Friday, February 29, 2008


There is a silly sexist tradition that says women can propose to men only on 29th February. (Yes, one day in four years.) And here I am following it by writing an ode to the Guy:

You did not woo me

You did not woo me
With pretty words and flowers
You just let me be:
You did not woo me
You just talked to me
Of all you thought, for hours.
You did not woo me
With pretty words and flowers.

This kind of poem is called a triolet. I first learned about it
here, and tried my hand at it. It was a lot of fun, and I sent off my first two attempts to the competition and succeeded in winning an honourable mention.

Here's the other one:

For every single day

For every single day
Today, tomorrow, and after:
Till we grow old and gray…
For every single day
As long as we both may
Live: may there be joy and laughter
For every single day
Today, tomorrow, and after.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Crazy 8’s

Just Some Grail has tagged me to do Crazy 8’s. Which strikes home that I have been blogging for two years and this is my first tag. (Not very well loved, are we, me and my blog? *sigh*) Anyway, here goes:

8 Things I am passionate about
Eight things? Seriously? I mean, how can you have so much passion as to spread it over eight things?I should have thought three would be quite enough!

  1. Does the Guy qualify as a thing? Oh, well, let’s assume he does.
  2. Books. I can forget the world when I’m immersed in a good book – and most of the time, the world doesn’t seem as interesting.
  3. Writing. Though I don’t show it much, do I? (This is your cue, faithful reader, to chip in and tell me how well I write.)
  4. My individuality. Expressed through my feminism, my atheism, my determination to defy convention and do what I think is right, for me.
  5. Work. I have to put in my heart into what I’m doing, else it doesn’t seem right. As I told my boss recently, “We spend most of our lives working. What is the point if we don’t enjoy it?” I think the real test of whether you’re in the right job is if you would do that work even if you were equally paid for not working. I was there once, am not quite there now, and would love to be there again.
  6. Movies. Who isn’t?
  7. Music. I am not well-educated about it, though. I should listen to more different kinds and not be content with just Hindi films and MTV.
  8. Helping others who are less fortunate. I am somewhat involved with Friends of Children, who support students in higher education, and I am in awe of the wonderful people who volunteer in this group.

8 Things I want to do before I die

  1. Become a full-time writer
  2. Travel the world (at least, to all those places in the world that I want to travel to)

Frankly, that’s all I can think of. Everything else seems insignificant in comparison.

8 Things I say often

  1. “What the f%$#?”
  2. “What the hell (or f%$#) is wrong with him/her?”
  3. “People are so weird!”
  4. “I love you!” (to the Guy, of course)
  5. “I’m hungry!”
  6. “That’s not fair!”
  7. “Let’s have chai!”
  8. “Thank you!”

8 Books I've read recently

  1. Agatha Christie’s A Moving Finger – an old favourite
  2. Agatha Christie’s The Murder of Roger Ackroyd – did I mention I love her books?
  3. Roald Dahl’s Matilda­ – loved it!
  4. Tim Harford’s The Logic of Life – well worth a read.
  5. Rohinton Mistry’s A Fine Balance
  6. W.M. Thackeray’s Vanity Fair
  7. Something by Louis L’Amour
  8. A Mills and Boon *grin*

8 songs I could listen to over and over

  1. Mera kuch saaman from the movie Ijaazat
  2. The Ma song from Rang de Basanti
  3. Hothon se choo lo tum sung by Jagjit Singh
  4. Man tarpat hari darshan ko aaj by Rafi
  5. Awaara pan banjara pan from Jism
  6. Jaane woh kaise log the from Pyaasa
  7. Norah Jones’s Come Away with Me
  8. Bheegi Bheegi from the movie Gangster

8 Things that attract me to my best friends

  1. Honesty – if I can’t trust someone, I’m not friends with them.
  2. Selflessness – the dearest friends I’ve ever had were people who were willing to go the extra mile for friends – which made me want to go the extra mile for them.
  3. Wit – if you can make me laugh, I’ll love to spend time with you.
  4. Intelligence and wisdom – that makes someone a pleasure to converse with and a source to learn from. Probably also explains why I have a couple of older friends I love chatting with.
  5. Courage – to live by what they believe is right.
  6. Independence – people who make their own decisions.
  7. Positivity – people who take control of their lives and don’t whine about how unlucky they have been.
  8. Some amount of wackiness – no one who is my friend could be totally sane, right?

8 People I think should do this tag

  1. Chandni
  2. Anumita
  3. Pallavi
  4. Cee Kay
  5. Falstaff
  6. Tamil Punkster
  7. Y
  8. Nil

Monday, February 25, 2008

Two Years Old!

My blog turned two years old yesterday (and I was too busy enjoying the weekend to remember). It started out being a personal journal of sorts, a way to keep in touch with friends. It's come a long way from there, but it is still, in a way, a personal journal: I put down thoughts here that I would like to come back to later. (Seriously, who writes with a pen these days?)

Anyway, pass the cake and let's sing "Happy Birthday".

Friday, February 22, 2008

Outwitting the Guy

Those who know the Guy in real life (or at least, did till a couple of years ago - I believe he's sobered up since he found a ready target to unleash all his wit on right at home) have a healthy fear of his witticisms. It is rare to be able to say something that he finds himself unable to counter.

We were on our way home when he took a less familiar turn. "Why are we going this way?" I asked politely, once the turn had been safely navigated.

"Sorry, I forgot."

"Oh. I thought you'd decided to take this route for some reason. That's why I asked you politely instead of just shouting 'Turn left!' as I usually do."

"Yeah, that's what you usually do," he said peevishly. "You don't imagine I may have actually thought it out and might be doing it deliberately."

"And the only time I do assume so, you prove me wrong," I sighed, then burst into maniacal laughter as the Guy struggled to find words.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Hollow Woman

Scene: darkened room. The Guy and me in bed locked in a loving embrace.
The Guy pats me with his fingers on various spots.
"Are you testing if I'm hollow?" I ask.
He looks at me in concern and promptly taps on my head.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

How You Get Here - II

  • "blogspot mumbai female": No, I don't live in Mumbai. And whatever it is, I'm not interested.
  • "words about getting married": I hope you got what you wanted. Don't forget to credit me if you use it further.
  • "best words for a husband": There might be lots of words, but there's no doubt over the best husband, is there?
  • "words of Marraige invitation" (sic): Sorry, can't help there. Didn't send out any.
  • "ajmer shariff was a hindu temple": What next, the Taj Mahal? Oh, you've got there already.
  • "rupam bezbarua": Popular guy, isn't he?
  • "why i love my boss funny": Hold on, there's nothing funny about the way I loved my boss(es)!

Fictitious Valentine's Day Letter

You say Valentine’s day is crass.
That you will not celebrate a holiday that’s not ours.
Not sacrifice flowers to such a cause.
Not degrade our love with mass-printed words on a greeting card.

But what do I tell friends who ask what I got?
The girl who showed me her diamond earrings?
It was easier to tell them I broke off.
It was good while it lasted.

(But how can I be sure
that you’re not just cheap?)
I would have waited till tomorrow to tell you,

but then you don’t believe in Valentine’s Day.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

My Last Name

I had always known that I would not take my husband's name when I got married. I had decided that years ago, when I was beginning to fancy myself as a writer and a feminist, when the idea of changing the name I'd grown up with to become an impersonal "Mrs. Somebody" was repulsive.

I have remained a determined feminist, yet today, I wonder whether it makes sense to keep my father's name when I have been distancing myself from him. After all, how is using one's father's name less patriarchal than using one's husband's? It is perhaps more independent to take one's spouse's name: I chose my husband, but I did not choose a father. Would changing my name to Mrs theGuy'slastname help me let go of my past and embrace my wonderful present?

But before I think it through, I know I cannot do it. My marital status is nobody's business but my own. It does not change me: I am the same person I ever was. Why should I proclaim it to the world by changing my name?

I did not decide to keep this name because it was my father's, but because it was mine. I could take my husband's name, my mother's maiden name (that she herself forsook so many years ago), or any other name I fancy, and it would all seem fake.

Why is a name important except in that it identifies you? I do not need a name to bind me to my husband or my mother: why should I need it to divorce me from my past?

This name is mine. It has no importance except what I choose to attach to it. It has no baggage, no history, except what I choose to give it.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Two Days in Bombay

This was the first time I actually liked Bombay. I'd always been put off earlier, by the crowds, the humid weather, the tall depressing-looking buildings. But this time, the weather was lovely and we spent all our time in the Fort area. We walked around, gazing at the old buildings, walking on the wide pavements (though this was much better in the morning when the crowds hadn't gathered yet), feeling the cool sea breeze against our faces. We had to stay in a small dingy hotel because nothing better seemed to have a room (good idea to always book in advance), but we only stayed in the room to sleep (of which we - as usual - seemed to do a lot) so it wasn't a bother.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Yay! I Met Amit Varma

The Guy had agreed to accompany me to Mumbai on Saturday to visit the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival. Then I learned that three bloggers I read regularly - Jai Arjun Singh, Chandrahas Choudhury and Amit Varma - were on a panel discussion on Friday. So we ended up going over on Friday and staying in Mumbai overnight. Now I am a big fan of Amit Varma and had exchanged emails with him a few times, and I asked him if I could meet him there. I was very excited at the prospect of meeting the great Amit Varma himself!

I spotted him as soon as we entered the lawn, and gathered the courage to go up and talk to him before the discussion started. We talked for a few minutes and he very kindly treated me to coffee. He also offered to introduce me to Jai Arjun, but unfortunately couldn't find him right then.

And then the entire panel got on stage, and I got to see what Jai Arjun and Chandrahas looked like. Jai looked extremely nervous and diffident. But Chandrahas was the real surprise for me. From the very serious tone of his blog posts, I had visualised him as a going-on middle-aged intellectual-looking man. So I was amazed to see that he was actually a very cute young guy!

The discussion was on banned books, and was a lot of fun. All the panelists were against the idea of banning books, and as I agreed with them already, I hadn't expected a lot of fireworks. But I found myself hanging on to every word. Jai Arjun and two other panelists, Devanghsu Datta and Manjula Padmanabhan, started out with a satirical performance in which they discussed banning nursery rhymes because of their offensive content, effectively making the point that once you start censoring, it is difficult to draw a line because every kind of content may be potentially offensive to someone.

I applauded when the discussion turned to Raj Thackeray, and how people like him were likely to use the argument of "offending someone's sentiments" to call for bans. I applauded when Manjula Padmanabhan wondered why people get offended by books but not by poverty. I applauded when one young man in the audience identified himself as gay - how brave to stand up and publicly acknowledge your homosexuality in a country where it is a crime!

It was great to be there, great to feel that there are people who hold such liberal views and are brave enough to speak out and try to change others' attitudes. It was inspiring that these people included smart, funny young men, people I can respect and like and look up to and identify with, all at the same time.

After the discussion ended, Amit Varma came over to say bye and I introduced him to the Guy. (Hey, that rhymes! Okay, okay, I admit it's not poetry.) And after every few minutes for the rest of the evening and every few hours for the next two days, I kept crying out to the Guy, "Yay! I met Amit Varma!"

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

100th Post

Finally! 100 posts in nearly two years - that seems pretty slow. But this year's resolution is to be more regular with writing, so keep coming back! For now, I leave you with my favourite pieces of the 100...