Monday, February 23, 2009

Sheba


“Schrödinger was a son of a bitch” she said.

I was in the middle of crushing. I didn’t appreciate her theorizing all over my hard-pressed labour. I decided to humour her anyway.

“Why is that”

“He forgot a simple scientific fact.”

I proceeded to crush the tiny green leaves under my calloused thumbs.

“All cats”, she spat in a spitting way obviously irked by my disinterest, “have nine lives.”

 I nodded. This was the problem with Sheba. She thought she was the granddame on the fundamental theories of physics. I have yet to break the news to her that she was hallucinating. She wasn’t a cat. In fact, she wasn’t even remotely feline.

“Let me do that,” she purred in her fake cat voice and sidled over to where I was sitting. It was hard to concentrate on what I was doing when Sheba started sidling and purring and bending over in that very fake-catlike manner of hers. She ran her tongue all along the side of the paper, rolled it, lit it and put it between her lips. I watched my hard work go up in smoke as she sat there with her big fat Cheshire-cat grin.

“So,” she said between puffs, “what’s this I hear about it all ending tonight.”

“You’re not in it.”

“I was in your last one.”

“That wasn’t you.”

“Well, it sure as hell wasn’t your ex-wife, she was as flat as a cutting board.”

“Mm-hmm.”

I decided to just agree with everything Sheba said. It was the only way to shut her off. I went back to my computer and started up from where I had left it.

I’d been working on this novel for nine years. It’s finally here. This where it all ends, tonight. My fingers began to itch. It meant something monumental was up.  

“Speaking of your ex-wife” she said stubbing the last of her joint into the mahogany table, “I saw her with her lover today.”

I tried to ignore Sheba. She disappeared into the kitchen and I heard the clanking of ice upon glass. She came back and leaned against the desk. She placed a small glass of rum and coke on the table by the computer. She knows I don’t like ice. There were two cubes swishing in there. I took a swig.

“So what happens to him?”

“I can’t say.”

“You might as well. Or I’ll just come back later when you’re asleep and read everything you wrote.”

“Good. So then you’ll know.”

“You should make him fly, you know.”

“You should mind your own business, you know.”

She pushed the glass on to my lap. I picked up a napkin lying nearby and dabbed the inside of my jeans. These were new. I picked up the empty glass from the carpet and placed them on the desk again. I needed to finish this tonight.

Sheba was sulking on the sofa. She had lit herself another one and was cradling a drink. One of these days I need to tell her she’s not a cat. I also need to get her to stop stealing all of my drinks and cigarettes. But not today. Today was His day.

My bones were tingling. I’ve been watching him for nine years now. I spawned him, followed him, dissected every action of his insignificant life in minute detail. I knew how he liked his coffee in the morning, what shampoo he used, the length of his inside leg. I felt a little like God. Or the Devil. I’m not sure which. I get confused.

“So what’s going to happen to him?”

She was slurring now. I bet she’s gone through another bottle of rum already. I need to hide them better the next time. I don’t know how she always manages to find them.

“You’ll know when I’m done.”

“You’ve been saying that for nine years.”

“Yeah? So what’s nine more.”

She came up to the computer and perched herself on the edge. She was going to strip now, I knew it. That was always her way of getting attention.

“That’s another thing. Nine. Why nine lives? I mean, why not ten? Or seventeen?”

“You’re not happy with nine? Most of us just get one life.”

“Yeah, but one is fine. It’s like...” she started curling and uncurling her fingers in the air as though snatching as an elusive invisible word hanging in the ether “...meaningful, you know? Nine is just arbitrary.”

“So is 34.”

“What’s 34?”

“The length of his inside leg.”

“I thought it was your age.”

“You’re off by nine years.”

“43?”

“25.”

“You look 43.”

“Thanks, I love you too.”

She sat back looking smug and starting drinking again. Things were really happening now. Words were flying out of my fingers like lightning bolts slicing through a muddle of unrealized eventualities. I should have been Zeus. I can so carry off a toga.

 “Getting somewhere huh?”

She had been silent for some time. I forgot she was still here. I was amazed she was still awake given the amount she’d drunk.

“Mm-hmm.”

“Want a smoke?”

“No.”

“Fine. I’ll get it myself.”

There were days when I wished Sheba would disappear. Like today. She was being irritable and cranky and breaking my concentration. Somedays I wished I never created her.

“I met you during my second.”

“Lover?”

“No, silly. Life.”

“Yes, that makes so much more sense. Seeing how you’re not really a cat and you’ve only had one life, and a shit one at that.”

“I could be a cat.”

“You’re not.”

She sighed loudly. She was getting whiny, I could tell she was getting whiny by the length of her sighs.

“You’re being a real bitch today, you know”

“Right back atcha, kid.”

She banged the empty glass loudly on the table and stomped noisily to the kitchen. That was her way of showing she was not amused. I got back to my writing.

The novel was a saga. At least, it was 700 pages long, and by my standards that qualified as a saga. The protagonist was male, and he drank and he smoked and he whored around. He was also slowly going insane. No one knew this, but of course I knew this. I had to know; I created him.

“What do I have to do with anything.”

She was back. I had gotten used to the comfortable clattering of the keys amidst the silence of the room – something she shattered with her whininess.

“What do I have to do with anything?” she asked again.

“You don’t.”

“Then why am I here?”

‘You’re not.”

“Fuck you.”

“Fuck you back.”

“What are you, like, twelve?”

I didn’t look up from the computer. I was on a roll here.

“Maybe I’m here.... so I can fly.”

She was getting that wistful tone into her voice again. That never bodes well.

“You can’t fly.”

“You can make me fly.”

“No. I can make you disappear. It’s not the same thing.”

“If you can make me disappear, why haven’t you already?”

Sheba was really starting to annoy me. Sometimes she sounded just like mom. Especially when her voice hit that annoyingly mocking nasal-tone. It was like she knew she’s hit a nerve, but didn’t know exactly which nerve, and so will go on digging and digging and digging like trying to pick at a splinter with a pair of boxing gloves. And she’ll do it till I make her stop. Or drink myself to oblivion.

I reached out for the glass by the computer. It was filled with rum again. Neat, this time. She must’ve gone into the kitchen and fetched it for me. There was ice floating in it again. I gulped it down and set the empty glass on the table, cubes clinking against each other.

“Most writers I know always have their characters under control.”

“You don’t know any writers.”

“I know you.”

“Right.”

“And you’re not a writer.”

“Whatever you say.”

She was starting to give me a headache. I reached for the bottle of rum.

“So how’s the story coming?”

“Fine, till you interrupted.”

“I’m just eager to know the ending, that’s all.”

“You’ll get there.”

“Am I in it?”

“If you’re nice, I’ll put you in.”

That seemed to put her in a good mood. She settled in quietly nestling her drink and cigarette. Every time she comes home she litters the place with ashes. I tried telling her to use the ashtray. I gave up after she set my curtains on fire.

I could feel the end beating upon me. It was like this dark, looming thing just at my throat. I hadn’t realized how excited I was. Even I didn’t know what how it was going to end.

“Why does he always die?”

Sheba had woken up from her drunken half-daze.

“Who?”

“Your protagonists. Why do they always die?”

“Protagonist. Singular. And I never said he was going to die.”

“He is anyway... the rate he’s going.”

“Thanks for your insights.”

The headache was returning. I couldn’t find the glass. She must’ve taken it away when I hadn’t noticed.

“You drink too much, John.”

“Thanks for caring.”

“I don’t.”

I was furiously typing at the keyboard. Maybe the noise of the keys would drown out that dull throbbing ache in my head.

“Do you ever go back to read what you wrote?”

“No. Will do that later. When I’m finished.”

“I’ve read it.”

“Good for you.”

“I read it every night. After you sleep.”

“Mm-hmm.”

I tried to concentrate through the haze of pain. It’s never been this bad before. I can’t stop now. I pushed myself to continue writing.

“We’re out of cigarettes, John.”

“Fetch yourself a drink.”

“We’re out of that too.”

“Buy some.”

“We’re out of money, John.”

Almost there. If I could just block her nagging voice out of my head. She, it, that.... all of it. With the pain. I can sense the end drawing near.

“John.”

I ignored her and continued typing.

“John.”

Man, she’s persistent.

“John...” she purred. She put her fingers on my arms and started stroking it. Sheba could be good for things like that.

“It’s not going to end tonight, John.”

“Yes, it will.”

“Yes, it will. Just not the way you think.”

She was drinking from the bottle.

“I thought you said we were out of drinks.”

“We are. We’ve been out for nine years now.”

“I see.”

She wasn’t making any sense. I decided to ignore her again and finish my story.

“You drank yourself into a coma. This is limbo, John. “

This was her way of being melodramatic. She was always one for dramatic pauses and grand statements. And now she was standing there stark naked with a bottle in her hand and making these ominous statements. I wish she’d stop making that infernal racket so I can hear myself think. My fingers wouldn’t stop and all the words were coming out wrong. This is not what I wanted.

“You’re not writing a novel, John. You just think you are. You’ll been typing the same sentence everyday for nine years now, where do you think this story is going?”

Sheba is drunk and she’s fucking with my mind. If I could get her to shut up and get back in the story everything would be fine. She insists on talking to me. I wonder if all writers have this problem.

“Make him fly john.” She pleaded.

I stop. And look at the blinking cursor. There. One sentence. I was one sentence away from an ending. The entire novel has been one sentence. Was it a good sentence, I wonder. Too late to tell now. At least I created Sheba.

“Make him fly...” she whispers. Her voice is barely audible right now. She’s stroking my arm again, the way I like it. She’s drunk so much her body starts to shift shape like it always does when she drinks too much. This is the end, I think; she will finally be freed from limbo.

I leave the last sentence half-finished. There’s a dot missing at the end of the line. There’s a line missing at the end of the line. It’s alright. She’ll probably finish it in her next life.

I open the window and stand in front of it. Sheba climbs on my back. It’s a little like Schrödinger’s cat I think and laugh at the irony. Or maybe not. At this point, I can’t tell. I’m just relieved it’s over.

I leap. And Sheba spreads her wings. What do you know, she wasn’t lying after all. She flies with me into the darkness till we reach so high I can’t breathe. I always knew she wasn’t a cat. 

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Send in the clones

In the summer of 1997, the Tamil Nadu government initiated efforts to introduce sex education into the school curriculum. This highly controversial move sparked a dramatic reaction from all fractions of the academic world, not to mention a whole slew of worried parents and one very troubled sheep.

Is this rot what they are teaching our kids in schools these days, one man asked, whatever happened to good old differential equations in the third degree. Another protested, sex is against Indian culture. To which the man next to him replied, how do you explain the one billion then? To which the former, after meditating long and hard on the seeming conundrum, replied – mitosis! This then sparked a nation-wide debate on stress-altered reproductive behavior and DNA replication in certain species, in which many noted zoologists, biologists, sociologists and one shady man in an oversized coat who kept winking at the female gynecologist and no one really know what he was there for, partook. But that is another story.

Amidst much public outcry and protests that this move would expedite the moral degradation of the general public, the government decided to still go ahead with this landmark decision in the history of Indian education. The education minister at the time, Ms Saswati Padhayeeiks, affectionately nicknamed ‘eeks’ by the opposition party members, had only this to say to all the dissenting fractions of the general public, ‘Because I say so’.

The delicate task of exposing young minds for the first time, to the concept of reproductive behavior and the actual mechanics of it, was one that warranted a great deal of tact, delicacy and an innate understanding of the actual subject matter under review. Selecting the person most suited for executing this task would be of paramount importance. After reviewing several thousand noted personalities from all walks of life, by the end of that year, one Mr Allvais Reddy Foryakshun, was commissioned by the government of Tamil Nadu to assume this monumental undertaking.

The following papers are excerpts from a series of correspondence between Mr Allvais Reddy Foryakshun and the government of Tamil Nadu.

 --

To Ms. Saswati Padhayeeiks,

Minister for Education, Tamil Nadu


In accordance with the guidelines laid down by the Ministry of education, Tamil Nadu, I have executed my duties to the best of my abilities and have produced the following passage for inclusion in textbooks for the Matriculation stream, standard 10.

A brief introduction to sex:

 Reproduction is the fundamental feature of all life. Normal human reproduction occurs through sexual intercourse. Sexual intercourse is the act in which the male reproductive organ, called the penis, enters the female reproductive tract, called the vagina. The primary goal of sex is to merge the sperm and egg to make a baby.

When a girl child is born, she has all the eggs her body will ever use stored in her ovaries. As she matures into puberty, her body begins producing various hormones that cause the eggs to mature. The ovaries release one egg about once a month. If the egg does not become fertilized by male sperm, the egg and the lining of the uterus drain out of the vagina. If the egg does become fertilized by male sperm from intercourse, it will attach itself to the lining of the uterus and grow into a baby.


Mr Allvais Reddy Foryakshun

BE, MS, MPHIL, PHD, BED, COT, MATTRESS.

--

 To Mr Allvais Reddy Foryakshun

BE, MS, MPHIL, PHD, BED, COT, MATTRESS.


After careful evaluation of your submission we feel that the subject matter under review would benefit from inviting inputs from other sources. After consultation with Ms Seskie Baybee, Director of the Indian Censor Board, it is our opinion that the language of the text should be scientific and educational in nature. Explicit vocabulary and suggestive writing should be avoided at all costs in order to safeguard the moral fibre of the country’s youth, especially since we are addressing a particularly impressionable populace. Please refer to the list of banned words as stated by the Indian Censor Board and find suitable scientific alternatives.


Ms. Saswati Padhayeeiks,

Minister for Education, Tamil Nadu

Ms. Seskie Baybee,

Director of the Indian Censor Board

 --

 

To Ms. Saswati Padhayeeiks,

Minister for Education, Tamil Nadu

 

In accordance with the guidelines laid down by the Ministry of education, Tamil Nadu, I have incorporated the recommended changes into the text and produced the following passage for inclusion in textbooks for the Matriculation stream, standard 10.

A brief introduction to sex:

Reproduction is the fundamental feature of all life. Normal human reproduction occurs through theactformerlyknownassex. Theactformerlyknownassex is the act in which the male reproductive organ enters the female reproductive tract. The primary goal of theactformerlyknownassex is to merge the seed and egg to make a baby.

 When a girl child is born, she has all the eggs her body will ever use stored in her thingamagig. As she matures into whachamacalit, her body begins producing various badabhimbadaboom that cause the eggs to mature. The thingamagig release one egg about once a month. If the egg does not become fertilized by whoopadedadoop, the egg and the lining of the dadadodedodum drain out of the female reproductive tract. If the egg does become fertilized by whoopadedadoop from theactformerlyknownassex, it will attach itself to the lining of the dadadodedodum  and grow into a baby.


Mr Allvais Reddy Foryakshun

BE, MS, MPHIL, PHD, BED, COT, MATTRESS.

--

 To Mr Allvais Reddy Foryakshun

BE, MS, MPHIL, PHD, BED, COT, MATTRESS.


After careful evaluation of your submission we feel that the subject matter under review would benefit from inviting inputs from other sources. After consultation with Ms Male Basheeng, Director of the National Commission for Woman, it is our opinion that the emotional aspects of reproduction have been largely ignored in the current text. We recommend highlighting the psychological and emotional aspects of reproduction from a female perspective.


Ms. Saswati Padhayeeiks,

Minister for Education, Tamil Nadu

Ms Male Basheeng,

Director of the National Commission for Woman

--

 To Ms. Saswati Padhayeeiks,

Minister for Education, Tamil Nadu


In accordance with the guidelines laid down by the Ministry of education, Tamil Nadu, I have incorporated the recommended changes into the text and produced the following passage for inclusion in textbooks for the Matriculation stream, standard 10.

A brief introduction to sex:

Reproduction is the fundamental feature of all life. Normal human reproduction occurs through theactformerlyknownassex. Theactformerlyknownassex is the act in which the male reproductive organ enters the female reproductive tract. The primary goal of theactformerlyknownassex is to merge the seed and egg to make a baby. Babies are wonderful. All women love babies. Only women have the power to increase the human race. They are sexy, sexy Von-Neumann machines 1.

When a girl child is born, she has all the eggs her body will ever use stored in her thingamagig. As she matures into whachamacalit, her body begins producing various badabhimbadaboom that cause the precious eggs to mature. The thingamagig release one egg about once a month. If the egg does not become fertilized by whoopadedadoop, the egg and the lining of the dadadodedodum drain out of the female reproductive tract in a normal but painful phenomenon that all women experience. This pain is rumored to be a mere 1/100th of the pain of actual childbirth. 

If the egg does become fertilized by whoopadedadoop from theactformerlyknownassex, it will attach itself to the lining of the dadadodedodum and grow into a baby, thanks to the awesome child-bearing powers of women. We must all worship women as testament to the pain they endure in the fulfillment of their noble duties to advance the human race.


Mr Allvais Reddy Foryakshun

BE, MS, MPHIL, PHD, BED, COT, MATTRESS.

 --

To Mr Allvais Reddy Foryakshun

BE, MS, MPHIL, PHD, BED, COT, MATTRESS.


After careful evaluation of your submission we feel that the subject matter under review would benefit from inviting inputs from other sources. After consultation with Mr Iyama Pansie, Director of the National Commission for Men, it is our opinion that the tonal quality of the text is too heavily female-oriented. In the interests of equality, we strongly recommend that you stress upon the indispensible role men play in the act of reproduction.


Ms. Saswati Padhayeeiks,

Minister for Education, Tamil Nadu

Mr Iyama Pansie,

Director of the National Commission for Men

--

 To Ms. Saswati Padhayeeiks,

Minister for Education, Tamil Nadu


In accordance with the guidelines laid down by the Ministry of education, Tamil Nadu, I have incorporated the recommended changes into the text and produced the following passage for inclusion in textbooks for the Matriculation stream, standard 10.

A brief introduction to sex:

 Reproduction is the fundamental feature of all life. Normal human reproduction occurs theactformerlyknownassex. Theactformerlyknownassex is the act in which the male reproductive organ enters the female reproductive tract. The primary goal of theactformerlyknownassex is to merge the seed and egg to make a baby. Babies are wonderful. All women love babies – especially male babies. Due to the limitations of medical advancements, currently only women have the power to increase the human race. They are sexy, sexy Von-Neumann machines.

 When a girl child is born, she has all the eggs her body will ever use stored in her thingamagig. As she matures into whachamacalit, her body begins producing various badabhimbadaboom that cause the precious eggs to mature. The thingamagig release one egg about once a month. If the egg does not become fertilized by whoopadedadoop, otherwise known as sacred man-milk which every red-blooded male possesses, the egg and the lining of the dadadodedodum drain out of the female reproductive tract in a normal but painful phenomenon that all women experience. This pain is rumored to be a mere 1/100th of the pain of actual childbirth. However, this pain is nothing compared to the pain of providing for the family – a noble task that all men undertake.

If the egg does become fertilized by the sacred man-milk through theactformerlyknownassex, it will attach itself to the lining of the dadadodedodum and and grow into a baby, thanks to the awesome child-bearing powers of women and the secret life-giving powers of man-milk. We must all worship women and genuflect at men as testament to the duties they undertake in their noble mission to advance the human race.


Mr Allvais Reddy Foryakshun

BE, MS, MPHIL, PHD, BED, COT, MATTRESS.

 --

To Mr Allvais Reddy Foryakshun

BE, MS, MPHIL, PHD, BED, COT, MATTRESS.


 After careful evaluation of your submission we feel that the subject matter under review would benefit from inviting inputs from other sources. After consultation with Sr Ivana Geddlaid, President of the National Catholics Educational Association, it is our opinion that the moral implications of the act of reproduction have been grossly underrepresented. We strongly recommend that you place emphasis on the spiritual aspects of this most holy act.


Ms. Saswati Padhayeeiks,

Minister for Education, Tamil Nadu

Sr Ivana Geddlaid,

President of the National Catholics Educational Association

--

To Ms. Saswati Padhayeeiks,

Minister for Education, Tamil Nadu


In accordance with the guidelines laid down by the Ministry of education, Tamil Nadu, I have incorporated the recommended changes into the text and produced the following passage for inclusion in textbooks for the Matriculation stream, standard 10.

 A brief introduction to sex:

Reproduction is the purpose of all life. Normal human reproduction only occurs after marriage. Only dogs have sex; humans have babies. Theactformerlyknownassex is the act in which mommy and daddy come together to make a baby. The primary goal of theactformerlyknownassex is make babies so that we can all marvel at God’s wonderful creation. Due to the designs of our lord and supreme master, only women have the power to increase the human race. They are pretty, pretty carriers of spiritual beings.

When a girl child is born, she has all the eggs her body will ever use. As she matures, her body undergoes mysterious changes that only God in his infinite wisdom can fathom. Only hell-fiends and infidels would try to uncover the magic of all creation through medical science.

When mommy and daddy indulge in holy union and consummate their marriage, a tiny miracle begins to grow inside mommy’s stomach, bearing testimony to the glory of God. When you grow up, please remember to get married and consummate your union. And finally: condoms are evil. Latex is made in hell, not China.


Mr Allvais Reddy Foryakshun

BE, MS, MPHIL, PHD, BED, COT, MATTRESS.

--

To Mr Allvais Reddy Foryakshun

BE, MS, MPHIL, PHD, BED, COT, MATTRESS.


After careful evaluation of your submission we feel that the subject matter under review is finally at a publishable level. However, it is my opinion that the text could still benefit from some further tweak and polish. I would suggest we meet in my office tonight to address the problem in hand. Looking forward to working closely with you, Mr Reddy Foryakshun.  


Ms. Saswati Padhayeeiks,

Minister for Education, Tamil Nadu

 --

Footnote:

1 – Extra cookie to anyone who can tell me what this is all about :D 

Monday, February 16, 2009

Dateless in Bangalore


Ok, that title should actually read dateless on a Saturday night in Bangalore. Or actually, stood up on a first date on a Saturday night in Bangalore. Or even, stood up on a first date on Valentine’s Day on a Saturday night in Bangalore. Or… but I’m getting ahead of myself.

To begin from the beginning, which is always a very good place to make a start if you ever want to start from somewhere, let’s start with V day.

First of all, I hate V day (which is what we’ll be calling it from here on cuz it sounds so much cooler than Valentine’s day and my word is god, so there) I hate V day because this is the most mindless day in the entire year where mindless 15-year olds give pink plastic roses to other mindless 15-year olds who croon about how swwweeeeeeeeeet that is and then they all go live happily ever after in Karan-Johar-land while meanwhile back on earth the one-day sales of Archies Galleries across India spike by 7652%. The whole swapping of pink chocolates and teddy bears is like watching some incredibly primitive form of mating ritual observed in an intelligence-deficient species. It’s like watching sea slugs trying to build a particle accelerator.

Back in college, V day always fell during the inter-collegiate fest that the university organized. Since we were a bunch of highly intelligent and complex engineers living in a pre-orkut era, we devised a highly intelligent and complex system of color-codes to indicate to the opposite sex if we wanted to ‘mk frndshp w thm’. If you wore red, you were already spoken for. Green meant, go ahead I’m open. Yellow meant, let’s just be friends. Multicolored meant, I have multiple personality disorder and am possibly color-blind too which is why I dressed in the dark and wore this god-awful vomit-colored shirt.

Another common custom of this elaborate mating/dating ritual included random dudes walking up to you, extending a rose and saying – I love you. Do you love me? – And when you reply – no, you asshole, I’ve never seen your face before in my life – they’d get all depressed and slink away into some corner of the campus. Invariably, three days later, random dude’s best friend will walk up to you, call you out from class (random dude and his cronies are usually seniors, which means they can pull juniors out of class anytime) and say – why did you refuse his love? He used to be a gold medalist, but because of love failure now he is failing in everything. 

Before you can devise a rational argument to counter his irrefutable logic, random dude’s best friend number two, who has throughout this conversation been standing in the background with his arms folded and his face expressionless, will hit upon an epiphany right then and loudly declare – machan, that time itself I told! Girls na eppome problem da! (translation: girls = problem. See, Tamil really is that easy.)

Then friend one and friend two will put their heads together and get random dude out of depression. Random dude meanwhile, him being ever the pro-active hyper-enthu cutlet, would have in this time been frantically reading up on wikipedia on what to do when love failure occurs and writing to agony aunts across all newspapers... dear x, I proposed a girl, she disagreed for my love, please suggest good brand rat poison. 

So that’s the complex series of sacred rituals and customs that collectively make V day the happy pink-hearts-and-teddy-bears festival we all know and love. Joyful isn’t it? I can see why we all celebrate it.

This year however, that fine bastion of Indian tradition, Sri Ram Sene chief Mutalik has decided to safeguard Indian sentiments by cracking down hard on such unpatriotic acts like celebrating V-day. I agree with him completely. Valentine’s day is against Indian culture. How dare people publicly display affection! Abisthu abacharam! After all, everyone knows that Indians don’t have sex. One billion people? Dude, you must have double vision or something. It’s just me here in India. Who you gonna believe, me or the National Census Bureau?

So to show my solidarity with his cause, and as I would anyway be in Bangalore on Saturday, I decided I must find a random dude and then go out drinking that night (which is also against Indian culture, because we all know that the Indian body is anatomically programmed to only consume curd rice. This is backed by irrefutable scientific data that Mutalik possesses and guards safely in a vault within his underwater secret cave) and get arrested as an example and warning to loose and forward women everywhere. See, this is what you get if you visit bars! You get put behind bars. So with such noble intentions in heart, I called my best friend, who called a friend, who agreed to boldly go where no man hath gone before – or in this case, on a first date at Hard Rock Café.

While we’re on the topic of dating, a slight digression here. What with me moving to the States in four months, shifting to Bangalore in two, a month left to launch a new business initiative and then four months to stabilize it and implement a remote management system…. I don’t need boyfriend woes to add to my stress. Dating is the term I use to imply meeting interesting people. I don’t define a relationship and would much rather let things unfold at their own pace and comfort level… which means that a lot of my so-called dates end up becoming good platonic friends. It also means that at any time, I am casually dating a number of people. The way I see it, unless I’m absolutely sure about someone it doesn’t make sense getting into a commitment. According to my cousin, the term ‘dating’ refers to a much more sophisticated craft with clearly defined protocol, motivations and intent, and what I’m doing is apparently just ‘hanging out’. Tomayto, tomahto. Doesn’t change the fact that I’m still sexually frustrated.

So anyway, V night at Hard Rock it was. Except that at seven in the evening, blinddateguy messages saying that something has come up and he can’t make it. First of all, who the hell cancels a seven pm date AT seven pm?! And more importantly, who will take on Mutalik now? Of course, the fact that I’ve been stood up on a Saturday night in Bangalore, and all my other friends have already made plans, and my colleagues have left on an earlier flight while I extended my trip by a night just so I can head out for a night about town had nothing to do with me telling blinddateguy to go boil his head in lizard piss. I was merely vocalizing my frustration at being unable to carry out an act of mutinous rebellion as a symbolic protest against anti-social extremist factions in an otherwise secular nation. 

Ironically, by a twist of fate I actually had pink chaddies that night, thanks to my very loose and forward thinking servant who had the foresight to throw in that one red sock with the rest of my tighty-whiteys, and I was all set to start a revolution. Waiter, a round of Molotov cocktails for the house!

So there I was, pink chaddies, and heels (um, and a little more) and all geared up for a night out about town with great music and greater booze and instead I’m staring at my wretched phone and wondering why I don’t know enough single interesting men in Bangalore.

Maybe it was the Saturday, or maybe it was the V day, or maybe all the planets lined up in a straight line and the universe thought, today is lets-screw-lav day, but they were all busy. Backup number one doesn’t do weekends. Backup number two wanted me to be his girlfriend after a second date, so I cut him loose. Backup number three fled town this weekend and Backup number four turned into a giant green tentacled thing and teleported himself to the planet Zyborm. I need to go on a recruiting spree for my harem again.

I was down to two options: call up another random dude (friend of a friend. Aren’t they always?) and head out with someone lame enough to stay at home on a Saturday night and be willing to go out with someone lame enough to be home on a Saturday night looking for someone lame enough…. Wait, did I just uncover an infinite loop of lameness? Ye gods.

Or option two was drag platonic friend and TLR (read: The Last Resort) out and paint the town red, or a mild pink hue at any rate. TLR being home and eating peanuts when I called was promptly bullied into meeting me at TGIF. (is it just me or is this paragraph suddenly being invaded by too many abbreviations?) TGIF is the place I used to frequent when the old airport was within city limits. Of course now that we need to take a flight, cab and bullock cart to another country to get to the new Bangalore airport, I hadn’t been there in a while. To cut a long story short, I didn’t like it – too much light, too much food and random smiling man in a suit handed me a rose at the entrance. I have a thing for flowers; I hate them. Ergo, we left.

The rest of the evening was spent waiting for transport, then waiting for traffic to move, then waiting for the lights to change, and waiting… and waiting… and waiting… till we got to a pub on Brigade Road at which point I changed my mind and decided to walk down to Hard Rock instead. Here’s the thing with Hard Rock; it’s like home. No matter how shitty your day was, or how tiring, or disappointing, or whatever HRC Bangalore always leaves you feeling top of the world by the time you’re done. So after walking 3 blocks in a pair of 4 inch heels through the most horse-shitted road in all of the country – I swear this is true, it’s like a horde of horses descended from the sky just ten minutes before I took a walk and held some sort of horsedumping contest – we made it to HRC at a quarter past ten.

The next one hour was probably one of the most fun times I’ve had in a really long time. Bangalore has a strict no-dancing rule in its pubs. Somehow that night I think they suspended it. Except for the few guys at the tables which were all pushed away to the walls, the rest of the space really was teeming with people in various stages of inebriation exhibiting loss of sensory motor skills. Around eleven, big guy in leather jacket starts tapping these group of men who look like they're participating in some sort of sponsored epileptic fit. Well, I guess they couldn’t completely suspend the no-dancing rule. I’m sure with his keen sense of perception leatherjacketguy was the only person who could’ve accurately determined what constituted ‘dancing’ in the real frog-in-a-blender-sense and what was mere alcohol-induced swaying with minimal loss of sensory motor skills, and was hence rewarded with a leather jacket as testament to his skills. 

It was just one hour, but boy was that a good hour. I had calmed down enough to think maybe I was a little too harsh on blinddateboy. Boiling would be a bit much, perhaps he could care to go and gently marinate his head in lizard piss instead.

I must remember to thank TLR by the way – for the beer, the good time, the sympathetic ear to my grand plan of sending blinddateguy boxes of estrogen-laden chocolates and watching him develop man-boobies and, well, for turning up I guess. TLR If you’re reading this, I owe you one. Will send you chocolates, minus the estrogen or pimply fifteen year old.

As for blinddateguy, last I heard he was ‘really really sorry’ and said he’d call ‘in a bit’. Well, that was then, this is now… no call yet. Also my girlfriend just called today and wants to know if we should go catch that new movie ‘He’s not that into you.’ Maybe the universe is trying to tell me something.

I think the only explanation here is that blinddateguy is heading this super secret undercover covert operation and had to go away to defend our country from alien invasion while I was slowly getting drunk at Hard Rock. Also, I think all that contact with aliens and radioactivity fried his phone and also erased his memory of the last two days, which is why I’ve received no communication from him.

I’m sure he’ll call. Got a vial of estrogen and 'best brand' rat poison just waiting here for when he does. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

30 Random Things


I was tagged on Facebook. So that essentially means I am supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about me and then at the end, choose 25 people to be tagged.

It was fun. So I made it 30 and I’m putting them on the blog.

(I wish I had something cleverer to say to begin the post, but I don’t, so ha. I still maintain that I am a vortex of ozumness)

1. I never sleep before a trip. Never. It's 3am now and my flight to Delhi leaves in 3 hours.

2. Music sometimes gets me more high than sex, drugs or... er, booze.

3. When I was young, and the first time I saw the sunflower oil ad with the kid waking up 1/1000th his normal size and being chased by big fluffy pooris, I had nightmares for weeks.

4. I am secretly thrilled that I'm Gemini.

5. Smarts over looks anyday. And wit over smarts anytime. But all of this only holds if you're at least 5'11 and have a badass bank balance.

6. I can amuse myself for hours in my room imagining impossible imaginings. Like, what if I had a time-stopping device. Or what's the point of a 'moral compass' if you dont believe in afterlife anyway. Or who the hell stole one of my red striped socks?

7. I want to change the world.

8. When I was younger I used to fervently wish I would turn into a boy. Now, I just fervently wish I was 5'11.

9. I am finally living with no regrets, no expectations and no agendas. It still scares the shit out of me, but I wouldn't trade this phase in my life for anything in the world.

10. I hate birthdays and get severely depressed and listen to losing my religion all night.

11. I've never not gotten what I wanted. Really. Or I just lose the want for it. But usually I just get what I want. Men, grades, admissions, recognition, whatever.

12. I have poor taste in men.

13. I lose and gain weight very quickly. I've lost 4 kilos in a week once.

14. At my heaviest I was 74 kilos. At my lightest, I was 49. That was in a span of 2 years.

15. I was 5'4 when I was 12 years old, and then I stopped growing permanently.

16. I love my dogs. I doubt I can ever love anyone with such unconditional emotion.

17. I dont forgive people. I just stop thinking about them.

18. I want five kids one day.

19. I have substituted my support system with my blog, gtalk and facebook. Yes, google runs my life. Don't be evil.

20. I hate people touching my hair.

21. I once dated a different guy each day of the week. I didn't get any sleep, but I got a lot of beer. (And no, before you ask, didnt get any sex either)

22. I dont know if I will ever be ready for marriage.

23. My left eye is minus 5.75 and my right eye is minus 3.25 and my cylindrical is minus 2.75.

24. I once played pinball for 6 hours straight and hit 10 million.

25. I love London. I've never felt more at home anywhere else, Madras included.

26. I am more terrified of being divorced than of being married.

27. I never kept in touch with my first love. I sometimes think about him and wonder what happened to him. Are you out there? Are you happy? I wish somedays I could go back and not be mean to you.  

28. I love getting gifts. Especially spontaneous ones – like your friend stopping on the walk back to your house and getting you a pair of blue earrings from the roadsidewallah. Just because.

29. I secretly look up to my brother. But I keep telling him he’s a stupid bloody moron anyway cuz I know he’ll never read my blog.

30. One day 700 million people will know my name, and they will know what I do, and they will name their children after me, and they will write about me and talk about me while passing the salt at the dinner table. That day, I will give everything up. And forgive all the people I have forgotten.