Betrayer kotha kare

>> Sunday, August 30, 2009

It is undeniably true.


It still hurts a little bit.

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Because I Had Been Thinking About It..

>> Wednesday, August 26, 2009

In the past six months I have lived in

  • Kolkata
  • Hyderabad
  • Mumbai
In the same time period, I have been to

  • Chennai
  • Delhi
  • Bangalore
  • Ooty
Geographically, it has been an interesting year. I have learned (albeit very little) Tamil, Telugu, Marathi and what claims to be Tapori Hyderabadi (whatever that may be).

I shall now be smug and claim to be a countrytrotter (as opposed to a globetrotter).

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Bits and Pieces

>> Friday, August 14, 2009

I remember being a pudgy little girl, short hair, dungarees, mostly covered in mud, chewing my Barbie doll and following the "big boys" (most of them around the venerable age of 9). I wanted to, inexplicably, do "boy things". What these boy things were, I never was very clear. But I had a pet theory that it involved climbing a lot. Hence, I would tumble along, being properly ignored by them, until, after seeing me trip on my own shoelaces for the eighteenth time, a rough, kindly "big boy" would take me back home. The message back then was very clear. "This is not for little girls."


I would spend the rest of the evening wailing to my mother about being a girl, and wished that girls my age would care less about their frilled frocks getting torn and more about climbing things.

You see, I am a climber. My motto has forever been "Show wall, will climb." I never enter through gates if I can successfully scale the walls. In fact, I have never really entered parks through gates. Scaling park fences gives me the sort of thrill I get when drinking well made coffee.

But you get older. You do not display ambitions of ever climbing the Everest. You do not expect a twenty one year old in distinctly feminine garb to climb muddy, moss covered walls. An ensemble of eyebrows rise and a twitter of tongues are tutted (Yes, I make up my own collective nouns. It amuses me.) This girl, it is universally announced, has not been brought up correctly. I, unmindful of mostly everything, jump, shake the dust off me and walk away, head held slightly higher.

The new college is built on a hill. The way from the rooms to the college building, hence, is a whirlwind of winding pathways, each leading to the same destination, but catering to different needs. There is the straight road for the females in extremely correct clothing. There is the one which requires a bit of jumping for the health conscious. There is one which has slightly slippery stones for the person who wishes to skate and there is the Magical Road of Obstructions. It involves a fair amount of scrabbling on mossy, moist walls, one after another. For the student who is in a hurry, it is the shortest route available. No self respecting woman ever chooses this route.

Then again, I stopped respecting myself many years back.

There was I, in what was for once, very correct, and incidentally, white, feminine garb, grumblingly going to an early morning class, cursing the sun, daylight and other people, when I saw a couple of "big boys" (These were big, they are doing their Ph.D.) taking the Magical Road of Obstructions. Heedless of correct grab, heedless of gender, heedless of the fact that I did not really know the route too well, I followed them. Climbed a wall. Jumped over a stile. Jumped over a pond. However, correct white garb, being of the very feminine kind, was proving to be restrictive. A kindly boy, after seeing me dither near yet another pond, advised me to take another road. This road, the wise boy said, is not for women.

There I was, against my own gender, fighting for my right to climb a wall, because I was a girl who had not worn her trackpants to college that day. I now had the option of womanfully fighting the inevitable tears and taking the female friendly route. But why? Women had achieved so much. Women...Women had babies. Women could do anything. I just had to jump over a smallish pond and climb more walls.

"Why not," I asked and jumped over the pond.

I did end up getting very mud strewn afterwards.

My six year old self, however, was very pleased.

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Update

>> Monday, August 10, 2009

Continuing on the theme of not knowing what to do with my life, I now live in Mumbai. Yes, I study Economics. No, I am not happy at all. But there are compensations.

No, not the six foot four hunk in the next room.

Well, perhaps a little.

The library here is a delight. You start your mornings with the Economic Times, move onto the Wall Street Journal, flip through the International Herald Tribune, pick up the London review of Books, then the New York Review of Books and finish with a look at the photographs in the National Geographic. Someday, I will probably pick up the rest of the 3000 odd journals they keep here.

There are times though, when I wish I was back in Hyderabad. Some places are just meant for happiness. In this city, all I seem to be doing is submerging myself in Economics and losing old friends.

Then again, I like complaining.

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