Saturday, October 31, 2009

Confrontations with the otherkind

Exams may come and exams may go but I go on forever, one wise friend modified the lines of Lord Tennyson. Thus passed by my exams. A blaze of worry, repeated accusations of being a nerd, missing notes, so on and so forth. All of us waited impatiently for the advent of our much awaited holidays, with most of us heading off in different directions. Since my cousin was to come with me to Kerala, 10 days of fun was guaranteed. I frantically made calls to my friends to make sure that they would be free to go out with me. Tough luck, all of them would be tied up with exams.

Exams or no exams I left three of my best friends with no choice. They'll have to meet me whether they like it or not. We (my cousin and I) had our hands read by palmist at around 7 in the night at the Marine Drive. That was so creepily accurate. I was very sceptical at first, (yeah yeah, smirk all you want) but not any more. I refuse to write the content of my palmist's predictions, intending to leave the reader curious at this point. Next day I reluctantly headed off towards the most visited part of my city, Fort Kochi. My reluctance to visit this place were quite well based since this place was where some of my most humiliating incidents took place ( bet you expected me to publish that, psych!!). We went into a place where Ian Wright previously visited, went shopping, crossed the cobble stoned Jew town to the synagogue and hopped on to a ferry taking me back home. Looking back to that beautiful day brings back a smile....when my cousin declared that we'd see the world together, haggled for the best bargain, oggled at the Chinese Fishing nets, walked down the aisle to my fictitious groom in India's oldest European Church. I fell in love with the place where I spent almost all of my life all over again.

I wanted my all knowing cousin to meet my two best friends, BIG BIG mistake. All of them made fun of my "awesome" and "happening" life. Bah humbug! Their lives are about as happening as dead flies and bits of fluff. But nevertheless, I'm glad they bonded, even if it were because they were laughing collectively at me and my bungling errors ( I am the Queen klutz, I open my mouth and I stick my feet into it.) My friend drove me around the city at dusk the next day. We went into the most interior part of the city. Parts which still retain and reflect the original character of Kochi. We drove towards the light house and then began the long drive back. Somehow in this city of mad hatters without anyone around me realising, they'd inadvertently set off the clockworks, the slow, very slow process of "re- maddening" began within me.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Frenzied studying and wayward distractions

whenen you read this blog, you might pause to think that this is yet another agonising adolescent. Let me tell you something, I'm no more (gulp) an adolescent. My teenage years, though not so long ago were the most fun years of my short yet very eventful life. Heck, I was every teacher's nightmare in school, and have toned down to be a respectable nerd in the years since. I'm about as temperamental as a sleeping dragon about to be poked in the eye. Venting out pent up anger on unfortunate passersby is a very regrettable trait, that I have honed up to a level where it can be recognised as an art. I can make a person believe that whatever happened is entirely their fault even if whatever happened took place before they were born (Ok thats exaggeration, another trait of mine.) My frequent escapades into the parallel universe has left me with a glazed expression, and I distinctly don't see the point of laughing at my economics teacher's jokes ( I don't see how that was relevant but I had to write it down).
So, the exam timetables are out and I don't even have all the notes and whatever notes that I do have, I don't remember it being taken in class. All I can think of, is this book that I read lately, "The colour purple", an excellent read, I do not recommend it to the over emotional and the weak hearted. The sheer agony of what is written in that book can leave you drained for the next couple of weeks. While I read the book, my wiser and infinitely more admirable classmates got their notes and had it organised. When I got around to it, the syllabi and the quantity left me reeling. I ran helter skelter all around college, grabbed the nearest nerd ( yes, I did mention that I am a nerd, but these girls are the ones with the "nerdier than thou" expressions and the proof to back it up) and issued death threats until she gave me all her notes. "Gangway!! To the nearest xerox shop". To my utter dismay, there was Q of girls there, long enough to beat the great wall of China. After what seemed like a million years, I get all my notes. But who can study with so many distractions, don't tell my mum, she'll rip my heart right out. "Focus, focus." I have to keep telling myself that everyday. Everyone keeps calling me to tell me how much they've completed and I have not yet begun.

With the exams looming dangerously up ahead on the horizon, I can do nothing but cram. And when the bridge is reached , upset a bag of trash over the troll underneath and march confidently across it. Sigh. Some days you are the pigeon, some days the statue.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

To Ooty and the whining, trekking and the bliss that followed.

A trip to Ooty with friends was a dream come true in many ways, Nazia's home town, a chance to meet the tribals (yes, I am a nerd) and my all time favourite dream of riding a horse all on the same tour. I was too excited to do any studying for my internals prior to the trip and started packing almost a week before the trip. I was more hyper than usual....hyper to the point of being annoying. My friends got a glazed expression every time I mentioned Ooty. I even read up on the tribals we were to meet.


We reached Ooty via the Bandipur tiger reserve. Words aren't enough to describe the beauty that is Bandipur. Our accommodations were arranged at Don Bosco Community College. Well it looks neat from the outside, because it was on top of a hill and when the mist spread we felt as though we were floating on a cloud. Jimmy instantly took a liking for me (Jimmy is the St. Bernard) and chased me all over the place like the sheep that he usually chases and knocked the wind out of me on several occasions, he was the size of a young cow! The Dorm alloted to us (with all due respect to our teachers) was hideous. It wasn't a dorm, it was a run down old auditorium, with paint chipping in places. We were given mattresses and asked to make ourselves feel at home. Bah! The Irony. I don't even want to talk about the toilets. Apoorva declared that she wasn't getting out of her clothes till she was safely back in Bangalore. I was at a loss for words, so I ate instead, to cover up the awkward silence and the bewildered looks. We survived on Thepla, pickles and kakra at the dorm.....and several cartons of milk.
So much for the Five star accommodations. We trooped off to meet the tribals (it was study tour, did I not mention that?). We were to meet members of the Irula tribes, some of whom were brought from Sri Lanka to work in British plantations. We trekked for miles before reaching the main settlement. Since they spoke Tamil, Anuja's broken Tamil came in handy (the fraud Tamilian). It was clearcthat the man we interviewed found her Tamil funny and was doing his best not to laugh. The more courageous of the lot (which includes me) trekked another 5 miles uphill to get to the original settlement. The view took my breath away ( for the record I was already out of breath having trekked so long).
The most enjoyable moment that day was when the gang was heading back to the dorm after hunting for stores selling Toda shawls and Eucalyptus (pronounced Youclipeetus; courtesy Anuja), we stood on the path leading to the dorm over looking the valley of Kottagiri. It was 7. 30 in the night, pitch dark. We could see pin prick like lights from far away houses in the valley and the gospel music from a nearby church. It was the most peaceful moment of my life. I felt calm ( which is very very rare in my case). There were pillow fights, blanket thefts, near strangulation and photo shoots in the dorm that night. I distinctly heard a muffled voice trying to scream"Bitch central".
We left for Ooty from Kottagiri at 8 in the morning after the catholic students attended mass and afterI got pinned down by Jimmy. I'm sure I left a depression on the side of the hill where Jimmy used me for a trampoline. First stop was the Tea museum. It was bone bitingly cold. All of us huddled inside the museum/ factory for the yummiest cup of hot tea and learned the history and art of tea making. I was more interested in the tea they served rather than its history mind you. I bought several packets of truffles, went to Ooty view point and trooped off to the bus. We went to the boat house next. All of us rushed towards the chocolate outlets. Nobody gave a second look towards the boats. it was drizzling for Pete's sake. Along came Farooq Uncle (Nazia's uncle) and his sons to our rescue. The gang settled in his car (cramped but quaint) for a ride through Ooty. We were the only ones luck enough to see most of Ooty within an hour. We bought more chocolates and marshmallows, Nuja got her Toda shawl and I got my souvenirs. I cribbed, a lot more than usual because everyone were hinting that I might not get to ride a horse because of the lackof time. I threw a tantrum (It was my way or the highway). We made it just in time to see everyone boarding the bus (smirks from the gang)........ I begged and pleaded with my mentor to let me ride horse just once. She gave me 5 minutes (" 5 minutes, chop chop"), I rushed over to the nearest horse and blurted to its smug owner that I wanted a ride. I got to ride the prettiest white horse its mane glistening in the cold sunlight. Apoorva threw me looks of pure venom, because I got the best looking horse (tsk tsk, such vanity). I felt like a princess (friends suggested "the evil witch Queen" title).
We cribbed about our accommodations, threw up during the journey, got back to dorm very well past the deadline at night, did things that an innocent reader shouldn't read about, made life hell for the teachers who accompanied us. But ultimately it was the most fun trip we ever went on. Teachers groan when we mention the dates for the next trip, but heck WE ARE GOING!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Cheers to my 19th

This was perhaps the only month that kept me on my toes. Workload enough to choke a horse was heaped on me. With my Birthday looming dangerously over the horizon. I'm weird, yes...i hate B'days......I didn't ask to be wrinkled when I grew up. Looks like I'm heading off in that dreaded direction. Anyway, the Sociology department dropped the bomb, study tour to Ooty. I could have done a back flip, really. But heck, there was still the black prospect of getting past my B'day without killing myself. My best plan was to pretend that I didn't have a B'day and act as if nothing happened. Well my friends and my cousin ganged up on me and decided to make a whole lot of noise about it. Two days before the D-day Dr. Kalam came to college. I know it is inappropriate to say this about a former President who has over 25 honourary doctorate degrees but I think he is unbelievably cute.
The D-day arrived and I was in for the biggest surprise ever. My cake was baked specially for me by Sandhya, and it hurt me to realise that I'd yelled at her just hours before for telling me that she couldn't make it. I got everything that I could ever ask for and more. But what made me fall in love with my B'day all over again was the sudden dawn of realisation that so many people actually cared, cared enough to wish me on my B'day, if they couldn't get through once they called again. It made me feel special (I know what you are thinking...."duh, that's what B'days are for"). It was more special gift than I could ever ask for.
For once I enjoyed the spotlight being on me, for once I felt special and for the first time I'm feeling excited about my next B'day.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Blank Noise - my first report

This was written by me for the organisation I work for called Blank Noise. I felt so much for it that I thought I'd post it in my blog.
I come from a place where eve teasing is considered "normal". And on several occasions my friends have interrupted me in the middle of my rants to tell me that if I keep reacting so much to their comments i'd just provoke them to do more. For awhile i was lulled into believing that eve-teasing was a part and parcel of life. Not any more. Even when I'm out with parents, "modestly" dressed, I can hear men on the road hooting, wolf whistling and what not. More often than not I feel like stuffing all my shopping down their throats. I hate it when friends say "boys will be boys" when they indulge in eve teasing, never for once stopping to think the effect it has on the woman it is aimed at.
I've heard middle-aged women complaining about eve-teasing.......did they ask for it?? I don't think so. Whatever a woman wears, however she wears man has the right to inflict upon her any form of abuse be it physical or verbal. I vividly remember being teased in my school uniform (we wore salwaar in high school). No woman ever asks for it.
  • Women are made to feel guilty, guilty of dressing provacatively, guilty of being out too late, guilty of being at the wrong place, guilty of existing. If a man can dress however he pleases then why not a woman?? You never find a woman passing comments on a man............ because maybe men get some sort of sick pleasure out of it. However pleasurable it may seem to them the wound that is caused in a woman leaves a lasting mental scar.
There were several occasions when I've felt that I never asked for it. Instances like when I'd be sitting in my car, wearing my school uniform, following all the "codes" that a "modest" woman should follow just to catch old men, men old enough to be my father making obscene gestures at me through the window. Most of the time I'd be too horrified to respond...but then when a construction worker flashed me on my way back home and right after that my friend and I noticed a guy following us on his bike all the way to her house and after that I had enough on an impulse I picked up the biggest stone I could and swivelled around to hurl it at him only to find that he had finally caught on and rode off. I was fuming about it for hours afterwards.

I told my aunt about it, she was obviously outraged but then she went on "what were you wearing??? where did this happen?? when??" and another jillion annoying questions. She thought maybe I wasn't following one of the "codes".
Let me elaborate on the Codes:
  • Dress modestly (code word for....wear an ankle length full sleeved salwaar......oh yeah and don't forget to cover your head and face with a scarf...not a problem if you choke or suffocated to death as long as no one can see an inch of your skin)
  • Don't go to the WRONG places ( wrong places in the sense, anywhere but your home and your neighbourhood that is within 200mt radius. Just walk in circles around your house if you want to "go out" and if you want to "hang out" with friends then hang on to the branches of the tree in your backyard.)
  • Don't stay out too late (get back home as soon as college is over otherwise dad might jump to conclusions and get a heart attack.).
I fretted and fumed for a long time after this and that's when it really clicked that I never asked for it. NEVER.Even when I followed all the "Codes", not thoroughly though, I vividly remember being teased and humiliated on the road, parks, TEMPLES, restaurants, even when my mother went with me. This just goes to show that the "codes" are nothing but a humongous pile of....ahem....crap. I never asked for it, no woman ever does. The codes are only a filthy excuse created by chauvinistic males to satisfy their perverted ego.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Swords, dragons and dietcoke.

Too much chocolate can make anyone look like a turkey on the dinner table on Thanks giving. I closely resemble one of those now. I've given up on me... like my "wise" cousin says - a moment on the lips is forever on the hips! So prophetic. Everyday in every way I'm looking more and more like a fat turkey. Moving on to more happier topics, July was a month of mixed events...the month isn't over yet so The Panic Princess (yours truly) is not ready to make any comments on it.. except, so far so DAMN good.
Somehow everyone in my class gets a rude shock when I tell them I'm single...then they try to set me up with their friends. Geez leave me alone!! Its more fun making theories on the "Utopian man", Anuja and I came up with that one, its hilarious. As much as I'd love to put it on my blog, I must take into consideration the values and morals of the reader, hence I shall refrain from doing any such thing.
Things to do before the month is up:
  • Find time and space to freak out (vent pent up energy).
  • Write a bucket list.
  • Flush it down the toilet.
  • Call Nimma more often and yell at someone else for a change.
  • Take lessons on covering up my tracks.
  • Find some more time for my frequent escapades into the parallel universe.
It was a month of birthdays, internals (I pause to swear under my breath at this point) and whole lot of eating outs....I'm usually broke by the fifteenth of the month. Apoorva's 20Th was so much fun, it was simple and so damn sweet! Under the pretext of buying shoes for Nazia's sis, we took her shopping and brought her the prettiest kelly green tube top. Had it not been a gift I would have stolen it and runaway. So, she takes us to Mainland China for a buffet, we were in cahoots with the hostess there, Apoorva didn't know that. From the million appetisers to the desserts it was brilliant! I can't decide which part I liked best, when they taught us how to use chopsticks or Apoorva's surprised cum embarrassed expression when the waiters came with sparklers, guitars and chocolate cake (on the house) and sang for her.
All of us kept up our usual coaster signing ritual. I even plucked up the courage to compliment the chef...I'm so proud of me! We went bowling after that and I emerged as the least pathetic one, but at one point I had a sneaking suspicion that my hand might come right off its sockets with the bowling hand is going to throb like crazy for the next one week. I better get my act together and start running before I start resembling Queen Latifa!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The next chapter!!

All is well that ends well. Sadly that couldn't be said about my mind numbingly boring summer vacation. The last leg of it was fun though with all the makings of a soap....laughter, tears, shopping (it doesn't fit in, I know) and a lot more drama than usual. I lost my mobile and after a lot of unfounded accusations it was restored to me by a good Samaritan who found it in an ATM. Apparently my mobile travelled all over the city before actually being returned to me. Thank you Sangeeth, you restored my belief in miracles. I thanked him a million times in my head and in person!!! I wanted to get back to college ASAP. Never knew I'd actually say that sentence.
I couldn't wait to get back to MCC and rag the unsuspecting juniors. Little did I know that one of my juniors would be Sandhya......she turned the tables on me...and now instead of being the scary, growling senior I turned out to be a senior who was actually bullied by juniors. Yes, I am a shame to the cult of Seniorhood. But now I'm the proud owner of the world's prettiest stilettos.....not taking into fact the self coined phrase "sticks and stones may break your bones but stilettos kill you". sigh. I don't care if I fall from it and break my neck. I'll still love it! Its great to be back though.....the usual pee-in-the pants kinda laughs, helping friends sob over Ex-boyfriends, displaying new wardrobe, exchanging notes on new hangouts etc.

I've already been twice around the city doing nothing in particular except "hangout". That's the fun part,a simple word can contain a whole bunch of actions. LOL. Even bought 61 red roses for nuja's dad on his b'day, it was the prettiest bouquet ever. I fell in love with it and had a hard time parting with it.....anyway happy b'day uncle!! I have a full calendar already with credit courses lined up (don't ask if you value your life, because I'm done explaining what it is). I miss the old union looks like they were better than the new one. I am pathetic at concluding, I really am. Here's hoping for a brilliant year....better than before!!!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Confessions of cousin IT!!!.

For the past month and a half I've been sitting at home with little more than staring at the wall and drooling to do. I was getting more depressed by the day. You see I'm not used to such inactivity. I drove mum up the wall. Told her I was already on the edge and inactivity would push me right off it! I took to reading a women's magazine. And to kill time, they (the very active magazine people) had suggested a new haircut for the summer. I warmed up to the idea pretty quickly, considering the fact that I and everybody else around me had gotten tired of my so called "grunge" look! So I went to the salon with a broad smile on my face...........I had taken time out from my I-wish-I-were-busy schedule to do some frantic research on my new look, I liked what I saw in the above mentioned magazine.

So I walk into the salon and explain to the stylist in detail what exactly I wanted. She nodded and said something about layers (she had a weird accent probably north eastern considering the fact that shes from Mizoram!) I nod approvingly. I wanted French pedicures too. Pedicures first. It looked great and lasted for about three days!! Damn those pretentious French!!

Back to the point which pains me the most now - my haircut. It took the stylist nearly an hour of cutting and shearing to get the desired style. I was mortified at the result!! I could have gotten that look if i gave my 3 year old niece a pair of garden shears. The stylist hurriedly told me that it would look much better if it were washed and dried!! There was no need to cry!! Easy for her to say!! Her non-butchered hair looks just FINE!!! And she doesn't have friends who guffaw cruelly at bad hair cuts!! Only mine didn't look like any hair style I had in mind........... it looked like ROADKILL!!

To put it mildly I look like a shampooed and blow dried Cousin It from the Adam's family!! Damn that filthy rag they call a magazine!! Hair extensions anyone???

Friday, April 3, 2009

Cribbing Mallu, falling coconuts!!!

Its been almost a year since I have been officially displaced from my home, kerala. I find the term "mallus" and "malluland" quite offensive because we've given ourselves proper respectable names! Considering the fact that of all the people I've come across, without any bias, mallus are definitely the funniest people, that's besides the fact that they can laugh at themselves (this does not include me). Every time I go to Kerala or someone I know from kerala comes to meet me the first thing that my non-keralite friends ask me is "How many coconuts did you get, dude??". OK!! I can think of a million other places where you get coconuts and a jillion other things that you can get from Kerala!! Yes "Kerala" does mean land of coconuts, but please if I hear the coconuts question one more time, I'll beat/bite that person repeatedly without any mercy!!

I would like to take time to clear all the misconceptions surrounding mallus and their highly complex relationship with coconuts!!
1) We do use coconut oil for cooking but NOT ALL THE TIME!!!
2) Not all mallus are "CRAZY" about tender coconuts and products from coconuts.
3) Mamooty is not my uncle (its not a coconut related misconception, but a misconception nevertheless).
4) Yes, there are a lot of kerala dishes made out of coconuts but not ALL of them.
5) All mallu freak accidents aren't because "a coconut fell on his head".

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Home sweet home!

Being away from home is the most painful event so far!!! The city of Kochi calls out to me every time i hear or see anything vaguely related to Kerala. Yes to a large extent the city is blissfully unaffected (not ignorant, mind you) by whats going on abroad!! The smell of freshly fried pakodas, biryani, and masala dosas brings back vivid memories of Nandita and me after Iyer sir's class. Every time a friend calls I cannot help but let tears well up in my eyes (that is besides the shock about the fact that they actually called). I miss everything about the place....... riding the school bus, yelling at Anil and David, discussing fervently about EVERYTHING with Nima and laughing with Ramya and at Dipthy!! All that was school, and outside it was a city of wonders!! Unimaginably low prices, sunsets worth dying for, coffee at coffee beans are some among the million things that i miss!

And when I think of the coming monsoons, I feel like crying.....there is nothing like running out when it rains, or sipping hot coffee while sitting near the balcony when the wind is howling and the rain makes the coconut palms bend!! Wherever I go I can hear songs that remind me of the good and better times I've spent in Kochi. There is no place like home!! I burn with envy when friends talk of get together that I'll probably never can attend. Like, what Nimisha once said "Nina is a fool for having runaway to bangalore, leaving her friends behind!!" How painfully true. I took it for granted, never once realizing the fact that maybe, maybe i might not get to relive those days again.

The time we had our hands read was so scary, because the man could not have been more accurate!!! How skeptical I was when he offered to read mine and how much I regretted the fact that I refused! The day we spent rolling on the floor laughing at a perfectly good romantic movie thanks to dipthy's antics.....LOL!! I miss them so much!! The only two people who could make me laugh were David and Anil, I still refuse to admit it though (at least not to their faces!!) how I wish they were around. Those were the days. I dwell so much in the past that sometimes I freak myself out.

I love my life in Bangalore, but i love my life in Kochi a whole lot more. Even after living in Bangalore for nearly a year I cannot get over the fact that I'm no longer a Bhavanite but a Carmelite, I guess heart of hearts I'll always be a student of BVM(G).

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Its that time of the year!!

Its that time of the year when you see carmelites running wild looking bedraggled, its time for cul-ah.... the three day college fest. It begins tomorrow and I'm keeping my fingers crossed, I bet the place will be run over by tall & hairy testosterone reeking metal heads, screaming their lungs out!! They've set up three venues leaving not even an inch of space for innocent and indifferent passersby. But there are plus points we can give proxy attendance by bribing the class-rep, shoving down our throats all kinds of eatables....and shopping for clothes and shoes within the campus!!
Of course the teachers will be on the look out see if they can catch the girls with their boyfriends in campus, (all the best!!) and also to get the best buys. I'm just praying real hard I've been set a project for my credit course and it requires me to write a report on the fest (all three days!!), that annoucement knocked the wind off me, i had planned in detail my schedule for the three days (it basically includes watching TV and eating popcorn), having no desire in being asked out by perverts and hit on by horny lesbians. Ok I guess I'll just have to accept the fact that I've been given no other choice and might as well try and have fun!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

New year and free hugs!!

So its 2009 and so far so good. I hope I haven't spoken too soon! Having brooded a lot on what this year's new year resolution ought to be, I've narrowed it down to two :

1. will listen to more carnatic music (having heard being talked about as musically handicapped decided to turn that around....i love the genre of music nevertheless);

2.I want to spread the love....for that I will give out more hugs( so I'm sporting a FREE HUGS badge, drawing inspiration from Juann Mann).

Everything has been going smoothly with some of my friends joining me in my free hugs campaign. A lot of curious stares, whispered comments, pointed fingers and a hell lot more hugs later....I'm feeling great!!

So today one of my seniors who majors in journalism wants to do her portfolio on me. OK! That was kinda weird but in a nice way. She seemed genuinely interested, that made me all the more happy. I'll be sporting the badge for some more time and hope that more people will pick that up.
"You get what you give" and it feels great to be hugged......makes me feel happier.
The only problem being that my lesbian stalker looking really really weird!! So I've been trying to make myself look inconspicuous (NOT HAPPENING!!) I don't have anything against gay people, but this one freaks me out!!

And now I've been bombarding myself with carnatic music and am LOVING IT!!