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?