Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Doggone it!!

I breathe dog. The human body sheds x amount of dead skin every minute which floats about in the air around us and gets inhaled. There is this lost dog that's sort of adopted us, he just came to our house and refuses to leave (maybe animals could sense kind people hahah). He is a bony mangy cur by appearance, but very good at heart with the best of intentions. Sometimes when he barks nonstop at 3 in the morning at some invisible foe I wonder if his intentions aren't a bit too good. For lack of inspiration I call him Boy, and since he's so lazy and sleeps all day his name has been upgraded to Lazy Boy. And boy, is he one furious scratcher! He scratches like it's going out of style; his manners need a little improvement in that department. He doesn't care who is in the room, what they are doing; if the urge hits him he scratches away like there's no tomorrow. And because of him the house is now knee deep in his fur, and the skin and dust particles mixed with all his fur constitute the air we breathe. Sounds polluted? Yeah sometimes I'd feel like kicking him out of the house but when he cries outside the door and near my window my resistance would break down and once again I would open the door with bleary eyes and let him in.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Don't forget to remember

I'm so very tired. I didn't have my seven hours last night and the effect is now showing on me. My eyes are droopy, my brain won't function, there is a small thump-thump going on in my forehead, like someone with a hammer is stuck inside my head and banging on the walls, I cannot speak a meaningful sentence without pausing to think in the middle. And all because of a man. I haven't seen this man in ages, haven't spoken to him since forever, and we haven't kept in touch for God-knows-how-long. I was in bed listening to the radio late last night, when suddenly I heard a voice just like his. It was like something snapped, I couldn't help but remember his face, his voice, his singing voice. He has such a wonderful singing voice. Haunting, in fact. That voice haunted me through the night. I tried my best to keep the images and the sounds away, but they refused to go. I tossed and turned, I switched on the lights and read the most boring book I could lay my hands on, I listened to songs sung by other voices, I counted backwards from 100, I got up and drank hot milk, I did everything. But no, I couldn't, wouldn't sleep. Defeated, I lay there, trying hard to remember, the images swimming before my eyes, the voice ringing through my head. I don't know when I finally drifted off to sleep, but when I did I know it was due to pure exhaustion and exasperation.

Morning came, my alarm sang and grudgingly I got up. He was the first thing that popped into my mind. Then like a flash a thought followed: Adnan Sami.

Yes, Adnan Sami. The singer. Last night a song came on the radio and the voice was very much like his. But I plumb forgot his name! The reason I couldn't sleep was because I couldn't remember his name! I saw his face, I recalled his songs, but the name eluded me. I strained all the grey cells and failed to come up with his name. It was too late, and you couldn't wake people at four in the morning to ask "What's the name of that fat Pakistani singer?" I decided if I listed all the Muslim names then somehow I'd get the name. So I started, from the A's. Abid, Abdul, Ahmed, Ali, Arif, Asif,..... I realized what a stupid idea it was Even before I exhausted the A's. I gave up. Then I started thinking of names randomly....let me see... there was an N in Naeem? No. Nadeem? Nah. Nasir? No, wait, I think it started with a K. Kaleem, Karim, Khalid...No, no, no!! Khadija? That's a girl's name!! How about the M's? Mohammed, Mujeeb, Mustafa, Malik....all wrong. Too much thinking early in the morning is not good, I decided, so I did all the things I mentioned above.

The point is, I think I am suffering from Alzheimer's, or something that has to do with memory loss. I'd suddenly forget things which I thought I would always remember, things that I'd taken for granted. I would see/think of someone/something and all of a sudden I'd draw a blank. I would forget names of things, for instance, once I saw a picture of a hibiscus flower, and I tried to think of its Mizo name, and poof! I couldn't come up with anything. I racked my brains for two days, and in the end I called my sister who told me the name. I am especially affected in the name department; I think the part of my brain that remembers names is damaged or stunted or underdeveloped or something. And many a times I would meet people who would smile and be all friendly with all the hellos and the how are yous and I'd try my best to hide the blank look and give some vague reply while my mind would go searching frantically...who is this?... I've seen this person what's his/her name? did he/she know me?.... Am I the only one suffering from this affliction, from this disease? Have you ever experienced this kind of temporary amnesia, this forgetfulness, this not being able to remember things which you’ve known all your life?

I opened the newspaper, and my eyes fell on an article that says exercising the brain can make it younger by about 10 years. I’ve heard this said before, but have never really paid much attention to it. Nonetheless I immediately turned to the crossword and Sudoku section, and was in for a rude shock. I had to struggle and sweat to solve a Sudoku puzzle whose level was Easy. It was an awakening jolt, a real eye opener. I used to finish Easy in about a minute, and now it took me almost ten minutes to do so. The truth dawned on me; I had let my brain rot, dry and crumble. No wonder I forgot simple things like the Mizo name of hibiscus. I have to wake up and do some mental push-ups, get the grey cells active and running. Have to pick up the crumbled pieces and put them back together, which leads me to the moral of the story: don’t stop thinking.

Monday, November 12, 2007

I don't practice what I preach
I can be quite a hypocrite sometimes
So sue me

Monday, October 22, 2007


Pronounced Miz. Whoever introduced this salutation ought to be awarded some prize or have something named after him/her, something good. Whenever I fill in some application or some other form I always smile inside if the salutation options include Ms apart from the usual Mr/Miss/Mrs. Ms lets the world know that you’re of the feminine gender but reveals nothing about your marital or non-marital status. You could be single, engaged, married, divorced, widowed, married x number of times, in a steady relationship, have just broken up with someone, be on the prowl for love/romance, be sick and tired of love, anything, we all fit under the shade provided by the umbrella that is Ms. Ms embraces us all without irritating questions, without raised eyebrows or snide remarks or condescending stares. Being a Ms is so liberating, so refreshing, so exhilarating, so mysterious, so equal rights, so girl power, so many things. But don’t get me wrong, I am no bra-burning feminist. Miss, Mrs are fine, in fact they are very good. Would people still be as hooked to Agatha Christie if Miss Marple was Ms. Marple? Or listen to Simon & Garfunkel or watch The Graduate if Mrs. Robinson was Ms. Robinson? You get the drift. Each to her own salutation, I say.

If only there was a Mizo version of Ms so that all Mizo women could enjoy some anonimity! It would be especially beneficial for divorcees; it would let them escape the undesirable “nuthlawi” tag. Because being a divorcee in a Mizo society is a dreadful thing, with some kind of social stigma attached to it, people seeing you as a woman of questionable character, no matter what the reason for your divorce or separation was. You are assumed guilty unless proven innocent. And the “nuthlawi’ tag doesn’t help you one bit, it just adds fuel to the fire. If there was a Ms or an equivalent title it would at least save face but not reputation because the place is so small everyone knows everyone else and your reputation always precedes you wherever you go.

I don’t know exactly when this new found appreciation of Ms struck me. I was happy being Miss, going on with my life, but lately I find myself liking Ms more and more. Could it be blamed on advancing age? More and more of my friends getting married and having babies? People snickering and making bad jokes about being unmarried/unengaged? “Well wishers” telling me to get married as if husbands were something you could pick up from a supermarket shelf, as if marriage was the be-all and end-all of life, the culmination of youth? I am free to make my own choices, and for the moment I chose to remain a Ms. That’s what being a woman is all about, free to make your own choices and decisions, free to call yourself whatever you want, and the freedom to do whatever your heart desires.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Some English jokes :

A piece of tarmac walks into a bar and starts chucking pint glasses and trashing the place. A customer whispers to the barman, "What's his problem?" The barman says, "Don't get involved, he's a cyclepath."

A man walks into a bar with a piece of tarmac under his arm, strolls up to the bar and says, "Two beers please." "Two?" enquires the barman. "Yeah two, one for me and one for the road."

I used to think I was a cracked record, but I'm fixed now...ixed now...ixed now....ixed now......

Why is it called Alcoholics Anonymous when the first thing you do is stand up and say, "My name is Joe and I'm an alcoholic."

What's the best part of a bee?
-Its knees.

What's E.T. short for?
-Because he's got little legs.

What has a fur coat, four legs, and flies?
-A dead cat.

Why did the monkey fall out of the tree?
-Because it was dead.
Why did the parrot fall out of the tree?
-Because it was stapled to the monkey.
Why did the tree fall over?
-Because it thought it was a game.

What do you call a man who floats in the ocean?

A horse walks into a pub. The barman says, "Why the long face?"

A man walks into a pub with a lizard on his shoulder, says to the landlord, "Pint for me and a pint for Tiny here"
"Why do you call him Tiny?"
"Because he's my newt."

An Englishman, Irishman and a Frenchman walks together into a pub. Landlord says, "Is this a joke?"

Monday, October 8, 2007

Lock schmock

One of my colleagues is getting married. Her invitation reads:

"It will be an honour to have your gracious presence on ------ as I am going to get wedlocked at ----- with -------."

Wedlocked?? I have heard of the word, but have never heard of it being used in that sense. Two words came to my mind as I read the invitation card: deadlock and gridlock.

Is marriage a gridlock that keeps you deadlocked? Or is it a deadlock that results in a gridlock? When you are wedlocked who has the key? Does both the husband and wife keep a key each? Or is it sometimes in the hands of the mother-in-law? Can a wedlock be ever opened, or do you sometimes have to force it open with an iron rod? Can it be opened by whatdoyoucallthosepeoplewhobreakintosafes I suddenly forgot the word...... Can it get rusted? I think it depends on the material with which the lock is made of. What are the best wedlocks made of? Gold? Silver? Platinum? A combination of all three? Or just love and trust and respect?

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

It is here. It has arrived. After travelling for many months, braving the scorching summer and the deluge of monsoon, it has finally come to claim us for its own, at least for a few months. I discovered its presence while I was applying my lipstick this morning. My lips were unusually dry, and my skin felt tight. There was a kind of static electricity that hung in the air, the kind that makes your nylon clothes stick to your body and your hair cling to the comb. The sun was shining outside, hot and bright, but I felt a chill in my bones. I knew it has come, and is going to get worse.

I switched off the fan and closed the windows, hoping to escape from it at least for a while; because I know in a few weeks there would be no escaping from it no matter where you are or what you do. Today was just the beginning. You can lock yourselves inside your houses, burrow deep under your quilts and blankets and whatnots, you can try to drive it away with technology, you can try to protect yourselves from it with many layers of clothing; but it will still get to you. Because it is there in you, in your bones, under your skin. Because it is you. It will be there with you when you wake up in the morning, it will sit beside you while you eat your food, it will be there in your rooms, in your closets, inside your clothes and shoes. It will lie down beside you when you sleep, and watch your favourite TV shows with you. It will come in between you and your loved ones, it will eavesdrop on your conversations and interrupt when you speak. It will laugh with you, at you, and cry when you cry.

It will be the topic of many conversations, people will die because of it, and many will suffer. I, for one, will be one of the sufferers. I hate the short days and the long nights, the chapped lips, the dry skin, the cold mornings, the hunt for warm clothes. Yes, winter is here, and I am not exactly jumping with joy. But I will be optimistic, because "If winter comes, can spring be far behind?"

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

It is a fine English summer evening. The sun has not yet set and throws its golden rays everywhere turning everything the colour of gold. We are in a beautiful nature park which is located right in the middle of busy London, away from all the noise and traffic. The birds chirp and call out to each other to come home, to rest for the day. Here and there you see young lovers holding hands and gazing in each other's eyes, completely absorbed in each other. Here we see Keith Richards coming for a walk, all by himself, without bodyguards or friends, contemplating life and its mysteries. Maybe he is thinking of a song in his head, or composing a new one, we'll never know. Suddenly he sees in his path Kate Moss, scantily dressed and looking more fresh and beautiful and sexier than ever. Keith Richards stops dead in his tracks, and can do nothing but stare at the beautiful creature in front of him. For a moment he is oblivious to the noise and chatter around him, the world stops spinning, and when she beckons him to come to her his old heart stops beating. All his primal instincts tell him to go to her, take her in his arms and ravish her until he is drained of all energy. He has seen many beautiful women come and go in his life, but never has he experienced anything as breathtakingly incredible as this. He wants to forget the whole world and focus only on this moment, this here now. He is tempted, oh he sure is tempted. Life and all its complications momentarily takes a backseat. Then he takes a step forward, pauses, then another step. He stops. After what seems like eternity, he looks down to the ground, shakes his head, and walks away. Because, after all, a rolling stone gathers no moss.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Blogger's block

I have nothing to write, no inspirations no epiphanies no eureka moments. But yet I feel obligated to do so. As a blogger I am duty-bound to update from time to time, if not for others' then at least for my sake. I have been quite busy lately; with no time to sit and think and write something. I cannot just sit down and put my hands on the keyboard and come up with something interesting/exciting/worthwhile. I cannot just select a subject and write a thousand words on it. I need time, space, and quiet. No wonder writers sometimes lock themselves up in secluded places for months and years on end. When you are alone and away from the chaos and madness of everyday life it must be so much easier to concentrate, to think, to look at things in a different perspective. Barely two months old and I feel I am running out of steam. The novelty of blogging has worn off a bit, but if I want to be a successful blogger/writer I have to continually reinvent my thoughts, my ideas, my imagination, my point of view; I cannot let my mind run off in the same direction everyday. I have so much to learn, especially when it comes to writing. Like how to refine your grammar and expand your vocabulary. How to be a better story-teller and keep your readers captivated. How to make them come back for more. How to be more creative and inventive. And so on. It's a big world out there just waiting to be explored.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Page Eighteen

One of my most favourite Sunday afternoon pastimes is reading the Sunday newspaper, especially the Times of India, especially Page 18, especially a column titled Jugular Vein, written by a humorous and insightful columnist Jug Suraiya. Page 18 also features Shobhaa De, Bachi Karkaria, and sometimes Shashi Tharoor. Today's piece by Jug Suraiya was titled Status Co, a true but funny article about how committees take forever to decide something/come to a conclusion/take action. The last paragraph ran thus:

In the meantime, I've learnt to recite the Gayatri Mantra of all Committee, and even sub-Committee, members:
Our Committee which art in quorum
Procrastination be thy game
Thy agenda come, thy nil be done
On earth as it is in eternity
Give us this day our daily delay
And forgive us our progresses
As we forgive those who progress despite you
And lead us not into completion
But deliver us from decision
For thine is the vacillation
The red tape and the veto
For ever and ever

Read the full article here

Thursday, August 30, 2007

May the post be with you

Some weeks back there was some kind of Star Wars marathon on Star Movies, where they show a Star Wars movie every weekend. One day because there was nothing else to see on TV watching Attack of the Clones I was, and never really watched it before I had. It turned out to be not as bad as I had assumed. The next week watching Revenge of the Sith I was, and surprisingly interested I became, mostly because of Hayden Christensen's smouldering looks. (Do guys have smouldering looks, or is it reserved only for sexy sultry women? And what about us normal unglamorous women- can we ever hope to smoulder? Or should we just be content with seething and fuming with rage, the closest we can get to smouldering?)

Life is not easy for us average and below-average lookers, the world is getting more and more obsessed with beauty, youth, and looking good. What about moral values, what about decency and integrity, and just being good human beings? Live and let live? Today on the way to work we stopped at a traffic signal, and amidst the chaos that is Hyderabad traffic, I saw a traffic signal hawker helping a blind girl cross the road. In another sighting, I saw an old man maybe above 70 years old walking a big dog. It was clear from the uniform he wore that the dog was not his. And the saddest part was that the dog ran quite fast and the old man had to struggle to keep up with it. The recent bombings make me think about life and death. All we see and hear on the news is war, death, murder, bombings, kidnappings, the list goes on, all preventable and as far as we are concerned should not happen. It made me recall a conversation from a Calvin & Hobbes comic book: Are people basically good with a few bad intentions, or basically bad with a few good intentions?

But wait a minute I am digressing. Now I forgot everything I was to write about Star Wars. Yes, I also liked the way Master Yoda spoke. "Meditate on this I will." And recall everything I forgot. Many years too late a Star Wars fan I am I know, but didn't the proverb say better late than never? This old dog can still learn some new tricks, if liking Star Wars a trick you would call.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Shot Full Of Synonyms

When you right-click on a word in MS Word it gives you many options such as Cut, Copy, Paste etc. I was typing something today, and found that one such option was Synonyms. Then it occurred to me that I could take a song and substitute almost every word with one of its synonyms. The first song that came to my mind was Don Williams's "Shot Full Of Love." So below is my synonymised version of Shot Full Of Love.

Once upon a time I had a sensitivity icy as hoarfrost
Ardor to me was no more than enjoyment
I'd construct a scratch for every conked out spirit
Resembling notches on the handle of a firearm

Some time ago I had a ruse up my sheath
As well as a standing all over the municipality
I was callous and arctic anywhere I set out
I clouted down each juvenile lass I came across

Fair enough, I used to be a moonlight brigand
I used to be a calamity youngster
Subsequently I encountered you and after that incident I knew
There I was, oh, explosion chock-a-block with devotion

Well, who would have contemplated that a big shot akin to you
Could put up with a thug like me
Nevertheless, oh at this point I am as docile as mutton
My hemorrhaging heart in attendance at your base

Monday, August 20, 2007

I'm not titled

Do I have to put a title every time I post something? It is a big inconvenience, time consuming and baffling. It irritates me no end. It gives me the impression/feeling that someone somewhere is analysing/checking/monitoring my posts and the appropriateness of the titles. Can't life on the blogosphere go on void of all the funny/witty/sad/poignant/thoughtful/meaningless titles that are floating around? I am bad with titles, just as I am bad with names. To quote whats-his-name, "A rose by any other name will smell just as sweet." Will a rose without a name smell just as sweet? Or maybe sweeter? I know titles give a sense of identity, of uniqueness, of this-is-like-no-other-thing, but I think I can live without them, at least here in the blogworld. That doesn't mean that all my future posts are going to be untitled, but in the event that I cannot think of any, I mean any title, then I would assert my constitutional right to freedom-to-untitle-my-posts and you, dear reader, will see the post in all its untitled glory. I think I am entitled to do that.

Friday, August 17, 2007

No regrets

My dear friend J wants me to write about my dreams, schemes and woolly skeletons in the cupboard.

I was never much of a dreamer, as in goals, wishes and aims (of course I dream when I sleep). I just live my life as it comes. I made many mistakes along the way but I am not complaining; my motto in life is "No regrets". I want to be self-sufficient, have lots of dogs, and live peacefully. I don't want to have to depend on anyone for anything, or be helpless. Of course there are things which are beyond my control like accidents, sickness, death etc. I wish I never have to report to anyone again in order to earn my livelihood. I wish life was simple and easy, without worry and stress.

Maybe I should turn Amish and live in a farm without electricity and mobile phones and irritating doorbells that ring as soon as you step inside the bathroom, and hopefully away from pesky salesmen and beggars who beg in the name of religion. I would never have to worry again about my salary, income tax, overdue rent, promotions, targets, deadlines, overtime, traffic jams. No more will I debate on the length of this season's jeans, or if it's flared or skinny or cut-off or torn or dark or light-coloured or sequined or flowered or low-rise or high-waisted or adorned with chains and other metallic things. I would not have to spend my hard-earned money anymore on shampoos, conditioners, conditioning shampoos, body scrub, body wash, body exfoliator, nail polish, nail polish remover, post-nail-polish-remover-nail-conditioner, bath oil, baby oil, body oil, hair oil, face mask, mud mask, detoxifying mask, spot mask, cooling eye mask, eye make-up, false eyelashes, eyelash curler, hair removal wax, foundation, blusher, blusher brushes, mascara, concealer stick, lipstick, lip gloss, moisturiser, sun protection factor moisturiser, extra moisturising moisturiser, light moisturiser, day moisturiser, night moisturiser. What kind of shoes I wear be it stilettos, sandals, flip flops, sneakers, trainers, open toed, wedges, pointed, rounded, platforms, or biker boots, it would all be a thing of the past. The list is endless.But please don't imagine for a moment that I would be running around naked from the waist down. I would still be myself, gadget-free, unemployed, happy, stress-free, fresh-air-breathing, sensible-clothes-wearing, un-madeup, surrounded by my pets.

But deep down in my heart I am a pessimist.

Do you know the number of farmers who commit suicide every year due to crop failure or debt or both? I don't know either, but I know it's an alarmingly big figure.

But I'm still allowed to dream, right?

So let's dream on.

Let's say I'm not the debt-incurring, suicide-committing type of farmer. Better yet, let's say I'm not a farmer at all. Living in a farm does not automatically make me a farmer, because I don't farm. I'm not against hard labour, or hard work. In fact, I'm pro-hardwork. Support the cause and all that. Whatever you do, work hard and be the best. Get rich (or at least self sufficient) and retire, even if it takes almost all of your life to do so.

Maybe that's my aim in life.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

In the beginning..

I hate imperfection. All the more so because I am a walking exhibit of it, and that had stopped me from starting this blog. But one fine morning I woke up and realised that waiting for perfection is like waiting for the second coming; it might happen someday but nobody knows when. So here I am, warts and all. Please feel free to laugh, cry, praise, commend, mock, deride, satirize, criticize, be disgusted or be indifferent.