Thursday, October 28, 2004

I proved today that if I wanted to work, I could. At the speed I needed. It isn't that I want to work. But the ugly deadline glaring at my face isn't a pretty sight. So I sped through at breakneck speed today.

Right now, Mum and Dad are waiting at Cal to catch the connecting flight. And it's a long wait. They landed there at 1.30pm and have their flight to Bombay at 6.30pm. I can picture Mum sitting with a serious face and trying to appear calm. But in reality, she's waiting for the day to end. When she will be safely on land again. She just hates flying.

Surprisingly, the panic cleaning session that happens before every visit, didn't happen this time. I did my bit before rushing to work in the morning and instructed hubby to do his bit. That was it. Hey, am beginning to think, we are treating the house well and it doesn't need the extra sprucing before visits, anymore. Things have definitely changed. Mum's gonna be proud of her little daughter!

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

The weekend finally ended!

"Pujo" as the Bongs call it, came and went. But this time I managed to catch a bit of it. It started with wearing a sari to office... followed by a 3 dayer weekend, which I extended to 4 days by not showing up at work yesterday.
I told myself I deserved it. The last week extracted quite a bit of work out of me. I struggled to meet deadlines as I refused to give in to late nights in office. But I guess I am gonna lose the battle this week as I strain to complete long pending work.

The weekend,however, was a party. Every night was a new day! As hubby and I went pandal hopping, dressed in our neatest, we kept an eye out for the stalls that serve the most delicious bengali fare. A quick prayer and a quicker bow to the grand goddess and off we went following the aromas wafting by. We passed stalls put up to sell everything from computers to mobile phones to insurance policies. Finally we sighted the crowd around the food stalls.
All style went as I tucked in my gorgeous sari and dug into mughlai porotha with my bare fingers. Hubby fought hard with his inner self as he justified to himself, it was okay to eat Pujo pandal mutton on his vegetarian day.

The birthday party for the one year old on Friday was more than worth it, simply for the food! Hubby spent more time talking to the waiters and captain, than the host, and complimented so much that they were ready to pack him a bag of food. Then Saturday, was a girls night out. Sis came over and we went shopping. In the night we met another friend for a belated birthday dinner. So there I was, wearing my cosmetic lenses and driving with a blurred vision in the night, at 80 kph! Sis understandably was petrified!

Since hubby was working most of the weekend to meet a deadline Sunday night, I told myself it was only fair that I finally spend some time with him on Monday. So that explains the absence from work. And also an opportunity to free myself of some of the guilt at having been shopping like a maniac. And only for myself. Cajoled him into getting some shirts and a pair of sandals. Realised, again, it doesn't take much to keep him happy!

Now work of course requires me to become superwoman if I am to do it all and yet spend time with parents visiting for a week, tomorrow. And it feels good to know there are others who are equally stressed with pressure at work. Like a colleague who after days of continuously leaving the office post 2 am, has absentmindedly mailed in her resume to her boss, instead of the completed assignment. Not once, but twice!! And the boss, highly disturbed is asking around, with a white face,"why is she doing this to me?"

Thursday, October 21, 2004

I don't open up easily. But when I talk, I talk too much! And it was more evident yesterday when I met up with a new friend. As we sat sipping steaming and chilled drinks in an ambience that helps you unwind after a day's work, conversation automatically veered towards relationships. And I took off.
I told her stories I haven't bothered to tell many. And it felt good. I hope she feels the same.

There are some relationships that leave such a bad taste in the mouth that even thinking of them makes you want to rinse out your mouth. There are some that makes you wonder if it was really you who behaved like that...

And then there are those that make you a better person. That make you want to live life and love life. No matter even if the person is no longer around. You think back and feel glad for those moments you spent together. And as you move on, you wish only happiness for a love lost, but a whole lot gained.

People change with time. So also likes, dislikes and perspectives. I know I have changed. For the better or worse, I cannot say. I think it has all taken a natural course and maybe I have arrived where I was meant to. Always.
I like to think I have been honest. For it's said "Never apologize for showing Feelings. When you do so, you apologize for the Truth."

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Strange are the ways of the world!
Read a report today that a school in Peru is asking for proof of virginity during admissions... Mothers and daughters are said to be highly distressed and depressed over this.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

At the races

Time is running and I have realised that I am running along. Days, weeks, months and years. The age I am at is an age I termed as 'old' 10 years back. Today I joke about it but it pinches somewhere to hear the same term and I justify it by optimistically terming it 'matured'.

It pinches not because I have less years to live than I had 10 years back. But because in all these years of arriving at self claimed 'maturity', there is nothing else to show. Hubby says there is a lot. I think he believes I have him, what more could I want!

Today I am at an age when I CAN look back. And what do I see?

The last 10-12 years have been a blurry image of me in fast forward mode. Nothing very clear, nothing worth pausing or applauding. It's like a dream fading away and what remains is a blank screen with broken fragments slowly turning to dust. This time in slow motion.

Is it the place? Is it the rat race I am running in? Is it the change in perspective? Is it the change of dreams? Is it the chasing of new dreams?

Now, I intend to find the answers.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

"Two throats and one eye"

Last week I reconnected with one of my closest friends. My college chum, my hostel mate, my late night confidante, my dancing partner, my laughing companion!
Yes, she finally found me. I tried last year but somewhere along, I couldn't reach her...

Today my friend has turned into a fine writer, living in Berkeley. She sent me an invitation to one of her readings on Tuesday. Of course, it will take me a serious turn in fortune to be able to make it tomorrow, but it feels good to know there will be others who will be spellbound as she speaks.

She called in the night and we spoke for a long time. Mostly about our friends, N and B, who are no more. N, married happily for a year, in Mauritius, died of a heart attack on B's birthday. B and I, both in Bombay were shocked. We barely recovered when B, level headed and mature, took her life by jumping from her bedroom window.

Today, my friend reminded me of the time when we would read Toni Morrison's Sula in class... about getting goosebumps everytime the metaphor "two throats and one eye" came up, thinking about the powerful friendships of women around, particularly N and B's bond, which was both silly and poignant.

It is as if both Sula and Nel are gone from our world.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Deadly Dadar!!

Today I need to take a local train. After years. I am gearing up for the journey. Thankfully it's not at 'peak' hours. I am dressed for the part too. But I am still contemplating whether I should give DD (Deadly Dadar) a slip by not changing trains (central and west)...

There have been a few years when I had to take a train six days a week to get to and from office. Untill I finally decided no jobs are worth the terror train rides. And the years of getting shoved, elbowed and stomped are now thankfully a thing of the past...

Back to DD , there are quite a few memories, I gloat to replay and talk about.

This was this time when I helped to catch a thief! As I saw the train whistling in, I dug my toes blowing dirt warming up for my jump in motion... All of a sudden, a man skips out of the slowing ladies compartment with screams of "chor! chor!" behind him. Instantaneously, I swept my arm around and caught a part of his shirt. He yanked hard, freed himself and fled. I didn't waste time and raced behind. All the warm up coming to good use. Up the stairs... I lunged and caught his leg. Both of us fell. Men watching, stunned.

Echoes of "chor! chor!" Pandemonium!!! He was trapped. The women alighting from the train reached and what followed was public trashing for the thief (before the cops rescued him), public speech for the lady whose gold chain was retrieved, public appreciation (wah! wah!) for me! I was a hero (or is it heroine?)!! The missed meeting and my boss' disapproval (at behaving very 'unladylike') didn't matter at all.

Another incident at DD made me feel like Moses. It was the last day of the year. Rushing home to get ready for a night of partying. Lost to the world, as I went with the flow of people on the crowded bridge. Absentmindedly twisting my body at intervals to protect myself from dirty paws and elbows that were aimed from people from the opposite direction. Suddenly, I stiffened. Was that a deliberate hand on my behind? And then, it was gone. As I turned, I saw a man turn around and smile.

That was it. I lost it. Racing madly towards him, I caught him by the collar and and punched him real hard. It felt so good! I rubbed my hands and turned to go back on my way. That was when the miracle happened. The way before me parted like the sea had. Where once was difficult for air to pass through, lay open an empty passage! And people stood on the sides and gaped at me... as I walked with my feet hardly touching the ground and my head in the clouds!

Today, I am just hoping for an uneventful journey.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

tears in heaven...

The world has become a sick place. Now the latest targets of terrorism are children! How could anyone kill these angels?

Yesterday, plenty of innocent cherubs waited excitedly to catch their first glimpse of a train at the newly constructed railway station in Dimapur. That was when they were bombed dead.

Similarly in Tezpur, several helpless children, so full of life and energy were rendered lifeless in a matter of seconds. A bomb blast, of course.

Who can forget the gruesome pictures of the Russian seizure? Little children, trapped in fear, dying cruel death... the few who survived will need to blank out their memories to be able to live normal lives. Scarred for life. Physically, emotionally, spiritually.

My heart bleeds painfully when I think of all these mindless killings. My prayers go out for all the parents they have left behind, for all the years they have been cheated of, for all the blank years they have to face ahead.

Forgive us, little ones, for we know not what we do. May god take you to a better world. A world worthy of your love and your purity. Where your message of peace will be recognized in your ringing laughter. A world that will never let you shed a tear. A world where you will live freely and happily...