Wednesday, September 26, 2007

See you on the other side

It’s time to move ... from here, to here.

Drop by anytime...

Monday, September 24, 2007


One hour away from the twenty20 finals and I still can’t believe we made it there. I had little doubt we’d even make it close to the semis - I thought the team was all wrong, the itinerary was claustrophobic, the bowling was weak, the fielding was lost, the board was asleep, and there was no coach. Enough reason to believe it was a lost cause. And yet, despite all of the above, and more, here we are. So win or lose today, I won’t crib. For a change I have no reason too.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Thursday, September 20, 2007

A little bit of motivation

Once a week she rewards herself for being good. First she watches the needle on her scale fall to numbers she has long since forgotten, and then she allows herself one luxury - a small slab of dark chocolate. She peels the wrapper off slowly; the rustling paper makes sounds of poetry. The taste of chocolate bursts out, lodging itself in every corner of the room; she will hunt for each wisp over the coming week, it's how she gets along. Slowly, she takes a bite. And floats away. On a fat white cloud. Drifting above the world, she sees all its wonders. When she finds a rainbow in the way, she hops off her cloud and slides down the seven colours. The wind dancing in her hair, down she goes towards her pot of gold.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Spooky the cat

This is Spooky, the landlord’s cat. She has a normal pet type name, but I can’t remember it. I always call her Spooky. Because she is.

For some weird reason she prefers our yard to the landlord’s. They have a lovely garden; it's full of flowers, and fruits and birds. They even have a special cat area built for her, in case she gets locked out in the rains. And of course they like her.

Our yard is still new. It's still growing, which means it's just a bit of grass and a few flowers. It doesn't fit the bill of a fun hang out place for a cat. But Spooky is here everyday. The garden is right outside my study. And Spooky is always in my yard. So I spend most of my afternoons staring at her. I don’t think she likes me very much. Or the flowers. Or the grass. She keeps attacking the flowers. She snalrs at the grass. And if she spots me at the window, she flays her paws and brandishes her little pointy teeth, and makes weird scary sounds.

She is always lurking around, looking like she'd love a fight. Some afternoons I see her just jumping around, looking mad. She used to bring a friend along, till a while back. But not anymore. Either he ditched her, or she's killed him. Killed him makes more sense. Like I said, she is spooky.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Pretty, no?

I am such a sucker for pastel buildings and cobbled streets.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

In other terrifying news ...

Ajit Agarkar is in South Africa for the 20-20 world cup.

*shudder shudder*

So Remember:

  • Keep all heavy objects as far away from the couch as possible. Remember, Agarkar will not buy you a new TV set.
  • Keep your fingers (and fingernails) away from your eyes, hair and veins. Gouged eyes are hard to replace, and Agarkar will not help you find new hair. He doesn’t care for torn veins either.
  • If you’re pregnant: Woman Please! Don’t do this to your unborn child! And more importantly don't you know the wee baby will make you pay for it during labour.
  • If you have kids - Protect them. Shield them. There is time to save them yet!
  • If you have a weak heart, this will be considered as a suicide attempt, and that is a criminal offence.
  • Visit your doctor before the game. Get a prescription for sedatives. Ask the doctor to get one too.
  • Practice before the game. Watch reruns of the England series.
  • Think happy thoughts. Think happy thoughts. Think happy thoughts. Think happy thoughts.
  • If all else fails blame the ISI. Or Bush. Or the Left. Or Salman Khan.

People of India unite in therapy.

Update: Zimbabwe just beat Australia! Zimbabwe!! I love it! I love it! I love it!

Monday, September 10, 2007


Every weekend she sits through torturous boy-seeing sessions. It’s so ironic; if she met different men every week out of free will, she’d be labelled a slut.

Sleepless nights

Anita hasn’t enjoyed a goodnight’s sleep for over a week now, and it’s beginning to show. The circles beneath her eyes are a dull black. And she is becoming as whiney as the baby. She hadn’t bargained for this. She knew babies were hard work, but she didn’t realize it would affect her so much. Anita is just 26. Her career is just about taking off, and a baby has no place in her life right now. And yet here he is. She has to admit, when he isn’t crying, he is a heartbreaker. There are times when he gurgles his little gooey smile at her and she just melts. But right now it’s a different story. She tries to ignore him sometimes, but he makes sure it’s not for long; sooner rather than later he forces her out of her slumber and demands some attention. At her wits end, she has even called her mother for some advice, but all she offered was, “darling, babies can get like that.” Right. She loves the boy to bits, but he is taking a toll on her. There is only one thing left to do now. She jumps off her bed; she calls her broker. “Hiten bhai - Bandra, one BHK, and no children, only old neighbours.”

Friday, September 07, 2007


Every Thursday she gathers all the papers and magazines from the week and settles down on the floor. Sitting cross legged she diligently flips through each and every one. When something catches her eye, she stops and carefully cuts it out. Once she’s been through the entire stack, she pulls out her big sketch book, and pastes all her little bits into it; trying to piece together a perfect life.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

A morning fix

The coffee kettle goes off in the kitchen and she stumbles over to make a mug. She needs her morning caffeine kick before she can bother with anything else. It has been a ritual - in the corners of her head she knows addiction is more the word, since she was in the ninth grade; that was the first time she was allowed to drink as much coffee as she wanted. She also has a favourite mug. When she is at home, she can’t have her coffee in any other mug. Any other mug and her mind starts playing tricks on her. Too much sugar. Too milky. Not enough coffee. Too cold. And once that stream of thought erupts, her day, predictably, goes rolling down the hill at an excruciatingly slow pace. Of course she will be the first to admit that a perfect cup of coffee doesn’t mean the perfect day. Hell no. But good coffee in the morning helps her get through the day knowing not everything in her long tiring day is going to be crap. And at night she can reflect on the day and say, well at least the coffee was good. It’s her way of dealing with things. She adds her one cube of sugar; it tinkles against the cold walls of the mug before crashing into the bottom. A little bit of milk goes in, leaving a sloppy white trail at the side. She rummages for a spoon. When she finds one, she shoves it into the dark brown jar; the force of it expels a small coffee cloud above the jar. Three spoons of coffee and some boiling water, and there it is. The aroma of fresh coffee fills up her mood. She takes a sip and as the bitter warmth rushes down her throat, a small content voice in her head asks, how bad can it get?

Monday, September 03, 2007

And then there were 3 more :)

From a recent holiday ...

adding to this lot :)

Friday, August 24, 2007


Have paid for telecast. Must watch match.

Have paid for telecast. Must watch match.

Have paid for telecast. Must watch match.

Have paid for telecast. Must watch match.

Have paid for telecast. Must watch match.

Have paid for telecast. Must watch match.

Have paid for telecast. Must watch match.

Have paid for telecast. Must watch match.

Have paid for telecast. Must watch match.

Have paid for telecast. Must watch match.

update: could someone please run over ajit agarkar? and not just with the bat this time ... i was thinking maybe a tank ... hell even a rickshaw will do ...

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


She stands right in front, facing the teachers. Her white uniform is spotless and crisp. There is no mistaking her position - Headgirl, down to the perfect double knotted ribbon holding her hair. From her vantage point she watches the flag unfurl. A fist-full of rose petals float down, and on cue the national anthem soars out, filling the damp air. She can’t help but look up at the fluttering flag. A surge of pride shoots through her and she says to herself, I will make a difference. I will. Along the sidelines, her mother stands proud. Her baby girl is at the head of the crowd. She looks up at the fluttering flag and whispers to her friend, "we are saving up to send her to the US."

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Monday, August 06, 2007

Wrinkled dreams

There is something incredibly beautiful about crooked, derelict buildings; criss-cross wrinkles running down their length, faded memories staining them in a patchwork of their once magnificent colour. They stand tall, held together only by the stories they’ve helped weave together over the sunburnt years.

If you drown out the self-absorbed din of today, you’ll hear yesterday come alive. Like a grandmother sitting in her favourite rocking chair, a fire by her side and the little ones around her, these old buildings will tell you fantastical stories of a time long gone by; of brutal wars and bright red romances; of wild drunken parties and night long wakes; of the dark bruises behind shut doors; of the warm glow of newly weds melting into one; of the sorrows of losing one of their own and the magic of meeting new faces.

The toothless windows nod in agreement, as do the balconies and street lamps; together they’ve seen fashion come and go and come back again; any clothes line here can dress you up for a big date, better then the best. Arthritis has set in. Some show signs of pneumonia, even tooth decay and kidney failure. But they refuse to give up. Unlike some others, they refuse to retire in the comfort of an old age home. They refuse to get any kind of a body job, proud of the shape they’ve turned into; proud of their cracks and their patches. The loose bricks smile proudly atop the strong, rigid frame.

The once chirpy terrace though has a bag of complaints. It remembers a time when its doors opened to young lovers, soaked in poetry on star-lit nights. Today it is a nest of creepy crawly wires, like thick aged blue-green veins, sticking out from beneath wilting skin. If you move them around, you might still spy a J heart M and an A heart G, dying under the heavy weight. Where bright flowers once stood, today antennas and a satellite dish stand; a sign of the changing times, I guess.

'Yes,' they all agree, wisps of their white hair making puffy clouds in the sky, ‘the times change; the characters change, but the stories, they remain the same. We just sit here on the kerb and watch them replay.’

Saturday, August 04, 2007

A few of my favourite things

For much of my time I am a career cynic. I scoff at most people and things. Some are too stupid, others too snobbish. Things are either entirely pointless or just too frivolous. But even within this rigid framework, I do make a few exceptions. One is for bookmarks. I LOVE these. I can ruin perfect holidays in search for one. Sometimes I think the only reason I want to go on a holiday is to find more bookmarks to add to my collection.

The other is slightly more predictable. Stationery. In a stationery store, I transform into a spectacular bumbling idiot. I just stand there and ogle, like a teenager drooling over some namby-pamby boy band; the rows of pens, pencils and books looking at me, making puppy eyes at me, begging me to take them home. And if I am left unguarded, I can do much damage on the bill.

I never have to buy any of the things I buy. I just have to have them, that’s all. As of now, my table holds a regular post-it pad, an xxs post-it pad, a speech bubble shaped post-it pad and an apple shaped one – not because I need to post reminders to myself, for that I have a really cool post-it software installed on my laptop, but because I saw them, and they looked really nice. Really. I have a pen stand spilling over, sagging under the weight it holds. I bought the same stack of pens twice, because I loved them so much. And of course in case I run out of ink or something in the next two years. I have a pack of crayons and a box of pencil colours, coloured paper-clips, paper holder, a little pink stapler, a bookmark, erasers, sharpeners, paper pins, etc, etc, all tastefully tossed into an open green basket, sitting on my shiny brown desk. I usually can’t take my eyes off it, which probably explains so much about my writing.

Habits like these don’t develop over night. They start young. They have to be mastered and turned into an art form over the years. And almost always, as it is with taking to habits, a parent is responsible. In my case it was both. I learnt early. And I learnt quickly. I remember how much I used to love the days leading to the start of a new year at school. In Zambia the new term begins in January, post the crazy New Year parties. By default the first day of the year was spent in recovery and lethargy. The 2nd and 3rd day of January were spent sprawled on the carpet, ripping out the twelve months of the last year and dressing my new notebooks in them. We didn’t have uniform brown paper, and the freedom to choose covering paper usually put a creative, almost competitive spin on the process. Since the first day at school was invariably spent in critiquing other students, their bags, new hairstyles and books, the end of every year was spent in choosing the most interesting calendars available. The theory being today’s spectacular calendars make next years fabulous book covers. Mine were generally covered with exotic landscapes, castles and other such natural wonders. Not only did ruined castles and romantic waterways attach themselves brilliantly on to my books, they also helped me slip into a day dream with much ease, during class hours.

One concept I really struggled with in school was the ‘rough book.’ I couldn’t digest the idea of having a book to scribble in, to desecrate, to soil with equations and reminder notes. It made me incredibly uncomfortable to see people around me vomiting their untidiness on these precious notebooks. My rough book was probably the neatest one around; with neat equations, essay and story themes all in bullet points – a), b), c) - even my doodles were neat and pretty.

My pencil box was my most treasured school possession. It used to be filled to the brim with smart yellow, well sharpened pencils, all sitting in a row, awaiting further orders. Once a pencil got too short, I quietly discarded it, and replaced it with a smart new one. When we moved on to pens, life got more interesting. Ink pen, pilot pen or ball point pen? Blue pen or black pen? Since it was compulsory to use blue ink in school, by default I preferred the black one. How many pencils with how many pens? The permutations and combinations that my pen case could hold was a process involving much deliberation, self doubt, agonising and sacrifice.

The introduction of the mechanical pencil, or the pen-pencil, as we knew it, ushered in a whole new era. I started out with the cheap plasticy models and gradually worked my way to the sleeker and definitely sexier Faber Castle. Since I was so obviously in love with my stationery, lending it out always led to a nervous break down of sorts. I can’t stand stingy characters, so I always lent out the extra one. But I never forgot. The lent pen hovered around in my brain like a bee, drowning out all of what was going on around me. And when people absconded, it led to mood swings, incessant mutterings and deep sorrow. I could have just asked for it, but I was always worried about being petty. So after a few tragic episodes, I began carrying a pair of unglamorous-lending pens. A little petty, I know – but it saved me so much heartbreak and lending almost became fun.

Stationery was the only reason I passed math. I lived for math-loathing. I didn’t understand it. I couldn’t solve it. It was only created to torment me. But then I met geometry, more importantly I met the geometry set. I passed my tenth boards solely because of this set. It seemed like a fair trade off – I pay attention in geometry class and be allowed to use all the toys in the box.

As I moved on to college, files and paper joined my collection. Though my allowance never supported it, I collected snazzy files and beautiful crisp white sheets of paper – not that whole sale, by the kilo, yellowish paper for me. I was invariably left with no money at the end of it all, but I was happy. I still am.

Friday, August 03, 2007


I have a sneaky suspicion that the layer of fat that I think I am losing* from my waist is actually making its way up to my brain :(

* very very very very slowly

Ever after

If you’re still looking for some Potter closure, head here.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

One afternoon

She was picking out tomatoes from her vegetable patch when the white butterfly flitted past her. It was four in the afternoon and she had just about enough time to pick her veggies and start on the dinner. She tried to ignore the stupid creature that was darting around her sweaty, flushed face. She tried shooing it away. She swatted at it. She even hurled a bad tomato at it. But it wouldn't leave her alone. Is it taunting me? she wondered as she dropped the good tomatoes in her basket. She wiped her hands on her brown skirt and watched the butterfly for a few minutes. Slowly she raised her right hand and in one swift move plucked the butterfly out. She held the insect, pinning its legs together, but not hurting it. She watched the snow white wings flutter violently; trapped and trying to break free. Maybe this is how I look in the bigger scheme of things. Maybe we'll eat out today, she thought, leaving her basket out in the sun for the little white butterfly.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


The rain breaks suddenly, giving the wind an excuse to act three. She runs to the window and tries to pull it shut. But the rain isn’t easy to beat. Little pellets of water ambush her. Cold splashes hitting her warm skin. The raindrops sting her face as they melt, in long tear-stained streaks. The breeze runs through her hair, flirting. She feels light and heady; a small smile draws up. She gives in. She sticks her tongue out, trying to catch a raindrop or two. And for those few minutes, she is truly and completely happy.

All in a day's work

They hovered around the sickly fire like three little moths. She could feel the evening chill settle down on her rickety bones. Spitefully, she poked at the fire. They should have been sleeping in warm beds, at some comfortable retirement home in the country, right now. In one of those nice blue room, with crispy green curtains; a crackling fire by the side, and fresh yellow flowers. But instead, here they were, crouching in a dingy cave, waiting for some stuck-up fart. It never works out like you plan it, does it? A noise outside broke her stream of thought. So, he was here. The gullible twat. She stood up, creaking all the way. She dusted her dress, and headed out. “Come on girls," she called, "let’s get this over with. Double double, toil and trouble …”

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Out on my terrace the world seems just fine

I sit at the little table on my terrace and write. When it rains, I sit inside, with the doors open. It’s just as nice. All I need is one look around and everything solves itself. The exact right words come to mind and pretty phrases draw themselves up. And for a bit, I truly feel like I was born to write.

I haven’t made up my mind about working from home. I like the relaxed pace of life. I like doing things on my time. And, I manage to do everything, and on good days even more. Maybe it’s not the home bit that’s got me all confused, it’s the work I’m getting. Uninspiring. Insipid. Pointless. Boring. I feel less of a writer with every deadline I meet. But then I go back to my terrace, and figure, it'll be fine.

There’s something about this place, this view that really works for me. The thick green hills with pretty lego homes encrusted in between. I see little green, orange and maroon slanting rooftops, some shooting out wisps of smoke, some blushing into a rose shrub. I listen to the birds sing all day. Up till six, even seven and eight. It’s so soothing. It’s enough to make me reach for my pen.

There’s a twisty little road that runs past, and into the bend. Occasionally it throws up a car or swallows one rolling down. I know what I’ m looking for is just around the corner, around the bend. It will find its way to me. Someday.

The air is crispy, almost sharp. I can taste its sweetness. The sun is shinning through, throwing up different colours of green. A cup of coffee sits simmering by my side, the pages get filled.

I've always wanted to write. Even before I knew how. I was in the eighth grade and we had an English assignment. I penned a story; it was the only time I didn't mind doing the homework. By the time our grades were out, I knew this was what I wanted to do.

There's a new house being built, near by. I can hear the workmen all day. It's a funny house; the balcony looks the wrong way. I wonder what kind of a view they'll have. If it's even half as good as mine, they'll be fine.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


I’ve been wondering and doodling and screaming out in frustration, over the last few weeks. I need to do something with my writing. I need to start somewhere. And I need to start soon, if I mean to accumulate a sizeable fortune before I hit 80. I was wondering if a creative writing course is a good place to start. So, if anyone has taken one, or heard of one, or anything else, please please please do drop me a line. Pearls of wisdom are always welcome.

Letters of love

He found the letters quite by accident. Maybe that’s what made it worse. He was, in fact, looking for a pair of misplaced cuff links, a present from the in-laws. Little wonder they stirred up so much trouble. He had looked everywhere, but he should have known better than to go snooping in her stuff. All he did was open the chest, and they just tumbled out. It was almost like they were waiting for him. They smelt of rich Cuban cigars and the open salty seas. There was even a hint of Old Spice on one. He read each and every one of them. They were heart wrenchingly beautiful. Some crying out in lonely desperation, some bruised by violent passion, and some so poetic, even the violets on the dresser blushed. He almost didn’t blame her. But it is incredibly torturous to read about another man’s undying devotion for the woman you love. He suddenly felt very old. And very used. It’s one thing if your wife is cheating on you, but it’s quite another if it’s your mistress.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

From her balcony

She loves her balcony. She stands out there and watches the world. She knows its patterns by now. Everyday at nine, the girl with the curly brown hair comes running to the coffee shop. And a minute late she runs out with a steaming cup. How old is she? Is she married? Is her hair really brown? She wonders why the girl and the man with the black bag never talk. They are always standing next to each other in the bus line. She thinks it’s strange to see someone everyday and never share a word. The old man from the building on the other side of the street always shares a word. He leaves home at 10:30. He buys a paper in exchange for a joke. He buys a coffee and shares a laugh. He likes whistling as he walks down the street. He reminds her of Gramps. Gramps with a rounder belly. She thinks he is lonely. Maybe his children don’t call anymore, and his friends are all gone. Maybe he just needs to talk. The mailman comes in the afternoons. He is always on time. He looks so sad. Like the schoolgirl. She’s not sure why she noticed her in the first place. The street is full of kids when school is out. But this girl is different. She would look beautiful in a classic tragedy. Maybe she is in one. In the evening, a young man passes by her place. He stops below her balcony and buys flowers. She wonders if he likes buying them, or is it just a habit. She stands here everyday. One day someone will look up and see her. Maybe they will wave or smile.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Pearl Jam – Live in Concert

26th June 2007, Copenhagen

The selfish, they’re all standing in line
Faithing and hoping to buy themselves time
Me, I figure as each breath goes by
I only own my mind

Tuesday morning started with a desperate wait for Tuesday evening, and for a change time flew just as fast as we wanted it to; maybe time is a Pearl Jam fan too.

They said the gates open at 6, and the show starts at 8; so of course the crowds began to gather the night before. The stadium was packed. Danes, Swedes, Brits, a few Indians, and some other accent owners that I couldn't place, all crowded around waiting, watching...

The waiting drove me mad...
You're finally here and I'm a mess.
I take your entrance back -
Can't let you roam inside my head.

And then it happened, just like that, he walked on to the stage, with his guitar and sang. Eddie Vedder was singing on stage. Some people froze in awe (me included), others stomped to his tunes, and others wore looney grins. It was finally Tuesday!

No starry airs, no rock star antics, just a song -Throw Your Arms Around Me, a big hello and an introduction to the opening act - some big noisy mistake from the UK called Future Head. For the next one hour this poor band made their noises under the pressure of opening for Pearl Jam, while the crowd caught up with friends, hoarded up on the beer and queued up to the loo.

And then they were back. Pearl Jam. With a mind blowing set - Long Road, Corduroy, Why Go, Do the Evolution, In Hiding, Love Boat Captain, Love Reign O'er Me (performed live for the first time ever!), Severed Hand, Light Years, Marker in the Sand, Given to Fly, Breath, I Am Mine, Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town, Hard to Imagine, Life Wasted and Porch.

Throats were burning, legs were cramping and hands were sore, but the music kept flowing. The first encore began with a much expected anti-war message -No more (a solo, brilliant of course) followed up by World Wide Suicide, Down, Once, Black and Alive.

After this any hope for the throats was lost, it just got crazier and crazier. No matter how tired you are of Alive, you just couldn't help jumping up and down and screaming out the song. Stomp, stomp, clap, clap, scream, scream.

Turns out Pearl Jam played on the same day, 15 years ago for the first time in Copenhagen. The second encore began with a thank-you from the band to the crowd, and a few words in memory of the accident that killed nine people during a Pearl Jam performance in 2000. Eddie Vedder was as brilliant with the little speech as he was with the music. More screaming, more clapping, more stomping.

Betterman, Yellow Ledbetter and then the lights came on, for the last song of the night – Rockin’ in the Free World. I am not sure how to describe it, I could say it was sensational, but that would be insulting to the band, I could say it was orgasmic, but it won't cover the emotion, I guess you just had to be there.

Any regrets? Sure! No last kiss, that would have been sweeet! And yeah I’d have liked to switch places with the Swedish girl (in my head - COW) who got to jump on stage and exchange kisses with Eddie, loads of little Swede girl voodoo dolls doing the round in Copenhagen, I hope.

I will come to you in the daytime
I will raise you from your sleep
I will kiss you in four places
As I go runnin' down your street ...

Friday, June 15, 2007

six whole months

Six months ago today, I got married, which makes this my half-year anniversary. I am not being mushy or anything, but you have to understand how dangerous the situation could have been, and how sane I have actually turned out to be. In the last six months I could have accidentally burnt down the house, drowned in the dishwasher, slipped in the bathroom, gassed or electrocuted myself, food-poisoned the Husband, or worse scared him away, starved, walked into a tram, frozen to death, suffered severe pani puri withdrawal, choked on bland firang food, acquired a new accent, punched someone in the face (knee more likely) for asking a stupid India question, collapsed under the pressure of being surrounded by skinny Eastern Europeans, collapsed under the pressure of Husband being surrounded by skinny Eastern Europeans. Instead I have survived it ALL, which can mean only one thing: I am really good at this marriage thing :D

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Now, if only they can manage NOT to screw this up...

Sunday, June 10, 2007


She was walking around with a huge purple bruise around her eye, not the most convenient accessory to have. She tried to hide the ugliness behind dark glasses. But dark glasses at 8 in the evening just don’t work. She tried to mask it with makeup. But purple isn't a colour you can hide easily. She got sympathetic glances everywhere she went, the kind a sickly little dog gets, just before it dies. It was disgusting. They’d ask her how it happened, and she’d tell them. “Umm, it’s really embarrassing, I, um, kind of walked into a door.” They’d nod at her, like they knew all along and then they’d say, “You should report him to the police, men like that deserve to be in prison.” It had taken her a good week to realize, sometimes people don’t want to hear the truth.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


Finally, something to cheer about!

Aai ga!!

More on the coach tamasha, looks like Sunny G has prevailed, and Whatmore will not be making as much money as he hoped. But here's the spanner in the works, we could have this guy for coach. Damn promising, this is turning out to be...

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

A good match

She couldn’t believe she was doing this, but maybe she wasn’t going to regret it. Her mum had called the previous day and it was the same story.

Beta, listen to me, there is this boy.
No Ma.
Just meet him once na.
No Ma.
Just once. That’s all.

And here she was. Shockingly this guy didn’t seem too bad. His was nice looking, well dressed and his hair wasn’t an amalgamation of goop.

It’s going to be just a coffee Ma, no dinner-vinner.
Arre, but it will look so bad.
Coffee Ma, nothing more.
Sometimes, I really don’t understand you, you no.

She had picked the café. A quiet little Italian place with a tiny faded bookstore next to it. She was addicted to both. Coffee and a book, a potent combination.

Really he wasn’t bad. When she mentioned she’d pay for herself, he didn’t gasp in horror or defend his masculinity. A first. He didn’t faint when she lit a cigarette, he didn’t even stare at her tattoo. She could already see her mother doing a little jig at home, lighting the diya, thanking the Gods for “settling ” her daughter.

Can we stop at the bookstore for a minute?
Uhh … sure.
I just need to pick a book.
Sure ... hey look at this, isn’t this a movie? Now they've made a book too? God, Hollywood!

She heard her mother’s heart break into a hundred little bits.
It was too good to be true anyway.

The right ingredients

She jumped off the bus at the main market. It was just nine in the morning, but the place was alive. Already there was a cluster of aimless men, sitting around gossiping. The radios were on and the voices were rising, some hawking some haggling.

First stop was Papa Pierre’s. Thankfully the grand old man wasn’t around, which meant no small talk, no chatter. She picked up her bottle of oil, some matches and a packet of cornflour, and quickly made her way out.
She could already feel the touch of water and flour on her fingers and the patterns being formed.

The crowd on the street was growing, and she struggled to make her way to Big Rosa's. She loved this store. It was always so dark and cool. She enjoyed this break from the sun as she went about looking for the right incense sticks and candles (four of them, one for each corner), saving every bit of energy she had, to make it through the herb market.

The herb market was always hard, to rummage through heaps and heaps of herbs under the blinding sun was no mean task. But she could make no mistakes today. Carefully she picked her way through the heaps for the ones she needed, some rare, all strong.

It didn't take too long to get the wine and the chicken, and there she was done. She had spent more than half her month's salary today, but it would all be worth it. She thought of her chilled glass of wine as she ran her finger across the squawking animal’s tender throat. Very soon dear Richard was going to find out what happened when you cheated on a Haitian girl.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Somebody please tell Kapil Dev to SHUT UP! In a horrifying snippet from Cricinfo, I gather the man has been thundering nonsense again. I know that's what generally happens when he opens his mouth, but this time, I worry that someone from the Board of Cricket and Chaos in India might be listening. Worse still, they might pick up on this idiocracy and put me off cricket forever!
"Who is Whatmore," he thundered in an interview in the Telegraph, the Kolkata based daily. "Why do we need to talk about Whatmore? Or, for that matter, anybody not associated with our team at this point in time. In my opinion, when Ravi (Shastri) isn't available after Bangladesh, the Board should give the coach's powers to Venkatesh Prasad and Robin Singh, both of whom have played international cricket and are currently working with the boys."
Aaarrrrh, Robin Singh, I can try and understand, but Venkatesh Prasad! Come on, he isn't even a real cricketer for crying out loud!! Seriously when you're trying to un-rubbish the team, you shouldn't toy with them, or the few fans left, like this :(