Sunday, November 26, 2017

Enigmas and Dogmas

As teenagers, all of us dream of becoming something.

Since the age of 13 or so, I have been in the pursuit of becoming this enigma... the mystery woman that the boys die to get close to, someone who everybody is eager to know about. The woman doesn't talk much, smiles just a little, has eyes that can draw you deep into their dark depths. The woman who will attract you but will never let you come close to her. She will leave your wondering. And she comes with a special brand of beauty and grace.

Today, at 4 decades of existence, I do have Enigma but only on my retro playlist - (even that once famous band of the 90s has now faded into oblivion). The mystery happens when I wonder how I ended up wearing the old pair of jeans when I was actually planning to wear a chiffon salwar kameez, with a chiffon dupatta, chiffon scarf, and chiffon bangles. (Ah! Manish Malhotra and Yash Chopra didn't think of chiffon bangles #LostOpportunity)
Leave alone an enigma, I couldn't even manage to become a lady, that I had dreamt of becoming.

Oh! I did get an anonymous love-note slipped into my desk when I was Class VIII. It said "I love Priya." I should have blushed. Should have acted coy. But what did I do? I let out a loud guffaw and bellowed "Hey who's that?", frightening enough for the anonymous lover to shrink further into anonymity. Well, he wanted an intimate date and all I did was INTIMIDATE. #LostOpportunity

The problem with me is that I can't leave anything to suspense. Anything I feel, I have to express it. Be it love, anger or disappointment. If there is an itch, it has to be scratched, so to speak. (I can't ever imagine Aishwarya Rai scratching.)

The other problem is my compulsive need to talk. If people have been out of touch, I don't wait for them to text first. I do. And then I talk and talk and talk (them actually listening is usually not a prerequisite.) So what's left for them to wonder about? As if that were not enough my gutter mouth can make the husband blush even after so many years.

Oh and those meaningful smiles. I tried. I practiced. Two hours in front of the mirror every day (there were times when I actually had 2 hours of my own for such creative pursuits). Nope. I only ended up with pursed lips and flared nostrils. Well, at least that checks off 'deep-dark' in the list.

For the love of god have I've tried to peck like a hen when I eat with men but what do I do when I have an appetite larger than theirs? So people around me do wonder. Wonder how I did it.

I've been trying to write poetry with a feather-tipped pen but the family tells me to try Stand-up Comedy. Lo karlo baat! I've been trying to grow long, luscious tresses but the girl at the parlour, every time she sees me, she chops off the 3/4th of an inch that took 6 months to grow. She shakes her head and tch-tches "too dry ma'm" (And I'm hoping there are no other hidden references there). Talking about references, I've been subjected to the range - from the extremely rude "Tom Boy" to the more gentle, "gruff voice, good for western music". Well, I've learnt to take all of that with a pinch of chat masala and a peg of whiskey. See, even that's not a lady's drink.

Forget me. Even my lady-parts are not ladylike anymore.
Hey! But I AM sensitive, extremely touchy and hopelessly romantic. Yes, I can't blush but that's okay, I suppose.

So what do I do now? At this ripe age, all I can do is....give up? No! Never! I will try and try and try. Only time will tell if I will end up like Rajmata Gayatri Devi of Jaipur or the famous Cuban lady with the Cigar.


Pic Courtesy:
Lorrie Cramer via Flickr

Friday, August 04, 2017

In Love and So Lonely

Relationships don't always break because of differences of opinion. Sometimes, two people much in love with each other can also get very lonely. Each is an individual in his and her own right after all. They do go through their own personal battles.More often than not, it has nothing to do with the lover at all. I guess this happens a lot in this new world, where long, loving glances are not everything.

And it's this loneliness that often becomes the last sigh of a loving relationship. It usually takes either one of them to carefully step away from this dangerous cliff and in the process save the three - themselves, their loved one and their love itself.

This song always brings to my mind this last dangerous precipice that a relationship is in. The girl is risking it all to bring both of them to safe ground.Wow! Never seen anything like this before. And the beauty of the song is that she says she needs him. She doesn't try to get a step above and offer a condescending shoulder. But he is is so lost in his inner turmoil that he only sees the pointlessness of it all. Yet, she doesn't give up. She tries and tries and tries. She says life is sure to be beautiful if you are with me. He says it won't make a difference whether she is with him or not. Life is bound to be as heartless as ever. Listen to the song, it's built just like an argument. His pain makes you want to take him in your arms and cradle him to peace and derive peace for yourself in the process.

I don't have to say anything about the video. It speaks for itself between 3:20 and 4:20. It has captured a moment of intimacy like no other song video has before. 

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Boycott: Thums Up or Thums Down?

I have been reading about the boycott of soft drinks by the traders in Tamilnadu.

I strongly believe that carbonated soft drinks with artificial flavouring are no good and completely unnecessary. Yet, I have some questions:
1. If the Coca Cola plant is draining water from Thambaraparani, where do the local brands, Kalimark/Bovonto plant get their water from?

2. Can the government stop all soft-drink manufacture for a while in order to make better use of water resources?

3. What are the actual reasons for the boycott?
Is it because they want to promote national brands in lieu of the foreign ones?
Is it to stop the the depletion of natural resources to manufacture a product that is perhaps not an 'essential commodity'? In that case, won't the local brands also come under that tag?

4. I am imagining an visual of a foreign tourist from say, a Coke guzzling region like the USA. He is touring around Mylapore in the month of June,thrilled with the rich heritage and culture of this 1000 year old neighbourhood. Suddenly struck by thirst, he goes to a shop and asks for Aquafina. Shop-keeper says no. Bisleri. No. Coke. No. Then the friendly shopkeeper offers the tourist fresh, tender coconut water and the tourist takes a selfie with the coconut, the caption on his photo being "I love natural, so real."

Am I being too naive?

5. Okay, another visual. They say foreign companies haven't been setting up shop in Tamilnadu due to bureaucracy. A very resilient investor goes ahead with his plan, brings in his team. Gives them posh houses in MRC Nagar. Takes a while for the expats to settle down. Slowly emails marked 'Personal' go the HR in the HO. "I tried to take my team to a night out in town. By the time we complete work it is 9 pm. By the time I search for a decent pub, it's 10. We take 30 minutes to take in all the teenager crowd, the noisy music. Before we can blink, it's shut down time. We are home by 11:30 p.m. Forget nightlife, forget buying a can of beer to chill at home, it is nearly impossible to even find a can of coke or sprite. Every time I ask my grocer for coke or Aquafina, he politely advices me to get them from the posh hotel nearby. This is getting very inconvenient and demotivating. Please advise." Now, I am being too negative? First-world problems you say?

Like I said right at the beginning, my only grouse against soft drinks is the health reasons and then harmful effect these factories have on the environment.
This post is more about thinking aloud. I need your thoughts and opinions please.