The World of ad libber

>> Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Recently, with economic problems aplenty, I have found myself trying to explain away most of the policies and actions, trying to justify them to my economist mind, so to speak. It was rather comfortable to feel that I could actually fit in a theory with every random policy the government could inflict on the world. Therefore, it was extremely disappointing to know the government had not actually fitted any theories and did what they did because they do so every decade or so. Sometimes, I think, Economics is nothing but an accident.

My professor tells me the present crisis is just the tip of the iceberg. Things are going to worsen and we are all going to end up as paupers. But, on a happier note, economists will always be in demand, as modern Cassandras foretelling gloom and despair, aware of the horrors waiting to face us, yet unable to persuade the common people of them. The lot of an economist...but then you know how the line ends.

It is the wedding season again and fish fry filled weddings beckon enticingly. Nowadays, they have started to get fancier with lobsters and pasta heading the list. All I say is, a wedding without fish fries is positively illegal and the couple is living in sin. However, present wedding scares include the diminishing difference in age between the bride and me. As I get older and they start becoming people I have grown up with, attending weddings has become less about fish fries and more about gaping horrified at the bride and blubbering at the your drink, which is, invariably, instant coffee.

Back in the world of Economics, misguided professors expect students to write essays on important economic topics, possibly to discourage them from writing theses later on, one presumes. Yours truly has been given the world shattering topic of Imperialism and what it did to Indian agriculture and I have immediately proceeded to write something on the lines of a novel by Shobhaa De, an essay so outspoken that it would bring the blush on the cheeks of the most hardened of examiners. But there is only so much you can do with Indian agriculture, a subject which provides no inspiration whatsoever in a writer. Not once have I found an opportunity to introduce the technique of Dance of the Seven Veils to divert attention from some particularly dull bit about farmer oppression.

In the world of humans, classmates can now be divided into two parts. People who will be giving the CAT and people who will remain poverty stricken for life. The section belonging to the latter has suddenly started scraping acquaintances with people belonging to the former. Beautiful friendships are sprouting at every corner between people who are going to make it and people who are going to make their mark. It is, apparently, not possible to do both. It is also, remarks the HOD, a criminal offense if you do not do either. If you can not win the Nobel, says he, make some money. A principle most people seem to be happy giving in to. Random comments centering around the theme, "I think I will give up all this and study social anthropology" is not something people around me take kindly to. Especially since no one really knows what it means and dislikes admitting that.

In the world of animals, I tried to kidnap a puppy, since my mother refuses to give me one. The puppy, unfortunately, disappeared (not due to the exertions of being kidnapped, but due to rather overbearing siblings, not mine, the puppy's) and I am a shadow of my former self, my heart an empty hollow. It is definitely not better to have loved and lost. Nowadays, I seem to be entering into a lot of debates about whether one should get a baby or a puppy. In the same note, I also seem to be entering into a lot of debates about whether Jhoom Barabar Jhoom is a better movie than Tashan. I pitch for JBJ every time. I also pitch for the puppy. But, if given a choice among anything on earth, all I would really, really want from life, is a baby elephant.


Chronicles of Part 2 Exams: The Student says Pheww

>> Thursday, November 20, 2008

Disregard previous post. Life is not that bad pretty good.


Chronicles of Part 2 Exams: The Results of the Toil

>> Tuesday, November 18, 2008

One always ends up learning something from life everyday, regardless of one's willingness or open mindedness. Like how simple it is to distract oneself. You can spend the entire day changing the look of your blog and then recreating widgets, you can spend nights watching Tashan, and if sleep does not come, you can always write a blogpost.

This template was not my first choice. I had selected a rather sad looking fish for an image and a dark blue background, something, I felt, which went with my image- sad and inconspicuous. But the fonts displeased me. They would not be inconspicuous. They were large, overbearing and completely dwarfed my poor sad fish, who was soon lost among the verbosity of the written words. So I bade goodbye to the fish and got these water droplets. Fiery yellows and oranges, loud, brash and blatant, everything I would not let my blog be. But I let it be so. For the one water droplet waiting there at the top, to cool off the heated shades someday when they rage too fiercely.

I kept my fish too. Look around, you may find it, a tiny red thing in a sea of blue amidst a sea of yellow. Sad and inconspicuous. The fish of the Fish Faced Follies. Does anyone realize the title makes no sense? That I am not referring to myself as fish faced. That it is there for the sake of alliteration. That Fishface is a tribute to college, the way ad libber is a tribute to school. Like milestones referring to what meant the most at one point of time.

It is curious that I chose a fish as a motif for the blog. I have never been very fond of fish the way Bengalis are usually fond of fish. Perhaps the most important role a fish ever played in my life before the blog was in Finding Nemo and as a Fish Fry.. A cow would have served better as a symbol. Not because I like consuming it, but because I am obsessed by them. I use them for self deprecations, for insults, as metaphors and examples. The literature in my mind is a cow dominated one. Sometimes, I feel my rather surprising crush on Karan Johar evolved from the fact that I had recently studied about a cow breed known as the Swiss-Karan and had immediately associated it to DDLJ (Cow - Swiss-Karan - Switzerland - DDLJ - Karan Johar). But a fish it was and a fish it is. If I ever make another blog, it will have lobsters. No, I am not fond of lobsters much either, either as food or as entertainment. I think the only food I really like is Begun bhaja and Brinjal does not attract me as a blog motif, purple as they may be.

While recently re-reading some of my blog posts, I realize that the same time last year, I may not have been a brilliant blogger, but I was a happy one. Lately, my posts seem to be rather depressing and doom tainted. As I try to trace back the reasons, I receive a message announcing that results come out tomorrow. Stupid world, stupid university, stupid this-time-the-results-are-important-they-decide-your-stupid-masters. Last time, the results led to a multitude of blog posts. This time, they just lead to incessant brooding, insecurity, an irritable temper, loss of friends, and a probable heart attack. Of course, they also include nightmares where my HoD insults me in front of everyone for failing everything, where my results are not published to save the country humiliation for producing an imbecile like me, where everyone refuses to speak to me, where I am socially boycotted. Sometimes, I think, I perhaps am a little paranoid where results are concerned.

Someday, I may have to accept the fact that results are things beyond my control. That I study under a despot University with whimsical examiners who thinking making paper boats out of exam papers are fun. That if I gave a horrible exam, I may get horrible marks and I will deserve them. Right now, all I know is that my results come out tomorrow and if I do not do well, nothing untoward may happen, but it may mean a end to a lot of things. Perhaps more nightmares. It is always results. Never ghosts, never tigers, never parents, never crushes. I do not prioritize things well.

I will now go back to a sleepless night and a fear laden morning. I will go back to what promises to be the most devastating site since my Hindi paper in class seven. I will go back to listening to Kung Fu Fighting to remove depressing thoughts. Perhaps watch The Graduate on Sony Pix. Brood more on a future which seems bleaker than ever.

The world is a very damned place to live in.


Titles have never been my strong point- Yet more tags

>> Saturday, November 15, 2008

We have been tagged again, and with an unabated tag obsession, we proceed to thank Doubletake for furthering the delights of Tiggery Pokery.

To continue with the tradition, we will first post the rules, an indelible part of any tag presenting activity:

RULE #1 People who have been tagged must write their answers on their blogs and replace any question that they dislike with a new question formulated by themselves.

RULE #2 Tag 6 people to do this quiz and those who are tagged cannot refuse. These people must state who they were tagged by and cannot tag the person whom they were tagged by. Continue this game by sending it to other people.

(Here, I strangely am reminded of a Friends episodes where Monica, with a very familiar obsession, exclaims "Rules are good! Rules help control the fun!")

1. If your lover betrayed you what would your reaction be? Nothing. The most I can do is give him a puppy and when he learns to love it, kidnap it. That would show him.

2. If you could have one dream come true which one would it be? Owning a farmhouse in Italy. Getting a dog. Growing oranges.

3. Whose butt would you like to kick? My Indian Economy professor. He has a rather substantial one and I would not be able to miss.

4. What would you do with a billion dollars? Invest them. Make more.

5. Will you fall in love with your best friend? No.

6. Which is more blessed: loving someone or being loved by someone? Both are horrible things one does not discuss in public.

7. How long would you wait for someone you love? Considering my fickle heartedness, I think I would make a very loyal lover. Probably forever. Or until I realize I am touching 35 and the body clock is ticking away.

8. If the person you like is secretly attached, what would you do? Secretly attached will not exactly be news coming my way. But if attached, thank my stars. I could pine away without actually being in a relationship.

9. If you could root for one social cause which one would it be? Littering.

10. What takes you down the fastest? Sneezes. Indian Economy. Heels.

11. Where do you see yourself in 10 years' time? Doing things my mum fears I will end up doing.

12. What's your fear? Aging.

13. What kind of person(s) do you think the person who tagged you is/are? This kind of stuff embarrasses me horribly. She is wonderfully fun, wonderfully clever and nicely insane. She is a kindred spirit.

14. Would you rather be single and rich or married and poor? Why should I be poor? He can be if he wants to. I am going to make lots of money. Also, sign pre-nuptials.

15. What is the first thing you do when you wake up? Swear.

16. If you fall in love with two people simultaneously who would you pick? The one who picks me.

17. Would you give all in a relationship? Things I will not give in a relationship- Time, conversation, patience. Other than that, all right.

18. What's eating you now? Do not get me started.

19. Do you prefer being single or in a relationship? Look at the above answers. I am commitment phobic. I prefer single any day.

20. Tag 6 people... I have my own rules for Tiggery Pokery. No singling out names. If you actually care enough for this, do it.

Now for the second tag (yes, there are more than one. Oh, joy)

Ten songs I have been listening to over and over again for the past one week:

  1. Safety Dance- Men without hats
  2. Dreaming of you- The Coral
  3. Butterfly- Talvin Singh
  4. Can't take my eyes off you- Frankie Valli
  5. Falling- Nitin Sawhney
  6. Ae Ajnabi (A.R. Rahman/ Udit Narayan)
  7. More than a feeling- Boston
  8. Thee kuruviyil (Harini, Johnson, Mukesh/ A. R. Rahman)
  9. Amintirile- Alternosfera
  10. Sparks -Royksopp
I would add New York Nagaram to this list, except for the fact that I have been continuously listening to this song for the past one and a half years and, hence, believe it is slightly above lists.

We tag everyone, we tag anyone. Pick any tag you please. But we make a special mention of the second tag since it is Doubletake's contribution to the tag world.

Our aim is, after all, to spread sunshine and joy.


Since it is midnight and all I am doing is surfing IMDB for Iranian movies.

>> Tuesday, November 11, 2008

OK, I do confess I had a crush on him even when he was the geeky, chubby kid on Drake and Josh, but this... God, thank you...


>> Wednesday, November 05, 2008

As I entered the once hallowed assembly hall, I wondered what had I feared all those years back. The choked throat, the rubbing of grimy shoes with ties, the hurried glance at the noticeboard glass to check any errant hair strands- scattered reactions I could recall but not really comprehend. Now, really, I muse, how could such a sunshine filled room have inspired such dread at the fearless age of ten?

An evil twist of fate had brought me back to my old school, one I had escaped from for a better, happier High School, and the fact that it was a school holiday and I would not be meeting anyone I remembered did nothing to alleviate my mood. Somewhere, there was a vindictive ten year old student in me, still waiting to prove to her class five class teacher that she was not a below average student. That she had done far better than the girl who had shown so much promise and had won the General Proficiency award. That Mathematics had not led to her academic downfall.
"There you go, you cow," I announced to an empty, lemon yellow classroom decorated with diagrams of the human body and sketches of Tagore and Napolean, " My Maths teacher said I was one of his best students. Did anyone call General Proficiency girl that?"

The previously grey, grimy walls had been altered to a cheery yellow, effectively removing the impression of being trapped in a dungeon. The school should have been full of atmosphere of things gone by- crushed teenage hopes, squabbles founded on monthly class tests, haunting whisperings of the morning prayer, secret crushes, teachers- snappy, kind, funny, pure evil- they were all there in the mind, the memory blown slightly out of proportion after five years, but not around me. Just impersonal lemon yellow walls, interspersed by chrome blue windows, which may not have been out of place in a poorly made science fiction movie.

Who would have known, I remark to myself, that I would be capable of a trip down a memory lane devoid of any form of sentiment. A dry, choked feeling still remains in the throat. School never is easy for ordinary people. There always are others who are better at everything you hope you are good at. The slight disappointments attempt to haunt, once again, not unlike a horror movie you try to forget when you are alone at home at midnight. I look out of the window for a respite. The sight of the sports field makes me twinge. Badminton was not considered a proper game and kabaddi meant running, pushing, dust, and violence, things a fat, slow, fourteen year old never cares for.

The library is a pleasant sight. How can you harbour an ill will to the place which gave you Anne? I stroll over to the water filter, the hang out zone for the popular kids. I remember falling in love for the first time, wonder, slightly amused, how I could not have seen the fact that he was gay. Everyone else could. I wander up to class ten. A class I had spent some of my happier days in, mostly secure in the knowledge that I would be leaving soon. The madness of the last working day. People suddenly realizing they loved other people, water balloon fights, outbreaks of weeping in the corridor, sudden appearance of beer bottles, all adding up to a day one does not forget in a hurry.

This school, I speak to the blackboard, is probably out of my system. I do not feel anything for you anymore. Not fear, not love, nothing.

As I leave, I decide to look up class eight once. The year I made some of my closest friends, the year I thought Bonky was an oily haired, geeky woman I could not deign to speak to (yes, I was the school snob, it has been mentioned often enough since), the year I made up my mind to study Chemistry, the year of first love, the year, when, apparently, everything happened.

The classroom did not look familiar, like the rest of them. More cheery yellow, with huge windows giving a view of the main gate, reminding me of sudden honeybee attacks we always welcomed. I walk over to the desk Sakshi and I had shared for one year, unsurprised by the scratched scrawls all over it. Every teenager needs his Hyde Park. Then I notice it.

Year 2001

Ritika: Hey, what is that word scratched there?
Sakshi: umm, I think it means (whispers)
Ritika: No way, let me look up my dictionary (yes, I was the sort who carried one to school and then used it to understand the writings on the bathroom walls). My dictionary does not list this word.
Sakshi: It is a Student's Concise Dictionary. Check mine.
Ritika (does so): Wow! People our age know such things? How did you? You are the most innocent person we have in this class.
Sakshi: I noticed the word before you did.

Seven years later, I stand there, in front of the desk, which has, miraculously, never changed its position, the F-word, scrawled in blue, a standing testimony to the fact. I look down, a wretched, despairing hollowness filling up every pore. Every essence of my school life, contained in that one, dirty word, a benediction to every hope and every joy, to what every day and every year meant once. What went far deeper than a few teachers and Physics.

School was over and I had made my peace with it.


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