Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Voices in My Head - 28

Divya’s Wedding

Thankfully, Divya’s wedding outfit did not turn into the catastrophe it had threatened to be. We went to the tailor’s, and Divya tried her lehenga on. It fit perfectly. We thanked fate for this minor miracle. After we got back to Divya’s house, I helped her fit into the sharara she was going to wear for the mehndi that evening. I saw little reason in wearing a brand new dress that was very likely to be strewn with mehndi soon – or cut off at the knees, as her mother brightly suggested… but however Mandakini won over Miki and I let her take over, staunchly playing my role of the devoted (albeit unofficial) maid of honour.
The outfit was sea green, and I helped her on with the silver jewellery that she was wearing with it. A lovely delicate necklace and chandelier earrings: no rings or bangles, to keep her hands free for the mehndi. She had hired a stylist only for the actual wedding the next day, so I tried to help her on with her make-up – at which she was far better than I am, so I finally sat back and voiced encouragement and compliments.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Books I Read: the Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series

I've resolved to post about every book I read (even if it's something for work, so you've been warned). Not only do you get to know what I think of the books, it also forces me to slow down my pace a little (for some weeks lately, I was reading four books a week, and I cannot afford to keep buying that many) and get the most out of the books I do read.

So this is just a short note to say how what I thought of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. I read three of the four. I bought the boxed set on sale at Landmark (online), inspired by the many positive reviews I read online. I wish I hadn't wasted the money.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Voices in My Head - 27

Divya’s House 

Divya’s wedding was on Saturday, so I planned to go down on Thursday afternoon and stay till Sunday morning. The wedding would go on through most of Saturday night, Divya had said, and there was the mehndi and sangeet on Friday evening.
So on Thursday morning, after a leisurely breakfast, I sat on the floor and pulled out the suitcase that contained my fancy clothes to see what I would wear. I had three choices for Saturday evening: a dark red silk saree, a black chiffon sari with blue sequins, and a traditional Assamese muga mekhela sador. I realised I needed to try on the blouses.
I tried the black one first: it was so tight I was afraid it would tear if I kept it on any longer. I hurriedly pulled it off and tried on the red cotton. This was easier: though it wasn’t much less tight, the fabric was stronger so it would probably last through the night if I held my breath and didn’t move my arms.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Voices in My Head - 26

One Last Try

On Monday, I decided to contact Vikram.
“Try once,” Miki had said. “Don’t expect anything to come out of it, but give it a go, so that you don’t regret not trying.”
So after lunch, when the rest of my team was still in the cafeteria or off for an after-lunch smoke or walk, I pinged Vikram.
“Hi,” came the reply.
“How are you?”
“I’m very well. How are you?”
“Great, thanks. So how was the weekend?”
“It was nice. A friend had come over, so I was showing him around town. What about you?”
“Nothing special. Got some much needed rest.”
I waited for a few moments, my fingers poised over the keyboard, willing more words to appear in the small window.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

The Voices in My Head - 25

Miki and Mandakini, Alone

I wasn’t in love with Raghav. But I was lonely. I knew I had lost Raghav forever.
It would never be the same again. It couldn’t.
We had had lovers, and none of them had lasted. We had got swept away, each of us, in the first throes of romance, and forgotten each other for a while. But each of us had always returned to the other. I had endured the distance because I knew it wouldn’t last and he would come back to me, and all would be right with the world again.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Voices in My Head - 24

Raghav Calls with More News

When I got up on Monday morning, my thoughts were still in a tangle. Thankfully, I was too busy all day to have much time to think. The last couple of months, I had got used to working on my narrow part of the project: now that I was working with and leading a team, I had to deal with frequent discussions and constantly being on my toes, often literally, as I flitted about from desk to desk… I loved the excitement, but the effort left me exhausted by the end of the day.
It was only when I was in the cab that was taking me home that Miki and Mandakini piped up again.
“Good thing you haven’t had time to think all day,” observed Miki. “It’s not going to be pleasant thinking about last night.”
“Oh, god,” said Mandakini. “What am I going to do?”

Thursday, November 25, 2010

An Interview with Tapas from Flipkart

Regular readers know reading is one of my favorite things to do, so it's no surprise that I'm a big fan of Flipkart, who have made buying books cheaper and easier than it's ever been. Tapas Rudrapatna was kind enough to answer some questions I had about Flipkart. Here we go.

Your CNBC Young Turks segment says you expect a turnover of Rs 100 crore by 2011. Now that a few months have passed since that projection: how likely do you think you are to meet that target?

I don't know the numbers, but we may be ahead of schedule!

You're the leading online bookstore in India with a 50% market share (same source as above). Who is the competition? Anything you admire about any of them, or anything they do better than you?

Landmark and Crossword, of course. They've been in the business longer than we have and hence probably have some understanding that we don't. You also have Indiaplaza, Rediff, Infibeam ... but all of them tackle a variety of verticals or are marketplaces. I personally think it's very commendable to be able to manage logistics across categories, from flowers to phones to perishables like cakes and mangoes!

Most of these have been around longer than we have, so probably have sufficient "trust" branding. We're getting there, no doubt ... but more people will question Flipkart's credibility than that of an established physical bookstore. That being said, the major book suppliers and distributors have told us that we are a bigger buyer than any of them are, so guess we're doing a few things but doing them right. If Twitter's any indication, many seem to have switched from the big names to us as well. All very heartening.

One book per minute. That's a lot of books. How many have you sold so far?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Voices in My Head - 23

Another Weekend, Another Date

Saturday dawned bright and early. The last few days had been bleak and foggy, and when I awoke and felt the warmth that had seeped into my room, I got up and pushed the curtain aside to let the sun in.

It was my first entire weekend in my new house, and I was glad I had plans and wouldn’t spend all the two days alone in my tiny room.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Voices in My Head - 22

A New Year

I was back in Gurgaon on the 3rd of January. It was a new year, and I had never been lonelier.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Voices in My Head - 21

I talk to Ma – and to Raghav

And then Raghav called. Early the next afternoon, when Ma and I were cooking lunch together. I answered and told him I would call back after lunch. It wasn’t exactly the best timing: after our initial hesitation Ma and I had begun talking as we used to when I was living at home. And doing something together, like cooking or cleaning the windows (which we had done the previous morning), helped us talk more comfortably.
I had been telling Ma about my work. It was the first time we had talked about it in some length and she seemed interested. We talked of my career plans.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Just came on to point those of you who haven't read it yet to Sue's awesome post on contraception. It's an important topic, and something we don't talk about often enough. The Guy and I fumbled around it too, not helped by ignorant and judgemental doctors, and we've only (I hope!) recently found our way.  

But Sue covers everything (probably) you need to know. Go read.

Also read this, which contains at least one gem:
Your sexual health is absolutely your responsibility – and a partner who does not respect that, is not someone who deserves the privilege of sharing your bed.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What We Did on Diwali

I'm continuing with being lazy and not writing here, but momofrs has a lovely account of our meeting at G's last week. Do read, if only for the lovely things she says about me. I shall go around beaming beatifically at everyone today - too bad I'm working from home and there isn't anyone to beam beatifically at, except my plants. 

Friday, November 05, 2010

The Voices in My Head - 20

I Meet an Old Friend

I contemplated looking up old friends. Quite a few of them had, like me, moved out. One or two were in Delhi, but we had never connected after the first couple of phone calls. A few, I knew, were in Guwahati. But there were a few still in town. Some of them had got married. One or two had babies.
I went to visit Deepika. She had been a year senior in school, but we had become friends because she lived not far from my house and we had taken to sharing an auto to and from school. She was tall and slender, with a complexion that was the envy of the school: milky white, with cheeks and lips so pink you would have thought someone had just pinched them hard. She had shiny straight hair that fell below her waist. Yet she was no vain beauty: she was modest and shy, and an extremely loyal friend.
I had often invited her home. When I was in my last year of school and she had joined college, she often popped in to meet me after classes. I had also visited her house a few times. She lived in a house shaped like a box with one side missing: each side was just one room wide and opened towards the front yard. The roof was thatched, and the walls were made of mud. For furniture, there were string cots, and wooden chairs and tables. Yet the people who lived there were very kind and hospitable: I was never allowed to leave without tea brought in in a tall steel tumbler, even though Deepika sometimes apologized for the tea being black because there was no milk in the house.
“Oh, I prefer black tea,” I would lie, hoping that even on days when there was milk, they wouldn’t give me some that was meant for her younger siblings.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Voices in My Head - 19

I See My Mom Again 

Rupa Mahi and my two young cousins came to pick me up at the airport. Rupa Mahi and Dhon Moha lived in Guwahati with their children, and I was going to spend the night with them before leaving for Diphu in the morning.
Vinod was twelve and Abhay fourteen. They were both rather shy, even though they had chattered away nonstop on my last visit. Vinod was dark, thin and wore glasses. Abhay was chubby and I dearly wanted to pinch his cheeks, but I reminded myself that that wasn’t seemly, given that he was taller than I was. Rupa Mahi was still beautiful – more plump now, but she reached over and hugged me as she used to when I was a little girl, and I felt like a little girl again, and wished I could cry into her arms till my troubles drained out.
The air of Guwahati was stultifying. I always felt oddly lethargic and apathetic whenever I was there. It was beautifully green after the dry environs of Gurgaon, if you could ignore all the trash on the streets. I sat in front next to Mahi and looked eagerly around at how much the city had changed since my last visit. Vinod and Abhay lost some of their shyness and eagerly pointed out new malls and restaurants.
I had an early dinner and went to bed. I was in Abhay’s bed in the brothers’ room – he would sleep in the spare bed in the living room. It was only nine and not even Vinod’s bedtime yet. I called Raghav but we had only talked for a couple of minutes when Vinod came in a few minutes later and lay on his bed, just a few feet away from my own, so I said good night to Raghav.
At six the next morning, Dhon Moha and Rupa Mahi drove me to the bus stop. The kids were asleep, so I couldn’t say bye to them. I hugged my uncle and aunt and got on the bus to Diphu.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Voices in My Head - 18

Going Home 

Raghav called up a few days before Christmas. “I’ve got some great news!”
“You’re getting married?”
“Well, not that great.”
“You’re promoted?”
“No, Mandakini.”
“What’s the great big explosive news then?”
“You’re getting to see me again! I’m coming home for Christmas.”
“For how long?”
“Nine days. I’m getting there on Christmas day and I shall stay all the way till the Sunday after New Year. Isn’t that great? We can spend New Year’s eve together!”
“I won’t be here.”
“What? Why?”
“I did tell you that I was going to my mom’s for the New Year.”
“Oh. How long are you staying?”
“I’m back on the 3rd.”
“When are you leaving, then? Will I see you before you go?”
“No, I’m leaving on Saturday.”
This Saturday? The day after tomorrow?”
“But why didn’t you tell me?”
“I distinctly remember telling you that I was going home for the New Year. If you choose not to remember, that’s your problem, not mine.”
“Calm down,” said Mandakini. “Whatever you do, he mustn’t find out you’re jealous of Sonali.”
“I’m not jealous of Sonali! I’m upset because my best friend doesn’t seem to care about me!”

Friday, October 22, 2010

Fictional Female Characters I Like: Shirley and Caroline from "Shirley"

I recently read one of Charlotte  Brontë's "other" novels. As I wrote before, I loved Jane Eyre the first time around - as I grew up and became more critical, it lost some of its charm. 

Shirley, on the other hand, I savoured as I read it the first time as a grown-up older than either of the heroines. Though named Shirley, the novel actually follows Caroline Helstone. Yet as you read, it becomes apparent why the novel isn't named "Caroline" - Shirley is the star Caroline (in fact, it seems, everyone) admires and is drawn toward.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Voices in My Head - 17

Moving Home

As if I wasn’t feeling bad enough, Raghav called to give me his big news.
“Hey, guess what?” he said.
“What? You told Sonali you’re in love with her?”
“Yes! You always do guess right with me!”
I had meant it as a joke, but I was careful not to let him on. “What happened? How did it go?”
“Well, we were chatting online, and I told her how much I had enjoyed meeting her…”
“When was this?” I interrupted.
“Last night.”
“At least he still calls me up when he has important news,” observed Miki, relieved.
“And I said I wished I could meet her more often, and that I missed her. She said she missed me too, and that I was the best friend she had ever had.”
“Indeed.” I tried hard to keep any vestige of sarcasm out of my voice – if I failed, Raghav was too happy to notice.
“Well, I told her she was the best friend I had ever had, too.”

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Voices in My Head - 16

Missing Raghav 

I thought of Raghav often in the next couple of weeks: thought of him with longing in those many moments when I was alone in my flat or taking one of my long walks around the colony. It was difficult then, to know how much of my longing was because I missed him and how much because I had no one to talk to. I had always had friends –a large group to hang around with and one or two special ones to talk late into the night with. Now all I had were colleagues, acquaintances, and a roommate whom I was leaving in a few days. And Raghav – my Raghav – seemed so far away. 
What made it worse was that I knew I still had some power over him. I was sure if I called and said I wanted to be with him, he wouldn’t say no. After all, he wasn’t with Sonali yet. And what did she have compared to my shared history with Raghav, the closeness we had always shared?
I don’t know how I had the courage to desist. But whenever Miki or Mandakini broke down and voiced the thought – the other always reminded her that it would be wrong. That Raghav and I were friends and should not be anything more. That if I took the step I would regret it. I guess it was the fact that I had made so many mistakes in life that helped me resist making another. The others were incidental, insignificant: a mistake with Raghav might be something neither of us might recover from.
So I kept my loneliness and confusion to myself, and talked to him cheerfully when he called. And he did call, almost as often as he used to. Often he called late at night, right after hanging up the phone with Sonali. I gave him his space and rarely called him. He seemed to understand, for he didn’t complain. We talked for hours, but not like we used to before, about anything on earth. I did much more listening than talking, and I took care not to let him know how much I missed him, how hard I was trying to detach myself from him.  
I accepted that I didn’t come first in his life any more – and though it might never stop hurting, it petered down to a twinge I could ignore.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

The Voices in My Head - 15

I Find a Home 

The days dragged by in a stupor. I went to work, and, apart from lunching and chatting with Ajay, worked the day through barely thinking of anything else. I had dinner in office and took the cab home. I went to bed early, sleeping around ten hours every night. Usually, I had trouble going to sleep when I was unhappy or excited: now, however, sleep came often and hard. I slept most of the time I was home. Even Miki and Mandakini were muted, and rarely squabbled.
One of my colleagues, Smriti, was leaving. This wasn’t unusual in itself: people came and went quite often at my workplace, and Smriti had been around for two years, which was considered long enough. Unlike most other people, Smriti wasn’t going to a rival firm, though: she was going abroad for studies. I had worked with her on my first project: she had been gracious and helpful, showing me the ropes and guiding me so that I learned quickly. We hadn’t worked together since, but we sometimes met for tea in the cafeteria. A bunch of us took her out for lunch on her last day.
She told us she was taking a day to pack, and her dad would come down from Mumbai and help her move. She would stay with her parents in Mumbai for two months before heading off to the US.
“Who do you live with here?” I asked her.
“Oh, I live alone. I have this small flat – kind of a studio apartment, really. It’s attached to the owner’s house, but there’s a separate entrance – actually, the stairs are outside, so you can walk straight up to the flat without seeing anyone.”
“That sounds lovely,” I said. I loved my house and I hadn’t been too keen on moving when Divya left. Besides, I’d paid a deposit. But the idea of living alone was tempting.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Personal Update

I have been too busy lately to post anything other than the weekly chapters of The Voices in My Head. So I'm even more glad that I decided to post my story as a series: I'm glad it lets me post every weekend without having to think about what to write; I'm glad it prompts some of you to comment, because I like hearing from you. 

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Voices in My Head - 14

I Try to Act All Grown-up

It was difficult to concentrate on work after what had happened on Sunday, especially when work itself was boring. I was distracted and made little progress. Thankfully the project deadline wasn’t for some time, and I was working alone, so I could afford to slack off if I made up for it later.
I kept thinking about that kiss with Raghav, trying to decipher what it meant. Trying to decipher my feelings, and his.
“He seems so infatuated with Sonali,” wailed Mandakini. “Yet right afterwards he says he wants to be with me! What does it mean?”
“What do I feel towards him?” asked Miki. “Why did it feel so nice to kiss him? If I am not in love with him, why am I attracted to him?”
“Maybe you are in love with him,” said Mandakini.
“No, I don’t think that’s true.”
“Come on, Raghav is your best friend, you like him better than anyone in the world. You are attracted to him. What more do you want?”
“I don’t know. But somehow… it doesn’t feel right. And I don’t want to make a move unless I’m absolutely sure… Maybe I’ll just wait and see how it goes.”
“If you wait too long, that girl will take him,” said Mandakini.
“But if he goes to her, that means he never really loved me.”
And sooner than I had expected, Raghav proved Miki right.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Liberation for Men

I have been too busy (read: lazy) to post other than the weekly chapters of Miki's story. However, this is too good to not share with you. 

Newsweek has some really good articles on how feminism benefits both men and women. Of course, feminists have been saying this all along. Gloria Steinem declared back in 1970: "Women's liberation is men's liberation too."

Read "Who Needs Men? We Do." And this is even better, though rather U.S.-centric: Men's Lib.

Also read this on the holes in that last Newsweek article.
My New Macho includes Neil Patrick Harris, thankyouverymuch. And fucking then some. 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Voices in My Head - 13

More Confusion

Ragav and I talked all the way home, talked of silly superficial things, of old acquaintances, cricket and hot movie stars. We didn’t talk of that girl at all. 
When we reached my place, Raghav asked if he could come in.
“Of course!” I said.
“I thought you wanted to go to bed early,” he reminded me.
“Come on in.”
He refused my offer of coffee.
“Yeah, I know it’s not your preferred weekend-night beverage,” I drawled.
“We just had coffee,” he retorted. “Do you want to keep me awake all night?”
“What about a glass of warm milk?” I smiled sweetly.
He reached out to grab my hand and pull me down on the mattress beside him. “Let’s talk,” he said.
“What about?”
He touched my hair where it fell about my shoulders in thick waves.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Voices in My Head - 12

Raghav – and “That Girl”
Raghav arrived on Wednesday night, but I got only a text message. Then I heard nothing from him till Saturday noon, when he called. I put down the Christie I was reading and answered the phone.
“What’s up, babes?”
“Aah, the man has time to talk to me!” I cried.
“Oh, come on, don’t be mad. I was crazy busy. I have been getting home after midnight… I had to go out for dinner with some people from work last night, and I only got home at one-thirty.”
“Tough, huh?”
“Anyway, how have you been?” He ignored my sarcasm. “And when do you wanna meet?”
“Well, I’ve got a lunch date, then a movie, then a dinner date…” I lied.
I’ll take you to a movie. And I’ll pay for dinner. I don’t think I can get there by lunchtime so you can go on that date if you want to, only get rid of him early.”
“Okay, let me cancel all my dates then. I was only going out with them because they were paying.”
I offered to go over to Delhi to see him. I hadn’t been to Delhi in months: I missed hanging out at Priya and shopping at Sarojini Nagar.
“Sure, come over to Priya,” he said. “We’ll hang out, watch a movie. I’ll drop you back home if we’re late, so don’t worry.”

Sunday, September 05, 2010

The Voices in My Head - 11

On Roommates

The next day, Divya and I had lunch together in office, something we rarely did. She had left home early in the morning and wanted an early lunch, and she asked me to join her. She had news.
“I’m going to stay on for another month,” she said. “There’s this project that’s just come in: the boss is very eager for me to handle it. It will only be over in early January, so I’ve agreed to stay on till then.”
“Are you okay with that?” I asked, looking up from the delicious aloo parathas her mom had packed for our lunch.
“Well, I did want to have a few weeks off,” she said. “I was looking forward to spend some time with my parents before I go away. But I’m taking time off anyway, after the wedding. I don’t know when I’ll get a work permit and be able to work in the US. Plus… Samarth’s always been the best of managers, I don’t want to let him down.”
“Well, your wedding’s on 23rd January, right? So you’ll have enough time to prepare… But I think if you want more time, you should get it. Don’t let them wear you down. You’ve given them enough notice anyway.”
“It’s all right,” she shrugged. “I’ve agreed already.”
I was a little annoyed at this way she had of giving in, of changing decisions for no other reason than someone else’s persistence.
But at least the news was good for me. It gave me one extra month to find a new roommate.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Questions on Death

So some questions that people got to my blog through were on death, especially the death of a father. For newer readers, here are the two extremely personal posts about the death of my father some years ago:


Here are some of the questions, and the answers I'd like to give.

What to do when your dad died?

Monday, August 30, 2010


As I told Effe this morning, every time I visit her is better than the last. 

I hopped over to Bangalore on Friday to spend three days with Effe and the Man-Friend. It's been a year since I had seen them, and the Guy is away and I'm alone on weekends, so I didn't hesitate when they asked me. 

I had been planning to sight-see a bit this time, finally. I'd been hoping Effe and I would go around the city and see some of old Bangalore instead of just the pubs and restaurants we otherwise visit. We'd planned to visit Bannerghatta National Park. I had hoped for one of the plays or performances Effe is always raving about. And a long walk in Bangalore's awesome weather. And of course, long long conversations with Effe as we catch up on each other's lives.

But I did none of that, except the last. What I did instead was watch movies, eat till I was stuffed, drink copious amounts of alcohol, smoke so much that Effe felt the need to warn me, and  generally behaved like I was playing truant from school. 

I finally got to watch Peepli Live, with the Man-Friend, while Effe put in a couple of hours at work. I loved the movie, but have nothing more to say about it than what has already been said by my betters. Except that I loved the cinematography, and the shots of Delhi at the end. (Oh, was that a spoiler? Haven't you watched the movie yet? Sorry, Guy.)

It made the experience better that I watched it with the Man-Friend, and could talk to him about it in the interval and didn't miss the Guy.

The Man-Friend also showed us a lovely old movie on DVD on Sunday afternoon, when we got back from lunch and I begged him to show something that would keep me awake for the next couple of hours, till it was time for me to leave.

I came home to an extremely wet city, and went to bed alone in my empty house. But I worked with more keenness than I have felt in a long time, because of this wonderful little vacation. 

But I missed the rainbows.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Voices in My Head - 10

I Learn More about Vikram

The workweek was unexciting. I was on a new project, part of a large team with a narrow role to play. Vikram had moved back to his department, and I didn’t speak to him all week, except for waving at him once in the cafeteria.
However, I got some good news from Raghav.
“I’m coming over next week,” he said as soon as I answered the phone.
“What? But why?”
“That’s welcoming!”
“Sorry. I’m just surprised because you were just here – what, ten days ago? Hope nothing’s wrong?”
“Nope. I’m coming for work – got a couple of meetings to attend in Delhi.  I have to be there Thursday and Friday, so I’m coming over Wednesday night and going back on Monday. In fact, I’m trying to make them give me a couple of days off so that I can stay longer, but let’s see how that works out.”
“That’s awesome! I didn’t think I would see you again so soon.”
“I got that the first time,” he drawled.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Counting My Blessings

I'm alone, and lonely, and missing the Guy terribly. To keep myself from being sad, I'm doing something that has worked before: going over some of the things in my life that are awesome. 

Friends. Of course. To be honest, I look around myself (metaphorically) with some surprise. I have more friends now than I ever did since college (when my idea of boundaries was less formed). I know so many awesome people. And apart from real life friends, whom I've written about before, there are friends I met through the blog, like the Mad Momma, who's done so much over the last year to encourage me as a writer. Like Dipali, who has a cheerful, encouraging comment to nearly every blog and Facebook post that I like. And all the rest of you who read and comment. Thank you all.

My job. I had a Gmail status up some time ago: "in lust with my job", and Veeru pinged to say that a job's not worth lusting after. Wrong. It totally is. It's the best thing I've ever lusted after apart from the Guy. And my boss is the awesomest boss in the whole world. (That was my status too recently, and Suki challenged me on it. It didn't take me long to convince her.) Even when I'm ill or tired or sad, the job isn't a burden but something to look forward to, something that will make me feel better. 

The Guy. Need I say it? He teases me when I tell him I find some guy attractive, or that I've had an inappropriate dream. He laughs when I start my conversation every workday with "You know how awesome my job is?" and settles down to listen to me. Well, I could go on and on. But the best part is, after a few more weeks of separation, he'll be back home for good. And while I should be sorry at how that great new opportunity didn't pan out... I'm too selfish to be. I am just so glad he'll be with me again. And - we have been together nearly five years now. FIVE years. And each year has been better than the last. 

And the best news I've heard since the Guy told me he was coming back: the Blade and LC are getting married before the year ends. Two of my favourite people getting together. I've been a witness in much of their journey so far, and am incredibly excited that I'll get to witness this. Plus, the wedding's in a town neither the Guy nor I have visited before, and it should be a fun trip.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Voices in My Head - 9

Meet Divya

I slept for a few hours and woke up feeling tired. I lay in bed for some time, but sleep didn’t seem about to return, so I got up and tried to splash the drowsiness out of my eyes. Divya was making lunch and looked up when I stood at the kitchen door.
“Hey, you’re up! How are you feeling? What time did you come in last night?”
“I didn’t. I got in around eight this morning.”
“Oh! They worked you that hard?”
“Some issue with the project.” I stepped closer to see what she was cooking. “What’s that?”
“Curry with pakora. And rice is cooking in the pressure cooker.”
“That’s wonderful! I’ve been longing for home-made curry… How come you’re here this weekend?”
“For one, I was feeling too lazy to drive all that way last night. Besides, I thought I should do some wedding shopping in Gurgaon too, seeing as I’ve been shopping all over Delhi already…. I’m thinking of checking out the malls later. Want to come?”
“Sure. What are you gonna buy?”
I spent the day – what was left of it – with Divya. We looked at shoes, bags, saris, lingerie, even skirts and tops (which, Divya insisted, was part of wedding shopping as she could wear them on her honeymoon). Divya had great fun spending money on bagfuls of things, and I had great fun helping her pick out things and window shopping. All in all, we both enjoyed ourselves immensely. She even treated me to a nice Chinese dinner.
Divya and I got on well together, mostly due to the fact that we respected each other’s space and led separate lives. We worked at the same office – that was how she had found me when I had just joined and was looking for a flat and she was looking for a roommate because her last one had just moved out – but in different departments, so we rarely saw each other at work. She was polite, quiet and neat. She rarely ate at home and usually went away on weekends, so we pretty much stayed out of each other’s hair.

Friday, August 20, 2010

A Question about Marriage

I was looking at search terms that people use to get to my blog, and saw terms that look like questions. It looked like people were looking for answers, and that lead them to my blog. Some were funny, like "Do we have one soulmate each lifetime"? (You'll have to ask someone who has experience of more lifetimes, hon.) Most were sad. "Should a husband defend his wife?" (You know my views on that one.) "What to do when your dad died". (I can't answer that. I did however, tell you how I felt, in probably too much detail.)

I wanted to answer some of those questions, even though it's probably too late, and the person who asked has moved far on. Yet, here goes.

Is it normal to feel sad the first few months after marriage?

In a word, no.

Let me expand on this. Getting married is a big, scary, wonderful step. It may be the best thing you ever did (like it was for me). It may be the worst mistake you ever made. (And usually, it will be one of the two.) The scariest part: there's no way to be sure beforehand which of them it will be for you. 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Thank You

Thank you, all of you who did as I asked: who posted in your blogs, in Facebook, on Twitter. Who read, emailed and commented. I have tried to thank as many of you as I can, but I know I have missed some. I appreciate what you have done, and am glad - so glad! - you like my Miki and the voices in her head. 

For those who complained that a week is too long to wait for the next chapter: patience, my friends. I have a job that takes up most of my weekday, often from 9 am to 11 pm (but no complaints, because I love it!) Posting once a week lets me look at the chapter and edit it before I put it up, because there are still many kinks I'd like to iron out. It gives you one day in the week when you can expect to read more about Miki. It gives me time to put up other posts too, like this one. 

Stick around, my friends. The ship is yet far from the shore. 

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Voices in My Head - 8

Mostly Work

The alarm on my phone rang a second time. This time, I let it ring so that it would wake me up enough for me to get up. I sat up, and instantly shivered as the heavy blankets slipped from my shoulders and the bitter cold touched me. I looked at the time. My phone flashed 07:02. I forced myself to throw off my blankets and face the cold – even with pyjamas and flannel top on, it was stinging. My back had a dull ache that seemed to make my entire body heavy and lull me back into bed.
“Serves you right for sitting and watching TV the entire weekend,” scolded Mki.
“My back hurts,” moaned Mandakini. “Maybe I can take the day off. Or at least half the day… Let me stay in bed for a couple of hours longer…”
“The project’s due this week, remember? The longer you take getting to work, the worse things are going to be. Now get up.”
I jumped out of bed before I argued myself into going to sleep again.
I stole quietly into Divya’s room, looked at the sleeping figure on the bed – she had got in last night while I was out – and crept into the bathroom to turn on the water heater. I crept back to my own bathroom and began to brush my teeth. It was the beginning of another day.