Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Underwear Jungle - Horrible Book Titles? But That's Not What This Post Is About. Relax.

It's been five long days - we've been working through Saturdays, Sundays and finally things seem to have settled down into a quiet, which may go away in the next few hours. 

I've been fighting the common cold, an increasing urge to bury my head in the sand and  earworms. The earworms are kind of a constant though,  regardless of  present circumstances. 

When I close my eyes, there is the deafening noise of the rain, the halting jerk of the bus during the serpentine traffic snarls, a decrepit black umbrella that drips water on to my trousers... , mounds of washed clothes that refuse to dry out in the cluttered refuge of a balcony. The plants have had their fill too.Old Maid droops doggedly, no more flowers for you, she whines. 

The rain Gods have an odd way of immersing my world into gloom... cold, unforgiving gloom. I tip my umbrella to you Rain Gods. 

I sneaked out to watch a movie, alone. To get away, for a while. 

This one: 

And then I became that annoying person in the theatre whose phone keeps flashing with incoming calls every two seconds. 

This continued till I finally got locked out, almost slipped and fell on a the wet floor, near the bathroom next to the exit.  

At this point a part of me was all "fuck it let's just go home and work" 

And then my gut was all "shut up, you wimp. Now get me some motherfucking nachos and watch the damn movie already!"

So I went with my gut. And watched soap bubbles quietly form and pop as the unnamed couple go about living the threadbare gamcha fabric of their life.... "why aren't they washing their underwear?" (does this count as a spoiler? I don't know)  I wonder out loud ...a couple sitting next to me snort. "Well that must be D.G ! a voice whispers behind me. 

I look back and there's an old friend and her boyfriend giggling at me over a tub of popcorn. 

This must be a couple movie, I think, as I wave a hello at them. Couples who obviously get "the bigger picture" instead of losing the woods for the trees ...except you know if there were underwear hanging on every branch from all the not washing that has happened in their world. 

Am I even making sense anymore? 

PS. when I say ear worms I mean annoying ring tones and such...that kind of ...stick. Not actual worms...or did you know that already? 

Friday, July 10, 2015

That Time I Had A Crush On A Colleague

Okay, deep breath.

I've been working with a guy from the Head Office at Delhi and damned if I knew he was going to be hot. And then we finally meet and he gives me this glance oozing with disdain and contempt. Like...oh that's you? 

It was funny really,  I got disoriented enough to go up to the spa section of the hotel. And I thought there'd be like a connector to the banquets section...but there was a dead end and a shit load of concrete and construction going on. I died in a heap of embarrassment but retained my calm enough to comment on the beautiful portico lush with flowers outside. Mr. Aviator's (for he had a pair of aviators dangling against his lean muscular chest) contempt grew. 

At this point I could hear my shoes squeak against the floor because there was pin drop silence as we made our way back to the lobby...and yeah why wouldn't they. He ignores me, talks to the other colleague in the elevator. I had thought about making a witty remark : "this is how you know the floors are squeaky clean you guys ~giggle giggle~" But I hold myself back. I am intimidated, annoyed at myself and just generally bugged. Why must my equilibrium be disturbed this easily by a man who is relatively new to the organisation and has mostly relied on me for the past few weeks to get things done at the Kolkata end? No, I tell myself. D, this is work. You must not stumble here. 

The meeting ends. He is asking if he can visit our office and meet the boss. I make a hurried hopeful call to the Team Leader. "Too busy!" she barks. "Ask him to come tomorrow. Hope you have settled everything out with him." I mutter a resigned grunt. 

We have a common friend. The thought crosses my mind. But I decide I won't tell him about it. He walks out to see us off. Puts his aviators on. I try to think of things that might be totally wrong with him and how it's super awesome that he doesn't even look at me that much. It's like he's avoiding me. Like the plague.

I may have jabbered on about him being a cold blooded serial killer a bit much on our taxi ride to the office. My colleague started to wonder if there was more than meets the eye. I shut myself up. 

I text him about something we had forgotten to discuss in the meeting. He texts back. The tone is friendly and re assuring.

Later in the evening, there are some mails from him, obviously with instructions for the next day. There is also a text message informing me about the mails. I acknowledge them in the most professionally cold way. Two can play at this game. 

Also he's going away in 3 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Must Must Must - y Ness.

Hey, what's up? 

I'm not quite sure about what I've been up to, which is not to say that life's been boring. A lot has been happening but I'm just not sure what it's all about? 

So anyway, I decided to apply a second blob of myolaxin and write some of this out  just to clear my head. It's been very non co-operative for the past two days....aching and dithering, determined to dupe me into wearing the grumpy hat when I'm not looking. 

I suppose it started with the startling realisation that I'm going to be alone for the rest of my life. Also when 60 comes knocking at my door, I probably won't have grandkids rushing in to help me answer the door. Which was harsh. Rather harsh. A series of calls and voice notes followed to I was rallying support to build some sort of an army. Some joined in.. played along, some said "erm. calm your tits you haven't made it out of the terrible twenties yet. What if you decide to go all kurt cobain on your ass?" ... others chose to remain silent. I am grateful for their patience and the innate ability to tolerate. 

I've been collecting books though-  books that I must read, magazines I must subscribe to. I get frequent article updates on Twitter and the "must must must" iness seems to be gathering the look of a mountain now.  And this is  not even work related. "This is about chasing your dreams, D, " I tell myself. So it must be done. Which is all very fine... except where is this all moving towards I ask myself. What's the big fucking picture? What are you getting at? And before my mind can come up with an answer or finish the "activity" at hand  I find myself staring at a mute video of how to use a stove top espresso maker while microwaving a plate of rice for dinner. Day's over, your time's up, a voice announces cheerily like those annoying PA System speakers. 

Does this how it always go then... you go to bed sleep..and start again and keep at it till time's up again? It strikes me how very similar to life every day is. One life. One day. Sleep. Die. But it all must stop. Some time. That thought is both comforting and saddening at the same time. Like a strange song that you know is sad...but you also can't or rather won't...stop listening or loving. 

And so I don't stop....because the stopping is pre destined. The rest isn't. I tell myself that if I keep going then I won't have to worry about the bad things. 

Must. Not. Stop. Another addition to "must must must" - y list. :) 

Also, as long as I dream about hot surgeons while my hips are getting chopped off I'm going to be fine. That should be some sort of a maxim right? 

I'm just copy pasting screen shots of a whatsapp conversation (so you know what I mean, I am random but not that random)  here because technology allows me to. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Seriously If You Find That Quote Let Me Know. I Am Beginning To Worry About Myself

Longest day. I won't blame Monday though. It's the week or maybe the whole month. 

My old research organisation had organised a Book Launch today. It is perhaps the first book on arsenic contamination written in the vernacular. 

There was an initial hiccup and the event ran the risk of being held at a lounge bar (poor planning on the hotel's part. The co-ordinator forgot to mention there would be an event till 6 p.m at the hall booked for the book launch and they said they could only prep the hall for the launch at 7 p.m) I was there in the capacity of my present organisation. And as I surveyed the bar and the flimsy curtain that would form the backdrop for the headtable where socio- economic perspectives of this "deadly poison" would be discussed,  I couldn't help but let a giggle escape. 

That's when hysteria hit and I haven't stop giggling. The slightest hint of something funny and off I am. I guess that's what happens when the pressure gets to a point you let it escape and it escapes in bursts of giggles.

Jean-Martin Charcot photographed his “hysterical” patients at the Salpêtrière, a Parisian lunatic asylum. Charcot believed that hysterics adopted characteristic poses, and that if he could catalog these poses, he could make sense of the disease.   Augustine, the subject of this photograph, was Charcot's star patient. Charcot published many photos like this one in the Nouvelle Iconographie de la Salpêtrière.
And then I remember my boss showed me this whatsapp message about Lao Tzu advising something along the lines of mosquitoes on penises? I guess it was meant to be inspirational...or something.  And at this point I am beginning to wonder if I am hallucinating. Does that quote even exist? I can't find it on Google. Also Diamonds have cleavage? I should probably get myself to bed. 

Unrelated: It's the baby cousin brother's birthday today. He is in town but this is probably the first time that I haven't shared time with him on his day. I feel like a horrible sister and a horrible many other things. 

Updated: It exists ! It exists! 

OMG...SO relieved. :P 

Friday, June 12, 2015

I write Poetry When It's Rainy. Bad Poetry.

It's Friday night. I have presently said no to two invitations and I did actually end up being busy till 8 p.m. So I don't feel so bad that I lied about being held up. It's been an exhausting month so far. Been thriving can't complain...This week's been a bit weird. Been bumping into little bits and pieces of my past and I've been so very confused. I started writing poetry. That'll happen, especially when you have facy stationary and everything. 

Here's reproducing them in no particular order: 

"If I were to disappear, 
Into a little blip..
Would the earth shatter, would it matter
To those doomed to keep at it? 

And clutch their heart while it beats. 
As it is condemned: to Pain, dear Pain 
Unforgiving, unrelenting. 
The rain pours down in sheets. 

If I were to disappear 
In the moment and never come back...
Would it matter? 
Change how the rest of it unfurled 
To unleash chaos on an unsuspecting house of cards? " 


"Gobsmacked is a funny word. 
Yet one must often find 
In narrow lanes and rain laced window panes
To be hit by occasions, unsuspectingly benign. 
Till one must step back, 
Take recourse to distance. 
Understand that it does not concern 
The idiot that lives under broken bridges of the past
And amid loves lost and gone asunder." 


"An unexpected burst of the city's weariness 
I flee from work with mom. She has also been given an early respite. 
We enjoy the rain. 
A slight feeling of guilt, 
Interrupted by the beauty of the city. 
Kolkata you are unbearably pretty. 
Tendrils of lightening tracing veins through 
The thunderous heartbeat of the sky.
Catch your breath and sigh
Miracles are on their way. " 

Monday, June 8, 2015

Pet Cemetery

The office overlooks a cemetery. It is supposedly one of the most haunted places in Kolkata. Funnily it has been a year and a few months at my place of work, but I'd always chose to go home through a more circuitous route (that involved a 15 minute walk and if bad luck prevails another 10 minutes or so till there's only room for a lot of huffing and puffing and a grateful sinking in to the sweat infused cool comforts of the AC taxi, because fuck buses and everything else). 

Because I'm stupid that's why. 

It is only very recently that I take the straight walk to the oft-frequented bus stand which is roughly a two minute distance from our office. I'm grateful that good sense has prevailed. 

But closer digging of the sub conscious has now revealed why this easy walk has been avoided for the past 12 months. I remember a certain man with pink head phones crossing me on this path and whispering "very.big.boobs" into my ears and that was enough to freak me out because he made it sound like a delicacy. Seriously. I had also been stalked by two men in biker jackets in this very route (not sure if I've written about it here, but that accounts for a whole different blogpost). O and Btw? Kind of related:  That random call at 3 a.m in the night? that I was romanticising about it, thinking the man to be an ancient mouthpiece of unknown languages? Is just a pervert who  calls almost every day now.  ~sigh~  my naivety has become a source of entertainment to me these days.  I went to the phone service provider to trace the calls...and turns out that not only is that impossible but in the off chance that the dude calls again...I could pay 50 extra bucks for each of  the months to follow...and the number will totally pop up then...and I could take this guy to court THEN. Yay profit margins?!! Assholery at its peak much? 

Anyway, I get the drift.. I had my reasons to opt for the more roundabout way. I still do. But these are busy times and the thought that there's a bus just two minutes away from here to get me home is strangely comforting after a long day at work.

Snapshot of Friday evening from the Bus Stop. Cemetery - the green leafy bit to the left. Office is probably the yellow building at front. May be wrong, I am not used to leaving the office when it's still daylight :p 

This two minute walk entails me passing the cemetery. And I wouldn't have noticed ...(yeah that's how desperate I am to get home after work) if it hadn't been for a couple of boys loitering about the streets on their summer holiday. 

At the risk of sounding rather obtuse, I'll just call them boy 1 and boy 2. 

Boy 1:  look to the you see that? 

I look to the right...and for a second I stop too.. 

Boy 2: what is it ? 

Boy 1: that? that my friend is a giant fort of darkness. Stand back and behold it. 

And indeed...there was the entrance to the cemetery...there was the light at the entrance...and that's it. An invisible wall of utter pitch blacketyness had taken over after that and wouldn't let you see through. 

Boy 2: Keep walking...we need to get home before 8:30 p.m remember? 

Boy 1: Please...can we just wait here and watch the darkness for a bit? 

I grinned. "Watched" the darkness for a bit with them... and made my way home. Stronger. Braver. 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

It's Time To Start Adulting Again

People need to stop sending me the now-you-can-call-me-on-whatsapp message. It's making me uncomfortable, because I predicted that it was spam. But turns out it isn't. And that's unsettling because now I have to worry about whether a notification that totally sounds like spam might not be one?  and maybe I should pay more attention to things. 

We've settled down with our lives now that mom's back.

A Glimpse of Where She's Been....Solitude...Comes With A Price But I'd Pay
For It...Every.Single.Time.

I have stopped wearing quirky jewellery to office. The quirky jewellery had come out when the mother left. The Boss had looked at me questioningly. "This is me in the holiday know my way of..." and then she smiled indulgently and understood.

 It has been a mostly smooth ride.

 Except that time I got a call at 3 a.m in the night from a number I will never know...and from a voice that sounded like it was from a 100 years  ago. The thing with a dual sim phone is you can have a 3 g number where you have all the internet data usage in one sim. So you have a "whatsapp number" ; an exclusive number for whatsapp you can share with people you want to and that's always a very welcome thing. But at the same time, if one of these people call me on this 3 g number it always registers as "Unknown", so do the numbers of prank callers,  who experiment with random number combinations to call?  So it's always a surprise picking up calls on this number. I generally ask these friends to just call me on my "normal number" instead to avoid confusion. And then they just stare at me and ask me "why do you pick up calls from the abnormal number anyway?" I have a ready rejoinder for that. "Because sometimes, the mother and the boss call me there by mistake." 

Having said that, I really had no reason to pick up that call at 3 a.m. It was an instinct thing I suppose. It was a man. Sounded like a really old man. And he was screaming...nightmare screams and speaking in a language I wish I understood. If now-you-can-call-me-on-whatsapp spam messages ever had a threatening voice, this would be it. 

It took a while for me to go back to sleep after that. 

A few days passed. I relegated this frightfulness to the Doctor Who marathon. I'm sure this can be explained and it'd probably be something stupid, so I am not going to let this bother me as much, me thought to myself. 

Mom got me  strings of rubies spun on golden threads...they glistened like pomegranate seeds. The strings looked far removed from the conch shell necklaces and weird junk  I'd been sporting the past few days..And suddenly I felt shy, coy even and I wanted to go hide somewhere...remember the childish fears and tears of the days without her...and shake my head at me. 

It's time to start  adulting again.