, I haven't been very well. I suppose the regular posts about entertainment on public transport and the joys of getting lost made me forget this, but I realized it again this morning - sometimes there are horrible things that happen to you that you can't really laugh off.
I'm not talking, of course, about horrendous evenings spent in the midst of chain-smoking strangers (did you know that water could smell like smoke?) or about the auto driver who insisted on following me through three signals to try and make me acknowledge his vile insults, or about the fiasco at my University that led to my being failed in my final thesis project. No, these are stories I would have wanted to elaborate on and laugh about and try to make everyone reading this (well, the three or four readers I have, anyway) laugh about as well. I do write a good funny story. :)
But these are the stories I've tried to remember and write down for the last month and a half, but which wouldn't come out no matter how hard I tried. I thought it was because I'd lost my words, or the very mediocre talent I feel I possess... but that wasn't it, was it?

No. The only reason I haven't been able to write about all the little things that made me smile is that I have not allowed myself to write about the one big thing that made me cry.
In time I will. And then I will be okay.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

the benefit of third-person narratives

I've lost my voice, and I've lost the T.
The double bereavement has left me utterly disjoint. It's not something I've ever experienced before, and I hate it.

Things have happened. Things have been happening.
I completed my thesis, and submitted it, and had complimentary remarks made about my design even though I'd neglected to draw elevations of my buildings.
I joined a Spanish class that's conducted on the weekends. I like the class. I'm a fabulous student, and the teacher's good at explaining things. I am, however, slowly growing unable to stomach her continuous slurs on Indians as students of language. I predict some unpleasantness.
I've been talking to people about freelance jobs ranging from the construction of the upper storey of a residence to writing articles for a magazine to the interior design of a restaurant to the possibility of working for a place that provides newsletter services for companies. This should make me happy, yes? Multiple possibilities! Sigh.

I've added a morning walk to my daily schedule, and I've had some wonderful pre-dawn strolls in the last few days that had me wish I were still writing. All I have now are some random disjoint memories of the thoughts I had on my walk (in the undead twilight with all the whites white and the snake hole snake hole snake-hole and the smell of dawn over grass) and a disinclination to do anything about it.

Perhaps I should try letting go for a while. ("for a while")
Hopefully I will be able to get myself to miss the writing by not trying to do it at all...

watch this space?

Sunday, February 3, 2008

but that's just a euphemism

Sometimes I think people should come right out and say what they really feel, like you broke my heart and now nothing makes sense but I think the fundamental problem with people whose hearts get broken is that they don't really have the courage to say anything that's big enough and true enough to change their world.

The reason I cannot write: I have things I must talk about that I cannot share. Why the sudden reluctance? Perhaps it's because this time it is bigger than anything I've had to handle before. Perhaps this time it's bigger than Across the Universe and Taare Zameen Par and a Mensa quiz and a job offer and another job offer and redesigning our house and completing my thesis and a bright and promising future, and perhaps - perhaps this scares me more than I am willing to admit to.

Maybe admitting hard things lets you back inside yourself.

Monday, January 28, 2008

how long is a while, exactly?

I'm worried about myself. I worry that I have become unexpectedly and inexplicably apathetic.
(This also means that the worry is more than a little apathetic. Whatte vicious cycle.)

Things don't seem to matter much any more. When things get to me they do it for a maximum of thirty seconds before I'm back to a standard state of . <--- not an omission
I've had adventures in the great outdoors that would have, just a short while ago (October! Just October!) have sent me scrambling for paper and pen to scribble out a few lines about how awesome the world is omigosh just look can you believe it!!!11!!1
I've suddenly been found by one-two-three-four-five new out-of-the-blue internet acquaintances. In the space of ten days. I should have been hopping around like a thing-that-hops on illegal-substances-that-make-things-hop-more.

Only I'm not. I'm not moping or miserable, or melancholy - all of these states would mean I still had as much of my volatile spirit as I could possibly wish for. Things are going well. Things have also gone wrong. People let me down, people picked me up; I lost some money, I made some money... I've been not un-busy.

My life has even begun to look pre-promising: that strange state it goes through before it offers opportunities, but -
I'm just not as... enthusiastic... about life as I used to be.

Where did my heart go?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

a raven and a secretary

It's half-past one in the morning, and I am just returned from bidding farewell to my mother at the airport (she's on an educational tour of the UK). Dad and I watched her from the "visitor's lounge",
(which looks like so:

behind which barrier she brought pride to all the family by removing her sweater and draping it artistically over her bag, thereafter allowing it to slide gradually off the bag to trail behind her with one arm on the floor for a few yards and finally drop to the ground altogether and lie there forgotten until a kind gentleman restored it to her. Through all this I hopped up and down on the other side of the barrier beside my mildly amused male parent, talking out loud to anyone in the vicinity and generally behaving quite unlike a credit to the family.
It was my sweater, though.

... to be continued (the title's not explained yet :) )

I spent most of the evening before I could send my dear mother off on her adventure making phone calls in the capacity of secretary to Mrs. Mum. Her visa was the only one of eleven which hadn't yet been confirmed, and she'd been getting the runaround for two days. She was getting into that panicky state which usually set everyone in the house on edge and made living darned unpleasant.
Hence it was that I cancelled plans to see Taare Zameen Par (again, by gum!) and sat at home (while my father went out to buy socks and my mom and sister to borrow shoes) making phone calls to multiple people and organizations until! I got confirmation that the visa was indeed on its way to Bangalore, just two hours before my mother was to check-in.
Hurrah for my superior clerical skills!

I have been reading A Tangled Tale and imagining what it might have felt like to read each week's (month's? fortnight's) installment and try to solve the puzzle it set; to send in your solutions and see them discussed and your name (a name like SIMPLE SUSAN, or DINAH MITE, or OLD CAT) in the Class List.
What did it feel like to be a part of the knot-untiers, I wonder.

It was such a polite time. Not necessarily nicer, just more outwardly pleasant. Who today will write in to Maddox to tell him that he or she "think[s] it would be in better taste if [he] were to abstain" from insulting whichever particular issue the letter-writer holds dear to his or heart? Nobody, that's who. They are far more likely to send in an ungrammatical and poorly-spelled piece of poison calling the other person a retard or a homosexual and advising them to get laid.
Sigh. I fear I am far too old-fashioned in my expectations of human behaviour and etiquette.
I would like to read Lynn Truss's Talk to the Hand now, I think. Does anyone have a copy they can lend me?

The secret is this: there is a b in both while a secretary is a writing desk.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

a muscle that can move the world

I wonder what qualifies as a bad day in other peoples' lives.

It could be, perhaps, a day involving such memorable moments as:
1. Spending three hours waiting for someone to get home so you can have a conversation that you know will not end well.
2. Spending the whole afternoon crying because the person didn't show up.
3. Sending stupid emails of the kind you swore a year ago never to send again.
4. Deciding to watch a movie at the Film Festival by yourself even though the rest of your family's going to watch Taare Zammen Par together - the first film the entire family's gone to see since Family.
5. Arriving at the Festival only to find out that there are no individual tickets - only entire passes that cost Rs. 100 more than you have on you.
6. Discovering that the movie you went to see has been postponed to the time you expected to be home.
7. Sitting in a park near your old office close to tears (fine, I was practically bawling. i cry easily. are you happy now?) at the realization that you are alone in a park in the dark while all your friends are where they're supposed to be and your dear parents and sister are watching a picture you've been wanting to see since you heard about it and you still have to get home at some point.
8. Receiving a call from a friend from forn parts who's at your empty house expecting to see you there.
9. Deciding that you'll spend your miserable time at the park under one of the lamps reading the Stephen King you promised to a friend who was supposed to meet you after the film. Getting bitten by mosquitoes.
10. Catching a bus that takes you all the way home - but having to stand for the entire hour's journey.
11. Discovering when you get home that you've forgotten your house key.

Sigh. For the longest time in the middle (mainly while I was walking two kilometres from the park to the bus stand) I wasn't sure I could actually laugh about this day.
The wonderful thing, however, is that sometimes good habits die as hard as bad ones.
All sympathy is welcomed.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

dead vegetarian explorers

Nine days have passed since the year officially begun. There was a time when it would have bothered me to have begun the first post of the New Year on a day so patently unmemorable. Probably the same reason that once made me hold on to new diaries until my birthday before I break them in... But dates are nothing more than aids to memory, and a date attached to an important enough memory will manage to make itself remembered if it really needs to be.
(November 20th 1984, October 20th 1995, March 26th 2006, October 10th 2006, December 24th 2007)
New years are meant for resolutions and turning over new leaves, aren't they? Breaking some ties and restoring some others. One wishes to have learnt lessons over the past year that will prove useful in deciding what one does in the future. One wishes to have gained friends and experience and wisdom that one can be thankful for.
(One wishes wishes not to be uttered in public fora but rather muttered to close friends over the telephone in the middle of the night with the lights out...)
And then one wishes not to have wished at all and makes resolutions about losing and singing and passing and cursing and praying and wishing.

It's a new year!
What will 2008 bring for the T?