Thursday, September 29, 2011

Wash's the matter!

Recently, I was chatting with a friend of mine. A "new friend", as my friends insist on calling him. Anyway, I was chatting with him, and I asked him what he was doing, to which he replied that he was cooking, cleaning and washing clothes. Upon which I commented that it sounded very domestic.

Now, this person isn't someone I'd expect to be so much at home with certain chores. So, well, naturally conversations die when I make such witty comments. So, it's usually up to me to restart the conversation, and hope that it continues. Till my wit breaks it apart :P And then silence reigns supreme.

I digress. Coming back to what I was saying... Where was I? Ah yes... So, I was chatting with my friend. (In case you have forgotten what I was doing - I have mentioned it only twice before!) I was suddenly reminded of a conversation I had with... who else, but another friend? I asked him if he cooked, he said he could cook to save his life, and enjoyed it. But what he liked more was washing vessels on a Sunday afternoon.

So, I asked my friend, (this is friend 1, the friend I mentioned earlier) if he liked washing vessels. And he said he did!

And it got me thinking how nice it was that most of the guys in my life were well-trained in domestic chores, and even enjoy them. (I just hope that the majority of the m. of the s. is like this, so I can start dreaming of a happy future, where I get served my meals and coffees and teas and snacks ... wow, I'm already off on a flight of fantasy!)

Well, actually, these days, I've also started washing vessels, the one task I avoided till my PG days. In fact, it was Big FM and their RJ's, especially Imsai Arasi, Dheena, Bosskey & Balaji, who gave me company in the initial days. I remember singing item numbers, paettai songs & gaana songs while washing vessels.

A far cry from my school and college days. When I would not even touch a vessel in the sink. My brother was my saviour back then. I remember how sometimes, when I was asked to get a spoon, my brother would come to rescue me as I stood by the sink staring at a spoon inside. He'd take it and wash it for me. And the frown on my face would be replaced by a smile. I remember the times when I'd point out the vessels in the sink that I needed at the moment, and my brother would wash them for me.

And now, I wash his coffee mug for him!

Sigh!!! How times change!

And now, I'm off...

(I'm not apologizing for the pathetic title, as I'm tired of apologizing for the same thing every time!)

More random updates

I just finished watching my first Bengali movie (Pather Panchali). Thanks HG.

It's been raining here since yesterday. (It didn't rain all this time, when I was lugging my umbrella around. Why did it have to start raining just when I decide to put my umbrella at home?)

And the downpour has been affecting my movements.  Last evening, I was stuck in the lab for almost three hours. The only good thing was that I'd been to the canteen when the clouds were still gathering, and reached the lab just as the raindrops started to fall. While waiting for the rains to stop, I spent about half an hour pacing the corridor. Then, I started disturbing the two other people stuck there with me. And to give them some respite, I started calling people on my phone. With the end result that I can no longer make any calls till I pay my bill.

This afternoon, I was caught in the rain again. But thankfully, I had a novel which I read standing in front of our Mess door. :)
When the rains had slowed down to a drizzle, I came back to the hostel, and while climbing down the stairs, I kept thinking that the floors would be slippery, so I should be careful. And next moment, whoosh.......... Down I went, sliding down the stairs... Luckily, I wasn't hurt.

(It reminds me of Anguished English, where a student's essay says, "She slipped down the stairs and lay prostitute at the bottom", to which the professor had replied, "There's a difference between a fallen woman and one who has merely slipped" :D    And all afternoon I was thinking that I was now a fallen woman, thanks to the rains :P)

It reminds me of this other time when I was talking to a friend after my Spanish class. He was asking me why I didn't have any plans of going to Paris, as I could speak French too, and I started telling him, "I am not going anywhere...........". And I slipped down the stairs just then. (That time too, nothing was hurt other than my pride :) Thankfully!)

An announcement to a certain friend who expressed her concern for the people I'd sent my recordings to. Both M & PM (whom I've written about) are still alive. And doing great. I called M as I hadn't heard from her since the day I sent her the recordings. She spoke to me as usual. And I met PM this week, as I had to give him a book. He was also quite well and alive and in good spirits and all that jazz. So, there!

(Did I mention that neither of them has heard the recordings yet? ;) )

That's it for now :)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Random updates

I was just watching a movie, and it made me wonder. Why is it that the villains are never able to locate the hero, when in the middle of the chase, the hero suddenly ducks down and hides (choose one - crouching behind a half-broken wall/handpump/under a basket/inside a phone booth/under a parked vehicle, especially the hand-cart type...). Why is it that if the hero turns left at a crossroads, the villains turn right, and go more than halfway into the road before turning and seeing the solitary figure of the hero running in the opposite direction? Why do the villain's henchmen always have to utter an earth-shattering war-cry before rushing to be knocked down on being hit by the hero's little-finger-nail? What powers do heroes gain when they tear open their shirt/tie a cloth around their forehead/arm / apply some colour powder on their faces? Why are a hundred badmen with machine guns no match to a hero with a single matchstick?

Ah, these eternal mysteries of life...

And so, my best friend calls me and asks me to send her my recordings. She says, "Send them. Now. I want to be entertained."

And another of my friends stopped eating, owing to be laughing so hard while listening to the aforementioned recordings. (Though she did concede that my pronunciation was right!)

And I wrote this. (After a long time, something written not Under the Influence.:) )


This morning, I dusted a trophy of mine which says, "Star Champ." It made me remember my brother asking me why they had mis-spelt the words on it, as it was supposed to read "Star Chimp." Sigh!!!


So, that's the state my world is in.

Friday, September 23, 2011

A brief reminder to self

Chivalry is not dead and gone. It is still very much alive. Don't misunderstand it. Or try to uncover non-existent reasons behind it. You do not need an ulterior motive to be chivalrous, just good manners are enough. So Stop. And be grateful for the thoughtfulness still around. Without reading too much into it.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Whatte weekend!

I finally finished reading 'Eat. Pray. Love' last night. The marathon reading session as I neared the end of the book left me feeling sentimental and emotional and ... - well, you can probably consult a Thesaurus for more words... (To think I was this sentimental before that too...)

My brother was home for the weekend, which basically means that I had a great time, while he had to bear with me. During this visit, my brother had stomach ache. No, I didn't cook (Actually, I did cook a bit, but my brother ate at our grandparents' place). But I made him listen to a recording of me singing Bengali songs, and he just couldn't stop laughing till his stomach ached.

We also tried watching a (1987) movie called "Paruvaragam", starring Juhi Chawla, Vishnuvardhan and Ravichandran (I'm not sure what the name of the very 'smart' (super)hero was). The action starts right from minute one - the hero's antics and the "novel" way in which the credits were presented had us rolling with laughter. We finally managed to stop laughing for a minute, only to start again the next minute.

The movie was set in a college, which ought to give you a clue as to what to expect. Well, no matter how hard we tried, we couldn't get past the first half-hour, as we needed time to recover from our bouts of laughter. Did I mention that the heroine could not recognize the hero when he came on a bike wearing cooling glasses? One scene had the heroine throw the heroine's jacket into the air, and in mid-air, the jacket becomes a hero doing a triple somersault dive into a swimming pool. The hero even speaks in English. Sample this : " Love is an accident, then it becomes incident, nothing is permanent... ... then you pregnant, we parents, life is fullllllllll of enjaaiment" (Sometimes it's a pity that the written words fail to convey the full effect of a spoken word...)

This was a Rs.1-crore movie back then, so you can imagine it for yourself. The costumes deserve a special mention. The heroine wears mostly short skirts or shorts, even when she goes to the market to buy vegetables. The hero (R, not V) wears a white shirt, white pants and a red towel in the opening sequence. After that, he wears mostly shorts - real shorts, which reach only half his thighs. Or just pants. Or pants with most of the buttons open. And once, even a golden dressing gown with a purple border. In one scene, he wears leather pants (maroon!), with a matching cap, and chains dangling from ear to ear, chains like a poonal... The hero is as smart as this. So you can see for yourself.

I think I'll end now. And keep you asking for more. Keep waiting. And watch the movie. (And if you do manage to watch it fully, please do let me know. I'll first congratulate you, admire you a bit, and then you can tell me the rest of the story. :) )

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Amigo mio

Plans are fun to make, especially when you have something to look forward to.

Right now, I have a lot to look forward to. It makes me happy and I'm going about with a spring in my step and a song on my lips. One of the things I'm looking forward to is jamming with Praveen, hopefully in the not-so-distant future.

A long way we've come, from being two people in a language class to friends who can make plans together. It has also been a journey of discovery, as my perceptions changed and I grew as a person.
Virtually the only things I used to associate with him were an audiographic memory and a great vocabulary which included phrases and idioms which I could never get the hang of; the result of the French classes where we were in the same class. (He used to sit way in front, and used to top the class, while I preferred sitting behind and was content dreaming of just clearing the level). But as I got to know him better, through conversations and chats, which started with his status message reading, “Backpacking in Chile?”, I discovered how much more there was to him.
Every now and then, my friends post photographs of the latest places they have visited. Most of the time, I don't even feel like seeing them all. Travel, to me, means something more than what I find in those photos. There are travellers and sightseers. There is something in the idea of travelling for the sake of travelling which appeals to me. It is also one of the things that I like about Praveen – his passion for travel, for its own sake. Among other things. The moments he captures in his photographs speak volumes – describing them would also need volumes.

Every so often, I feel the need to listen to some new music. It was when I was exploring some Spanish music that I came to know of another of his interests – music. He plays the guitar, and so far I've enjoyed the songs recommended by him (especially the Bengali ones!). Speaking of the guitar reminds me, it's thanks to him that I've finally started attending my guitar classes- I'd been delaying finding a suitable class until one evening I decided I'd put it off long enough and finally joined the class. And I'm really enjoying them.

Now, I'd be going on and on and you'd be bored, so I'll just wind up by saying that he's someone who has made a difference to my life. I've grown as a person, and am no longer scared to dream and wish for certain things. I've gotten back my lost faith in myself, in a way thanks to him. With him, some things don't matter, like how I look, what I'm wearing - he's someone I can just be myself with. In short, I'm just glad to have found a friend like him. Thank you, Praveen.

Disclaimer : Apologies for the at-times-forced structuring, as the Suitable Boy bug struck again when I started writing it. And yes, it speaks volumes that he didn't mind what I have written :)

So, now you know one of the people behind my singing Bengali songs of late. You're welcome to show him your pleasure ;)
(I hope the title is in correct Spanish, as it's been a while since I spoke the language...)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Just ranting

As if this weren't enough, my friend has just been extolling the virtues of a dinner cooked by our Bong friend.

And in the morning, another friend was singing praises of the good food he ate at a wedding and a friend's place in Kerala. To rub salt in my wounds, he said he'd eaten his fill, and not brought anything for me to have. Schadenfreude!! He, not me. (Actually, I just wanted to use such a big word, and a foreign one at that!!!)

It was only when my friend and I walked into the mess around 20:10 Hrs that I realized it was the night of the Feast. And how did I guess? All the vessels on the tables were empty :) We then resigned ourselves to a dinner of some Kurma, a Gulab Jamun and an ice-cream. Halfway through, I espied some pooris being served, and thankfully there were some left when we reached the place.

(I should mention that my friend waited for me. Poor girl. If she'd gone as planned, instead of waiting for me, she might have actually seen or eaten some food. A, I salute thy supreme sacrifice!)

So, the last thing I need is to be reminded of the good food people have been eating. At this point of time, it's more than I can take.

Miss SS, you had a good dinner. Point taken. There's no need for you to elaborate now. Maybe tomorrow you can tell me in more detail when I confront H.

(And you don't have to tell me that he's Bengali. I know. And I remember. And yes, I've had the experience of watching RS cook and serve us dinner. Don't jump to conclusions. OK?)

Sunday, September 11, 2011


The aftermath of my singing Bengali songs (supposedly ;) ) of late :

- My friends are wondering why I'm so keen on the language.

- My best friend asks me, "Oh, learning Bengali? For what joy?"

- Another of my friends (who happens to be Bong) wants us to sing together (yes, I know she's got guts!)

- Two of my friends have started calling me 'Sam Bhattacharya'...

- When my brother called me, I asked him to guess what I was doing. And his first guess was, "listening to a Bengali song". The second was "singing a Bengali song". The actual answer was "Cooking" :

- My parents have started talking to me in the Bengali they know :D

- Today, my dad asked me to change my surname to 'Sen' and told me that mine was a Bengali/Oriya name. (And at that time I'd actually been listening to an English song!!!!)

- One of my friends has given me the task of watching some Bengali movies.

- People are under the impression that I've become interested in some Bong guy. They're even giving me tips on Bengali culture, and asking me to start thinking about getting used to "Machchibath" (Did I get that word right?)...

- When I brought cups of chai to our table in the canteen, my friend told me to keep practising it, as I'd have to do so when a Bong guy comes to "see" me. (I did tell him that I had no need to do so, and that I'd prefer to do the "seeing" :P)

- My mom asks me if I'm confused between the two extremes of the West Coast and the Eastern one :) (especially since I'd also been trying to sing in Malayalam which is a bit more difficult. Or maybe it's the song I chose!)

So, let me put the record straight.

I'm trying to learn Bengali so I can understand what I'm singing. It's not my fault I got introduced to some lovely songs... And some of the words in the songs sound so *sexy* that I just feel I should know what they mean. Well, I've had the experience of trying to sing a Spanish song before I knew what it meant, and then when my vocabulary got better, I realized it wasn't exactly something you could sing to a group. Especially not in class. (Obviously I didn't feel like going about singing that I wanted to kiss someone, and admire that person's bare skin (the song was sung by a male singer)... well,you get the drift...)

Another reason is that Malayalam seems more difficult to learn. Especially as my teachers are too busy to teach me. And they seem to expect me to do my homework. (Isn't that a bit too much?) And yes, did I mention that I actually have to get up and go to them... Which is a Herculean task if you're half as lazy as me.

I'm NOT trying to impress any guy. If I was really that keen, I'd be working harder on my Malayalam ;)

It's now time for me to leave.

(And hopefully there won't be any casualties in this matter!)