Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Right of Way

I really don’t understand the brouhaha around extreme sports. What’s the big deal?

In India, it’s a part of our everyday existence. Every time we experience a blood rush, we just hail a rickshaw and hold on for dear life.

Rickshaws aren’t for the faint of heart. Or the weak of stomach. These three-wheeled monsters rip across the streets with scant regard for life. On the street. Or in the rick. It’s a simple equation. Hold on. Survive. Fall off. Oops.

The rules to the game are easy. A driver who can’t drive. A free for all on the roads. Every outrageous overtaking manoeuvre earns you 50 bonus points. For every run-of-the-mill overtaking move you lose 20. While at the wheel, no rules exist. Survival is victory.

Say a prayer and let the game begin.

That Kind of a Day

On some days you wake up and you just know.

It’s as instinctive as not swallowing your tongue while you sleep. You open your eyes and there it is. That empty uneasiness floating around your first blank stare. And that’s when it hits you.

Today is that kind of a day.

At least if it were PMS, there’d be a reason. And that's what makes this so much worse. Days like this have no right to go wrong and yet they shamelessly do. What do you do when nothing’s really wrong, except that it’s just all wrong? The sun is shining. Shining too brightly. The train is moving. Moving too slowly. People are breathing. Breathing too loudly.

If only I could pull the sheets back over my head. Then I could turn the other way and start afresh.

Friday, May 26, 2006


Is Pink Panther the original Metrosexual?

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Sun and The Sky

May in Mumbai is like being caught between a revolving door. On the one side life moves at its usual a hundred miles an hour pace. And on the other the oppressive heat urges your body to slow down. The result, a drenched out slugfest between what your body wills and your mind dictates.

Everywhere you see the signs of life wanting to slow down. The mornings are overweight with a pronounced lethargy. The air breathes heavily. Birds sing with a miser’s reserve. Even the trees stand still, deferring the burden of movement to a cooler day. Only the city roofs stands up to the offensive glare of the sun. Throwing a challenge to the naked sky.

And like the city roofs stand the people who built them. After all economics does not understand the weather. As you step out into the open the stifling heat rushes to greets you. Wrapping you in a warm claustrophobic hug. Your body tries to fight back. It tries hard. It tries to put out the flames with a self-induced downpour.

But this is a losing battle. You can’t defeat the heat. You can’t will the sun away. All you can do is wait. Wait for the sky to pull out those seductive clouds from its closet and to drape up in that rich velvet darkness. Wait for the sky to twirl around, showing-off it's new tantalising coat. Round and round and round. And with every twirl there escapes from its folds, tiny drops of ice cold water. The first showers that kiss the burning earth.

Monday, May 01, 2006

A Matter of Taste

I was happy. I was unaware. I was moving along in life just fine, when a chance encounter with illness violently spun me off the track. And within a span of 48 seemingly simple hours, my whole life changed.

It all began in that vile hospital room. I was helplessly minding my own business like any other patient, when they suddenly unleashed the Nutritionist on me. No permission, no knocking, she just came stomping into my room and spat the fun out of my life.

As she stared at me, I could almost see the words swirling around her big cruel head, “Oooh this one looks too happy to deserve to be happy. Me wants to unhinge that little untroubled smile! Me wants to throw a spanner in that plate full of joy. Double double, toil and trouble; Fire burn and cauldron bubble!”

And just like that gone were the blissful days of gorging on the unhealthy. Junk forcefully made way for nutrition. And after 24 years of persistently scorning the salad, I suddenly had to face it in my plate. The sheer trauma of the situation earned me two long weeks of bed rest.

I still haven’t recovered. In fact, things have gotten worse. These days a pocketful of pills and an evil diet plan constantly trail me from the shadows. And I am forever plagued with meal time nightmares. Each unnerving episode has the same story to tell. I am sitting for my meal when my peaceful plate is ruthlessly taken over by a huge, leafy green monster. And as I desparetly try to scamper away from it, the monster swells, comes even closer and mercilessly gobbles me up.