Sunday, May 31, 2015

674, 673: Impressions from Tanu Weds Manu Returns

1. There is an inverse relationship between the length of a woman's hair and her self-esteem.

2. People choose their marriage partners based on whose dramas they can feed off on (and who in turn will suck up their own drama and nonsense).

3. It takes a sorted individual to stay away from marriage and/ or to walk away from it.

4. Kangana Ranaut is like the sun.

5. Madhavan reminded me of Aamir Khan - both so irritating that they give my intestinal lining a rash.

6. Sometimes one gets a sense that the movie is better than the script on account of the actors. One doesn't get that sense very often but I got it with this film. It would have been a cesspool of Haryanvi-Delhi-Punjabi clich├ęs in less able hands.

7. Great wisdom was imparted by Deepak Dobiyal: "You have misbehaved the deadline." (I hear you brother...I hear you.)

Thursday, May 28, 2015


Today I saw the rushes of the video we'd shot. It was most certainly a 'woohoo' moment but...I don't know if it's because it's my first time or if all writers feel the same way...but watching a film based on your script is a little like searching for a person's baby features in a very mature visage.

Sometimes one sees a resemblance. Sometimes one misses it. But you know that it's there somewhere else could it have become? I was on the sets when the video was sh...ot. I'd done some amount of directing. I was there as it happened. Yet when I see on screen the light and shadow fall a certain way, when I see the actor smile one minute and scowl the next, when I listen to the intonation of some other artist's voice, I did it become his story? how did it become everyone's story? WHEN did it become everybody's story?

Looking back, I think I know. It was when the first camera was switched on. When, just like that, collectively, we trudged to a point of no return and stumbled right over. I have never been fond of the camera or anything related but when I see the film, I think about how BIG it is. Just by being there. Just by allowing itself to be handled but being obdurate enough to want what it wants. As a writer I was never behind the camera nor in front of it. But I "see" the camera now as I watched the finished film.

It was the vessel and the void where the baby grew up. (And as I'm one of its many worthy co-parents, I now want the kid to go and make some money.)

677, 676 - Based on what I am wearing

The two may not seem related.

I wear today a sleeveless cotton dress. It's white with tiny circles and dots with a dropped waist. (That happens to be a favorite pattern with me - a dropped waist.) It's a hand me down from a friend who had given me a bunch of white shirts last summer. Although it's a dress and can be worn by itself, I'm wearing it with a pair of white cotton pants that have teeny bit of crotchet detailing at the end. The dress has pockets. One of them is a little ripped so you can't put coins in it. A cotton dress for me is a way of saying hello with a smile that reaches my eyes. It's simple, it's innocent, and something about the pleasant way it breathes in the summer sun suggests that things will be fine today. Like the way things were.

A cotton dress is a favorite kind of nostalgia.

Monday, May 25, 2015

683, 682, 681, 680, 679, 678

So many things have happened over the last few days. Will write about them soon enough. We have shifted into a new office space. There are now no windows where I sit. There's a huge whiteboard in front though. Maybe I'll sketch out a scenery I like every day. A different one depending on my mood. Today, because I don't have markers, the mood is for a smooth expanse of snow.

So far managed 40 suryanamaskars.

Monday, May 18, 2015


This morning I woke up with some amount of guilt. I thought it may be a good idea to be okay with the cook and maybe figure out things together. So I managed to change the gas cylinder. Then she makes me tea and gives it. The milk has spoiled and I see a cup of curdled, brown nauseating stuff. So, I ask her if she knew that the milk had spoiled. She said yes. I asked her if she thought there was anything wrong about giving tea that was made with curdled tea. She said that if I didn't like it, I could simply throw it. I told her I would and she needn't come from tomorrow.

I suppose it was amicable.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

687, 686, 685...what follows what?

At work, there's a pattern of behaviour that is exhibited by all parties involved. Initially interest, then some relief at having found someone to do the job, then one party gets too demanding and pushy, the other party gets resentful and resistant, then harsh communication exchanged wherein both parties' contribution is undermined, then very hurt feelings, then a throwing up of hands, but then finally some peace is brokered to get the job done.

I notice that usually I am at the receiving end of some of this behaviour. What has started happening is that I have started exhibiting the behaviour of the 'other side' (I wanted to use the word 'perpetrator' but that would not be correct) on my help. I get really irritated with the two of them. When I hired them to clean an cook, I thought they would know whatever there is to know to get their respective jobs done. But the cleaning lady did not know how to make the bed or use Harpic to clean the floor or open and close the door which has a simple locking system but the lady kept locking herself in or out of the room. Then she would ask me to come and help her. The cooking lady did not know what a tetrapack was. She doesn't know how to use a mixer or a blender and will not learn and is usually a few minutes late. Which means that sometimes I have to rush off without my dabba and routinely without breakfast but I do have some dinner when I get back. These ladies are from the village so they are a little raw. They need to be taught and trained.

Now, I return from office really late - the last month, it was routinely past midnight. By the time I go to bed, it's usually two or three, so I hate it when these women holler for me to help them with this or that - stuff which I feel they should already know. They charge me the same as the earlier help I had but they don't know the same amount of stuff so they don't do the same amount of stuff. Which has started bothering me now.

Like today, the cook said that the gas cylinder needed to be changed and she didn't know how to do it. Which pissed me off. More because when I had hired her, she hadn't told me that she didn't know how to do that. And even more because when I had hired her, I forgot to ask her whether she knew how to do that or not. I had also forgotten to ask her whether she can coo non-veg. The answer to that is 'no' also. But I pay her the same as the earlier one who knew how to do all that. So, I seem to hold her accountable for coming on time, allowing her no leeway to be late - because it's as if she has to compensate for all the things that she does not know, simply because I pay her an 'x' amount and she was expected to do 'x' amount of stuff.

This is exactly the vibe I get at work on a couple of projects sometimes.

If the situation is not swathed in enough irony, then here's the final swish of the stuff - I work in training. I work to create content that will be useful for people in exactly these situations - adults in a workplace who find themselves in a job they may need assistance with. Training is the best way to handle such situations because firing them or threatening them with paycut always proves more expensive and detrimental to a company in the long-run. That is my job. I ought to know hw to wor with my help better but I don't do that. Today I blasted both of them. I told them that when they go and pick up a job in a place, they need to tell the employers that they don't know how to do these things because otherwise the amount they ask for doesn't make sense.

I feel badly about it now. When similar things are told or insinuated to me at work by a client or a colleague, I don't like it. Why should I dish it out to someone else?

When I was six years old, I had gotten burned. For that reason, I have been wary of the kitchen and its attendant risks - the pressure cooker, the stove, etc. Of course, I have had to learn to use all of that sufficiently to feed myself but changing the gas cylinder was the last frontier. So far I did not learn because I could get away with not knowing. It was like that with me even with regard to driving. When it was an absolute necessity, it's only then that I learned. Otherwise I was happy using public transport.

Anyway, these women may also have their own issues. I am very tempted to just ask them to leave because I don't want to start my day so agitated and angry. My chest feels constricted after I am done with them. They also begin their day with someone undermining their work. I think what upsets me more is that they have revealed the dichotomy in my life. I earn my living doing something that I won't do for free even if it will serve my purpose.

Maybe I should let things be for a little while. Get a little patient with them. Get a little patient with myself. Be more mindful of how vibes at work are getting under my skin. Breathe.

I checked out a couple of YouTube videos. I should be okay with changing the cylinder now. But I just checked - I have gas for the next three or four days. Maybe the cook hadn't turned the knob properly.


Thursday, May 14, 2015


Today it rained in a way that felt like a second chance.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

691, 690, 689

I think of this movie I'd seen in Chicago a year ago. It looked like one of those indie films with a grainy quality that is usually associated with high art, low budget and/ or porn.

Anyway, the film begins with a group of obese people who are part of a support group for 'Fat Pride'. They are in the middle of some slogan shouting about reclaiming their own beauty and dignity. Some time later, in walks a rail-thin girl who introduces herself and says that she wants to join the group. Everybody looks at her with contempt and disgust. They are very hostile. One woman, with hatred dripping like acid from her eyes, asks her, "You're thin. Maybe you're anorexic but do you see all of us? How do you think we'd feel if you come, sit with us?"

Someone else tried to help her out by pointing her to the anorexia-bulimia support group. But she said that the reason she wanted to be part of the obese group because she saw herself as obese. Her weight, the size of her clothes-all of them made her feel obese. But the people in that group shoo-ed her away.

I didn't watch the whole film. But it was an interesting take on the spin of fitting in with misfits. Even then one could be shut out.

Friday, May 08, 2015


One more day wanted to end but I'm holding on to it and stretching it beyond its own exhaustion and mine - pulling it this way and that so that it can accomodate the beads of fatigue that currently swell.

But on a good note - I made aam panna with farm-fresh raw mangoes this morning. Pressure cooked the raw mangoes, removed the skins and scarped off the pulp. Added a large ladel of honey, some sugar and a screw of chilli powder. Added a lot of ice and water to dilute the drink.. Didn't use a blender because I like pulp. But it was tasty.

Day begun well. 

694, 693

Had not done any suryanamaskars the last two days. I did 20 today. At 1:30.

There's this thing someone at work had introduced me to. It's a sev sandwich which the dabheli guy makes. It's a bun stuffed with mayonnaise, cucumber, spicy peanuts and sev. The bun is lightly toasted. It is such a tasty snack to have around 7:30. Really filling. It gets even more satisfying whe yu have it with a chilled Diet Coke - especially, this season.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

696, 695

From whoever I am to whatever you are,
I send you love.
In the time I save from days, time like flecks of desiccated coconut,
I send you love.
In memory of Pip, in forgiveness of Isabella,
I send you love.
From that ruinous architecture of a mighty heart,
From the pit of the stomach that's a raging ocean,
From the spicy, earthy incense of flawed memories,
I send you love.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015


Came home really late today. Ate a lot of junk today. But at 3:00 a.m., did 18 suryanamaskars. Inching ahead to 100.

Monday, May 04, 2015


Managed to do 16 suryanamaskars today at 1:a.m. to Shark Tank.
Sweet sensation of sleep.

Sunday, May 03, 2015

699 - when the shoes are mustard

The things I did today to restore sanity:

1.16 suryanamaskars - at 11:30 tonight to Shark Tank

2. Had dinner at Dario's in the outdoor area. So pretty it was. Hot and humid but a nice, summer breeze, dimly lit tables, a fullish moon in the sky, and large platters of salads

3. Got some pointers from my dining companion about some spots to visit

4. Had a bowl of very healthy lentils and spinach

5. Glutted on Shark Tank, which I love

(Somewhere in all this, I worked.)

Friday, May 01, 2015



I am exhausted. It is a holiday and I'm at work. I will be here tomorrow and day after. For the next month, there will be late nights and bad acidity. There is such a huge build-up of irritation and annoyance that it's not funny. But often times, there is something that soothes.

Like last night.

A colleague and I were working until late and she bought me pizza. We ate and chatted about the big lesson we'd teach our daughters should we have them.

I thought about mine.

So many years I have lived. Nothing is clear.