My Ramble- Scramble Pujo Post-II

>> Sunday, September 28, 2008

What should have made me suspect the plot in the first place was the delighted smile with which my mother welcomed me. My mother and I share an unusual relationship where she greets my homecoming with a sepulchral, "Oh, there you are" and I make for the kitchen. Hence, as I said, the delighted smile should have made me suspicious. However, what with being the owner of a pair of spectacles whose lens keep on popping out due to, I like to believe, the intensity of my gaze, but mostly due to the fact that I went and sat upon them once, I failed to notice it completely and walked upon a multitude of the neighbourhood women.

"Oh, good," said one, as she pounced upon me, " we want someone to operate the CD player," and before I knew it, there I was, starting and stopping instrumental music they were singing to. Pujo rehearsals have come to town, and this time, they have selected my house.

It was while I was dozing off to the fifteenth rendition of Aguner poroshmoni, when everyone suddenly stopped singing and asked innocuously, "So what will you people be performing?"

Rather surprised by the sudden change in the lyrics, I managed a "Huh?' before the implication of the question struck me. "Which people?"

"You kids, of course,"said Mrs. M (bless her golden heart, it does do me good to be addressed as a kid at this age). "You will be putting up something right? We have kept the Ashtami slot aside for you people."

"But what people? Everyone has left the city. We are barely a handful. Maybe four, definitely not more than four people. Who will teach us? What could we put up?"

"Excuses," said the lady with the iron resolve, " Set your mind to it and you will manage it."

Thus, three days later, three girls and a piece of paper sat broodingly on a parapet, wondering how to entertain a hundred or so people without sharing any talent between them.

"We have to dance. It is the only thing we all know a bare minimum of," suggested the economist (no, not me, do you think I am the only economist around anywhere?)

"We have three weeks. We are four people and we need to keep dancing for an hour. This better be one of those brilliant brain storming sessions. Think of a theme," said the oldest among us.

"Oh, oh, I know, I know, trance-classical-fusion," I exclaimed.

"Eh? That does not even mean anything!"

"Precisely, so we can do anything and they will think we are doing it!"

"Doing what?"

"It! What we are supposed to be doing. Trance classical Fusion!!"

So we had a theme, which purported to mean nothing absolutely and thus, got us nowhere when it was time to zero in on the music. That was when the economist had the idea to rummage around my playlist.

"But what are you looking for exactly," I asked, much affronted at this invasion of my privacy.

"Oh, you know, the sort of music you weep to. The kind of music no one ever hears of unless you make sure they do."

"New age electronica!! Mostly trance or fusion. Or both. I am not even clear about the genre myself. As about the weeping, I do not weep. The music I listen to is soul searching and my soul just does not happen to be a very happy one."

So we found a few songs which seemed suitable enough to start a programme with. Then, the economist came up with the new idea of doing a Kathak-Bharatnatyam duet. Considering none of us knew anything regarding Kathak, we took up the idea with great fervour and alacrity. We all have flat feet now. But that is not the story.

Looking for the teacher was slightly more difficult. We dared not compose anything ourselves, what with each suffering from a hint of an insecurity complex. Hence, I was packed off to a school friend to make her compose some of the dances. That evening, Jadavpur received a fine sight of me dancing all the way on the roads, trying to remember the steps, with Sru's dictums following them, "Smile more broadly, oh do not, you look like a wolf. Do not look as if you are flirting, look as if you are already in love. You do not have a bun, you have a flower. Pretend you are Ma Durga. Open your eyes. Do not eye that guy. Do not eye any guy. Move your neck, stretch your arm more, try seeing whether there are people around when you stretch your arms next."

"So you are doing something? Should I contact the dressers? Would you like to wear proper costumes," asked the lady with the vampire smile.

"Umm, Bharatnatyam costumes?" I gulped.

"Yes, of course. Since you are doing what is, hopefully, a semblance, that should be appropriate."

"Oh, dear," remarked two of us.

"Eh, why do you not want it," asked the other to me.

"Mumble-wumble," I replied.


"It makes my hips look large," I replied, less incoherently, blushing a pale crimson.

"Oh, ok, I was concerned with quite another part of my anatomy," said the other one.

"Very well, Bharatnatyam costumes it is," said the lady with the iron resolve and that was that.

The last two weeks, I have found myself either sitting on my toes or balancing myself on one leg, all in the name of dancing. And Pujo. There is no body part which has not hurt. I have discovered muscles I never thought I had, and definitely never expected to pain. However, things are not over yet. As I walked in tonight, the entire battalion smiled at me and asked me how my day was. As I blinked in response, the lady with the sugary sweet voice asked if we would not like to perform to their Rabindra sangeet on Saptami too.

Pujo has arrived. Painful, busy, and entirely delightful.


Rather Randomly

>> Friday, September 26, 2008

What draws people into reading blogs? How do people come across them? What is the average blog lurker looking for when he adds to the hitlist of a blog?

This is what blogpatrol has to say regarding the preferences of people lured into reading my blog (or, if you are still clueless, top keywords in search engines):

  • Poisonwood Bible worst interloper (which is what makes me post this in the first place, who are you and what in the world did you mean by this?)
  • Ritika porn (flattering, as the idea is, blogs are not the place to get the stuff)
  • gays in gariahat (I can imagine the lurker's disappointment on coming across a rambling post about two women in gariahat and a comment mentioning Doogie Howser grew up to a homosexual)
  • Algebra cholera in fish (Is it a disease, is it a piscean body part, is it a virus, is it a mathematical formulae engraved on the fossil of a fish, will one ever know?)
  • failed attempts to solve world hunger (at Fish Faced Follies, really? Google disappoints me extremely)
  • pokery tamil (eh?..)

I have had to avoid a flurry of matchmaking attempts recently, when my friends realized everyone I knew was in love with real people (as opposed to Johnny Depp, Bugs Bunny or the imaginary stalker unicorn). I perfectly agree that it is very sad when all your friends suddenly change their facebook relationship status (excluding a few who believe they are married to Hrithik Roshan), but what is sadder is being matchmade to random men, one of whom, incidentally, turned out to be another friend's uncle, thus complicating an already complicated story where I was churning out more imaginary boyfriends than my hottest friend ever dumped.

The whole point of falling in love, my dear matchmakers is, that one should be capable of doing it themselves, away from the eyes of friends, at Africa, while involved in espionage, and apes should be a part of it. However, leaving my dream love story aside, the moot point is no more matchmaking. Period. Unless he is Tamilian and resembles Johnny Depp in daylight and Jude Law at night.

Though I do wish I had one failed relationship so that I could use the playlist I have kept apart for the occasion.


My Bomb Post

>> Sunday, September 14, 2008

There has been a shower of bombs (again). People have died (again). A news channel makes a couple of gaffes and announces names everyone else is trying to keep under covers. Political parties make statements, everyone eyes the upcoming elections, including Mamata Banerjee (whoops, wrong post) and the hangover is exactly what it always is like after a big bomb party.

Last month, after a reunion with old friends, enemies and embarrassing memories, eight o' clock in the evening found me far away from home, with messages flooding in with the very cheery note that a bomb blast would occur at City Centre exactly at 9. Intrepid as ever, I made up my mind to be near City Centre at zero hour, and, mind reader as ever, Goopy announced she would personally see to my safety. And thus, at ten to nine, I found myself on a rickshaw, being bundled home.

Rickshawwallahs, unlike autowallahs, refuse to be friendly to me, possibly sensing the lack of philosophical depth. However, after recently being part of conversations where people proudly mention their philosophical tete-a-tete with the tribe, I made up my mind to have a conversation worthy of blogging about later on. Hence, with an iron resolve and a cheery disposition, I remarked airily, " Say, know anything about the bomb?"

The calm of the night air accentuated the silence. By now, blushing profusely, yet undeterred, I persisted, " The bomb, you know, which is supposed to go off any minute now."

Success finally found me, and an old, garrulous voice, cold and disinterested, not unlike my class ten Physics teacher's while I tried to explain to her why I thought my bathroom mirror was an example of refraction since I appeared fatter in it, queried back, " Where?"

Delighted by the breaking of the ice, I exclaimed excitedly, "Oh, City centre. Amazing, no?"

The man mused on this for a while longer, and then replied again, this time showing more than a little curiosity, "Oh, you mean here?"

Looking at my right, I realized we were going past City Centre.

"Yes," my voice trailing off, in a mixture of fear and curiosity, "right here."

He stopped pedaling for a moment and we just looked at it. All I managed to see was a few policemen thronging the place. The place had been emptied apparently, and possibly, even then, someone had come to know the warning email had been a hoax.

As he took his money, he remarked, I will always maintain, rather wistfully, "We did not die."

I looked at his face. Lack of adventures had made gawkers of both of us. "Kindred spirit," I whispered rather foolishly and came back home to announce to surprised parents how close a brush their daughter had had with death. Unsurprisingly, the replies were,

"Gimme the remote. Oooh, animals eating other animals."
"Go, wash."

I look at the news reports this morning and remember Karol Bagh. I remember convincing auto drivers to take us to Miranda College, remember the feel of homecoming the street had given me after a long, hard day. If I close my eyes, I think I can recall a green sign, brandishing the name of the hotel where Stinky, Berry and I claim to have been the happiest in our stuffy, claustrophobic lives.

A news report says people have taken the recent bombings very philosophically. No fear, no retributions. Bombs happen, people die, someone mentions the undying spirit of the city. The numbness with which people greet the news is, in a way, pitiful. And scary. Then again, I am not the one who girds the loins of mind to write something deep and meaningful.

(For people who do not know, City Centre is a mall)


Tiggery Pokery's Joy

>> Monday, September 08, 2008

There is a new tag in the offing. Tiggery Pokery, the tag collection, sniffs the air in anticipation, and leaps in joy. Its sense of smell is not mistaken. With the faintest waft of Vanilla, a tag drops out of the Sky, and Tiggery Pokery has a new member to add to our midst.

The tag requires the tagged one (Taggee? Taggered?) to write six quirks about oneself. Why people assume the entire world awaits with bated breath for a chance to read stuff like this, is a question I often ask myself in the middle of the night, but not often enough to deprive myself of the joy of adding tags to my repertoire. My six quirks, dear world, are:

  1. Trains obsess me. I firmly believe all great love stories begin on trains. As a teenager, I had hoped my one true love would dance on a train for me, but, apparently, stunts like that are dangerous. Hence, I have decided to make do with buying the biggest train set of the world to decorate my living room. If I ever have any guests, they will be made to play with it. I plan to include many tunnels, signals, and people trying to commit suicide on the tracks.
  2. I refuse to look at people directly while speaking to them. I believe it is a purely nervous reaction. In addition, I get very interesting views of knees. I am an expert on them now. However, I will make a very poor witness.
  3. I like eating chalks. I realize it is hardly a quirk, since most bloggers seem to like chalk. However, I also like to peel paint off the walls and eat it. I am not averse to some mud either.
  4. I talk too fast. Everyone complains, but to no avail. I think it is because my mental processes are too fast for my tongue to catch up with at a decent speed. I have seen receptionists blink in alarm and look around for help, and, if possible, translators. I have seen strong men wither under the stress. I have seen teachers pale and stutter. I have seen it all, and yet, as a friend remarks, I continue to spout white noise.
  5. I have an all-encompassing love for all things Tamil. It started with A.R.Rahman, went over to Mani Ratnam, and now includes anyone who claims to have anything to do with the State, even if the only Tamil connection they ever had was a maidservant whose son in law bought her a sari from Nalli's.
  6. I start dreaming about results exactly one month before they are supposed to come out. They act like an indicator, notifying me as regards the time I should begin to panic. In one of the more recent dreams, I dreamed I had swallowed my results whole, not unlike a sword-eater. However, when I woke up, I found my cellphone half way up my mouth, rather battered after the ordeal.

I tag everyone who might find their names mentioned in the blog list on the right hand side of this blog (thank you Dreamy, for the very handy suggestion). I also tag them who think this is the very tag, which completes their world.


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