Monday, May 21, 2012

Last evening, A (the drummer-boy) messaged me that he was on his way to Wayanad. And today, M tells me he's driving his sister around to her examinations, with a mobile library in the backseat of his car. And it seems the monsoons have already set in there.

And as I was looking forward to my Chennai trip and catching up with some friends, I keep hearing about the power cuts there.

Sigh! M chose this time to make me think of Kerala monsoons. (I was in a total I-love-Kerala-and-Mallus phase before the 'Bong' infection, and Kerala still holds a lot of attraction for me...)

Ending now, before the depression (at the thought of the power cuts) sets in - if a depression had to set in, I'd prefer it over the Bay of Bengal, and not in my mind.

That was a terrible joke. More reason I should just leave now

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Of Reds and Blues

So, I finally reserved the TV for a while. As I hadn't checked the correct time of the match, I asked one of my closest friends, G, who told me that the match would start at 10. As I was having my dinner late, I watched TV then, instead of reading a book like I usually do.

10 was at last, and I switch channels eagerly, and what do I see? Three men in a bar. Four men, actually, with plenty more people in the background. It was this Extraa Innings kinda thing from some sports bar in Delhi. (The TV was on mute (who but me would stay awake to watch a football match???), so I have no idea what they were talking, then and later too...)It was only when I called G again and screamed at him that instead of players, there were some other people chatting away, and he told me the match would start after 11:30, given the time difference.

It was 00:15 when the match finally started. Interruptions prevented me from getting the teams into my head. Two minutes into the match, my phone rang. It was G. We had a long chat for almost 20 minutes, before deciding to take a break for a couple of minutes before the next score update. (while I continued grumbling to him that no one was scoring). A couple of minutes, we were back, talking of this and that, discussing mutual friends, our teams for the Euros, who we had on our fantasy teams; all as background to the walking commentary of the match I was giving him (talking about a friend, suddenly shouting (if you call it that, given I didn't want to disturb the others who were asleep), "Wait,one minute.... Oh, he misses yet again", and then pauses of silence while I was staring at the TV screen - I don't think these actually constitute a running commentary).

Half-time came and I went to refill my bottle. G&I were on a call just before the second half started, and for a couple of minutes, our exchanges were limited to, "So, like I said, I'll be there next week. Has the second half started?", "No, some ad is being aired", "And so, I really want to watch this movie in Imax. Have the players come?, "No, yet another ad", and finally, I could tell him, "The players are coming out"

I felt I should give G a break, and so I told him that I'd call back in ten minutes, before that if there was a goal. It was with a start that more than fifteen minutes had passed since I said that, and so I called him to say that the score hadn't changed, the first thing he says is, "So, who scored now?" I had no choice but to fill him in on the fact that though there were attempts, none had materialized into a goal.

It was finally at the 83rd minute that I could give him the update he'd been waiting for - Bayern Munich scores. I'd just been telling him that it seemed to me that Bayern seemed to usually score only at the last minute (like they did against Madrid, when it was literally a last minute goal!), when this happened. G told me, "The next few minutes are really crucial. Follow it closely", and just as we expected, the equalizer came at the 88th minute.

By then, I'd started feeling sleepy, and G talked me into staying awake for a while, and watching the extra-time. He told me that the match would probably end soon, and I could happily go to bed. But Fate, it seemed, had other ideas. I watched the first half of the extra-time sitting almost at the edge of my chair, waiting for a goal that never came. The second half seemed to be going the same way, and I'd started dozing, when G roused me yet again and sternly reprimanded me for falling asleep. So I shook myself awake, and the commentary started again.

The penalty shoot-out started, and I kept up a live commentary of the happenings. G started a chant, "please score, please score" and kept it up while the Munich players took their turns. When I told him that Nueur had stepped up to take his turn, G was on tenterhooks till I told him he'd scored. He then passed a remark on how even goalkeepers could take penalty shots and asked me about the Madrid fiasco, before getting back to "Who's taking it for Chelsea?". A couple of times, I had to tell him, "Hey, wait, at least until the player comes forward, then I'll tell you." He got tense when I mentioned that Lampard was taking a shot, and his tension increased when Nueur failed to save. He kept lamenting Ribéry's absence, and went off on an edge when Olic's shot was saved, and so was Schweinsteiger's. When I told him Drogba was taking a shot, he again started his chanting, this time saying "Don't score, don't score", I reminded him that this was how he'd jinxed Munich's chances, he altered it to "Please score, please score". I warned him to be careful in what he was wishing for, as it might come true any time. And just as I finish saying this, Drogba's on the ground - his shot was cleared, and the Blues had won.

It was with a heavy heart that G bade me goodnight. I finally went to bed around 3:15 A.M. (after thinking for a while whether it was pointless to go to sleep when I'd be up in a couple of hours, I decided I should catch up on sleep, if only to give my eyes a much-needed rest)

I'd watched the match as a neutral, with my team having lost out to Bayern in the semis. And I thought I'd provide some moral support to G as he rooted for Bayern.

(In the morning, I'd had a "sign" that Chelsea would be winning - I'd just started reading a novel, and there, on the first page, in the second line was a name. A. My friend with that name is a Chelsea fan. And so, I took it to be a sign. Also, the Chelsea mug I'd gotten for another friend kept looming into my mind at times (I usually prefer my own Real Madrid mug). But I did hope that G would get his wish.)

Anyway, there is the Euro to look forward to. And I don't know if I'll be fighting with G this time round - we usually have Clasicos of our own when there are other Clasicos being played in Europe. Plus, he has listed my team as one of the teams he's rooting for. But who knows? During the World Cup, we finally ended up on opposite sides in the finals...

Looking forward to see what the future holds in store...

And before I leave, Happy Birthday, Iker. Feliz cumpleanos! :)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Rants over a Talk and other ramblings

Last evening I was forced to attend a seminar I wasn't keen on.

It was, in fact, Mr. Mercury who forced me to go. Apart from reminding me that it was my social obligation, his majesty went on and on about how the talk was about Bangla, and hence I should not miss it, what with my interest in all things Bong. (Oh, of late, my Bong-related interests seem to have come down to a)letters of the alphabet I can identify, b) movies where I can identify some of the actors, especially Prosenjit, c) rasogolla , d) the Bong Boy who I think is one, but whose Bong-ness is yet to be confirmed by my other Bong friends, and whose identity remains a mystery (I once pointed him out to Mr.Mercury, asking him if he knew him, but he was gone in a jiffy, & Mr.Mercury couldn't place him... he did assure me that he'd get me someone worthier, which he hasn't done to this day...) &e) entertaining my Bong friends with the way I pronounce the words )

Anyway, the seminar started and had on me the effect that seminars usually do. I started fidgeting a minute or two into the talk. I looked all around me, I pulled up the chair in front of me to rest my feet on. I drank water and looked at my watch. Then I did the entire thing all over again. And again.

I took a break in between when there was a brief moment with some Spanish sentences on the screen, which I finished reading in my usual speed. Then back to the cycle it was.

Finally, there it was, the Promised Bangla. But alas, it was written in English, so much for my hoping to read a sentence of Bangla.. (Mr.Mercury once gave me the task of reading some poems, which I did manage to do. But I'm yet to get him to explain most of them).

As if all this wasn't enough, in between there was a discussion of Hindi sentences. It made me seriously wonder if Ram, Raavan, Sita & Bharat are the only people in the world you can make sentences about. Why can't we talk about you or me or our friends? And for God's sake, why complicate things and lose track of what you were trying to say? And all the time, I kept feeling the sentences they were making violated all the rules of grammar I'd learnt over the years. It seemed too much of an effort to actually say something and anyway, I didn't want to prolong the discussion.

The talk finally ended half an hour later, with half the things having been skipped. And I rushed out from the room :)

I don't know why, maybe it was the weather, or maybe it was just my impatience, but I just couldn't wait to leave. And as the talk last week (by SM) had been really interesting, this was even more of a letdown. (And I just resolved I'd actually put in more of an effort when it'll be my turn very soon...)

Anyway, rant over.

My sole loyal reader seems to be enjoying his visit home (in Kerala!!!), SM should soon be presenting the rest of her talk (hopefully), I haven't yet made PM cringe at my 'creative' suggestions, and I have a couple of books to read. Plus, I think A's silence has nothing to do with the mail I sent. And oh, I had some chocolate yesterday. And today as well. So, all seems well with the world at the moment.  :)

There is a slight dark cloud over the horizon, with Bayern Munich and Chelsea playing, and not my Real Madrid. But then, you can't have everything.

I think I'll just look forward to Euro 2012. And keep my fingers crossed for my team.

Which reminds me, I should go and check if my lucky dress is ready. After all, I did my part in helping them become World Champions, didn't I?

So, I take leave of you. I'd continue writing, if it weren't for such Higher Calls, you know... So keep up your spirits! I'll be back.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Cooled by the Coconut ?


I had such a good post all thought out on the bus this morning - good lines and all. Why, I seemed to have started breathing fire.

Alas, I had some coconut water on getting down, and a long walk at noontime. And at the end of it, all blog-related thoughts had drained from my mind, just like all energy had drained from me...

And now, despite my best efforts, I'm unable to recall what I was in such a fury about. I strongly suspect that it was the coconut water which cooled me down...

But anyway, given how often my temper flares up, it probably won't take me very long to become a fire-breathing dragon again...

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Age of Me*

So, today, I was just having a conversation with my friend S (poor soul, she seems to have become the latest victim to my endless rants and nonsense talks), during the course of which she told me she'd had this impression that I was only as old as A :) At a time when a few of my friends tell me I'm getting older, this comes as a breath of fresh air :)

Talking of ages reminds me of my cousin and how we'd sometime pull his leg, but I'll save those tales for another day...

* - I was just discussing some mythology with my mother recently, plus the copy of Bulfinch's mythology lying in my shelf is beckoning to me everyday, so must get back to the Age of Reason, where I stopped last time... Hence the title

Friday, May 4, 2012

A request

I left the lab early today, around midnight. I was cycling down to my room, trying to whistle 'Patience' (my usual cycling accompaniment), and being interrupted by my mind trying to get me to sing 'Summer of drugs' and 'God says nothing back'. And as I neared my gate, panting a bit with the effort of trying to whistle while riding an upward slope, I suddenly saw something on the footpath. One moment I was sure it was a person, next moment it looked like a huge black bag someone had abandoned. It was only when I was really close that I saw it was him.

Anyway, I think he was equally startled to see me, as he gave what is known as the startled-fawn reaction. I just parked my cycle and came to my room. And came across "101 ways to break the ice". Someone please give him the hint :)

Thank you, folks :)

Post-show reflections

Just got back after watching the show by A & band :)

As they were scheduled to start at 6, A told me I could come a bit after 6. But as I was not in the best frame of mind to study, and as I had a few chapters of a book left, I went there around 5:40 P.M., and was one of the first people there. They were still tuning their instruments, and A was not even on the stage. We spent a few minutes discussing our friends, and drum kits :) A short while later, another of his friends came, and I returned to my book.

When the tuning was complete, there were refreshments, and I took up A's offer of a cup of chai. A few more minutes of talking of certain 'relevant' issues, A had to rejoin his friends, and I continued with my reading.

My friend AJ also turned up, and after the usual few minutes of talk, the show finally began. By then, it was around 6:45, as predicted. (I ended up missing the previous concert as it hadn't started by 7:10 despite being scheduled for 6...)

As usual, watching the drum kit took up most of my attention, with the guitarists and singer providing relief in between :)

The thing that struck me most was the way they were obviously enjoying themselves on stage. It was really good to see so many smiling faces. (I think the one moment a smile left A's face, probably to give his muscles a rest, his friend went up to him, and voila, the smile was back! )

Anyway, to cut a long story short, I had a great evening. And decided that I should get a drum kit for myself at the earliest :)

That's all for now :)

(P.S. There was someone wearing a FCB jersey, and I was pleased to see that AJ had turned up in white and blue like a Madridista :P)

Things I wish people would do #2

How I wish that people were on time.

If you say you're coming in ten minutes, then please do so. At least come within fifteen minutes. Not an hour later. I hate waiting. Sometimes, I have a book in hand, and it's tolerable to some extent. But no, it isn't very pleasant for me to stand on a road for half an hour. If you're going to be late, please do me a favour by letting me know. In the age of digital communication, I think you'll be able to do me this little favour.

I've been late at times, but in such cases, I usually call the other person to say that I'll be late, and give him/her the option of waiting for me or leaving. And it's only natural for me to expect the same from others.

All part of the game

My brother's getting married soon, and preparations for the wedding are on. As part of my to-do list, I have been sending out invitations and handing them out to the friends who are here. Nine times out of ten, the people I give the invitation to, and the ones I call to confirm addresses to mail the invitations to, ask me if it's my wedding. When I clarify that it's my brother who's getting married, they ask me when my turn is.

There's this group people who tell me, "Hey, how is it that your brother is getting married while you're still unmarried?" (It seems traditionally girls with elder brothers get married before their brothers). To which I say, "What is your problem with that?" When they offer to find me a groom, I say, "Oh, I'm looking for a Spanish groom. Or Bengali. Or Malayali". And I continue, "He should have done this, that, blahblah blah blah". After a few minutes of this thing, I get told, "Nee urupudavae maata" (rough translation : you'll never get far, you're incorrigible).

Then there was this friend who asked me, "So, when are you planning to get hitched?", and I told him, "I'm just waiting for you to say yes"

Then there is my family, immediate and extended, who are on a mission to play match-maker for me. They tell me that they are just waiting for me to give them the go-ahead. Methinks the day I say "Please go ahead", they'll suddenly unveil this magic hall of rows and rows of what is called "eligible grooms"(E.G.'s) :D And then I shall go about inspecting them. I'm getting this image of this Potteresque giant chess-set-like room, with one E.G. in each square. But, alas, I can't stretch my imagination to see whether the squares are filled with only Tam-Brahms, or if there are any, you know, Bong Boys, Mallus, and maybe even a Spaniard or two :P

And then there are some friends of mine, who care so much for me that they are themselves ready to get me into a "suitable marriage". At times, they recommend their friends and relatives of friends, and in most cases, their enemies; but when I ask them why they don't want to marry me themselves, they just beat about the bush. Something fishy there. So, I'm steering clear of them.

And finally, to blow my own trumpet, a friend from my Spanish class once told me that if it weren't for the fact that her son and I were of the same age, and that he'd prefer to find his own partner, she'd have liked to have me as her D-I-L.

Anyway, my brother and his fiancee seem to be happy and excited about the wedding. So, let me continue with the preparations. And hope that the topic of my wedding isn't always the only natural continuation to any discussion of my brother's one.

(The general trend seems to indicate that there is a "demand" for girls, but I'm yet to come across the "surplus" of boys. Wonder where they are hiding...)

PGW episodes in my life : #1

At times, I think I look like Major Brabazon-Plank. Not the major who went on to become a miner, but the minor who became a Major :P

(I suddenly remembered the major-minor scene and have been laughing by myself all the way from the library!)

(P.S. : A PGW reference, for those who don't get it...)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

False Impression*

Earlier this week, I just happened to be roaming my campus with a friend. While we were sipping some chai, we started talking of this and that. (The poor soul is often forced to listen to my barrages)

In passing, she said that I always look serious, like I'm always thinking of something. When I heard that, I did a double take. I never thought of myself as a 'serious young woman' (eeks...woman! it sounds so grown-up when I say it, unlike the woman, grow up M keeps telling me...). I think the fact that I'm reserved gives people that impression. 

At home, I'm regarded as a clown. Why, just a fortnight ago, I reinstated this by treating my family to a version of karakattam worthy of a Ramarajan movie; when my brother commented on my clothes. I couldn't see myself, but I think I really had everyone mesmerised for a moment. Before they started rolling with laughter, tears streaming down their eyes.

With friends, I'm funny at times, and serious at other times. Sometimes, I think I crack jokes so subtle that even I take a moment to realize it. I can make people laugh, but sometimes I just am not in the mood to do so.

Anyway, I'm still trying to understand what makes me a serious young woman. It must be fun to be one, and just last week, M and I were discussing the relative merits (;)) 'intellectual types' (that the discussion was with re: Bong Boy is a minor side-issue). Maybe the fact that I read all the posters on the canteen walls contributes to the image. As also to the fact that I'm usually found with a book in hand, and often reading while walking!!!

As I pointed out to my friend, I don't have a one-track mind (unlike Stilton and his hob-nailed boots). I have at least two tracks running on my mind all the while, with a third and even a fourth sometimes. Like, every time I take my book out, a song plays in the background, with another part of my mind trying to play the guitar and drums alternately. No wonder then that I look 'tired due to mental exertion' :)

And S, though you don't seem to have actually posted the comment you were typing when I caught-you (red-handed)   unawares, I have indeed not posted in a while. I was going to blame it on "writer's block", which sounds very terrific and hi-fi, but truth is, I have been just plain lazy. Reading is fine, but sitting down to pound the keys does require effort, loads of it. Anyway, will try and post more regularly. (Though you shouldn't really expect me to, given my track record!)

Adios for now.

(P.S. Today was the day I got back in touch with a couple of long-lost friends...
P.P.S. Today was also the day when I was actually consulted on a matter requiring great (read extremely high levels of) tact and diplomacy. Me, of all people! 
P.P.P.S. Must confirm with A about his concert - and well, if you can't have a soft corner for someone who talks to you as one drummer to another, you can't have a soft corner for anyone!
P.P.P.P.S : Must write about Mr.I-man and his violin sometime.

That's already way too many p's&s's, so I better stop now. Stop, as in actually s-t-o-p)

(* - a Jeffrey Archer book I enjoyed, and a neat turn of phrase for what this post is about! )

Shopping in the land of the Kamasutra*

This weekend, I bonded with my mother over a retail therapy session. Which is newspaper lingo for 'I went shopping with my mother'. (Methinks these days, you can't just have an outing, or have fun - it's always bonding time, and bonding over food, bonding with family, bonding with friends...; and there's no shopping, only retail therapy - my! why do we need to have special terms for even the simplest of things? Anyway, that's another rant.)

And so, I go to this place, and what do I see? Half a mannequin. Picture a hanging corpse shown in the movies. Then cut the top half. Attach a hook to the remaining half, and hang it from the roof. Yes. Right. That just about  the sales tactics of the shop.

Move a bit forward, and you find these really scary looking mannequins, some of which reminded me of something I came across on Yahoo, about a doctor who used to inject cement. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you're welcome to google it. I'm sure you're capable of doing that, if you've managed to read this far.

Next comes the clincher, with a novel way of using tennis balls. (I had a dispute with mom over that - I claimed they were sponge ones, she said they were tennis ones, the dispute is still unsettled) Yes, as you've guessed by now, tennis balls. strategically placed in lingerie. As used in some movies (which I had the misfortune of watching owing to just being there at the time). A real eye-sore. The less said about it, the better.

I think I'll sign off now, as I need some effort to get the image out of my mind...

(* - Is that one word? Or two? It sounded like a good title when I saved it in my drafts, but now, am too lazy to change it. Not to mention that I can't think of anything even remotely good.)