Saturday, October 23, 2010

New Blog Link Cleverly Camouflaged by Series of Digressions.

I've made peace with Wordpress; at least, that's what we're telling the curious neighbours. Wordpress and I can still barely stand each other, but Cosmo says passion keeps a marriage alive so we are hoping for the best.

Speaking of blog hosts, Xanga is extremely weird and almost equally funny and Typepad is full of celebrity blogs; one makes you want to be a Japanese middleschooler with gender-identity issues and the other makes you feel terribly outphallused, what with no ad revenue in sight. Everyone knows baby blogs need a no-pressure environment to be happy, so of course, it had to be Wordpress.

(It could have been Angelfire but I remember having an Angelfire homepage in middle school and I'd like to believe I've grown as a person since then.)

Anyway, I just want to record that the Wordpress Dashboard layout makes me contemplate violence, and not in an awesome way.

(Is there an awesome way?)

In the spirit of the title of this post, I love Jeeves and Wooster!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I'll Sing It One Last Time For You

When I started blogging, almost exactly four years back, blogging was already a 'thing', but I may as well have been Amish for all I knew about it. My first blog host was so tiny, it imploded in on itself a few months after I left it, and is now a cobweb on the ceiling of the Internet. I shifted to blogspot and began to record the whiny saga of my life for the benefit of those who did not have the privilege of ring-side seats in real life.

Staying in one place too long makes me fidgety; I've felt the urge to cut and run many times, but in the end, seduced by the sheer span, depth and vintage of the inside jokes and memories on this blog, I've made the decision to stay 'just a little longer', choosing to quell my boredom for the moment with template changes and spandy new blogrolls.

My mother is fond of conferring the title of 'lambi race ka ghoda' on people who gain her approval. I'd be hard put to think of a more depressing fate for myself. As horses go, I'd class myself as more a Mollie than a Boxer, and this ghodi's in the mood to defect.

(Displaying an unexpected sense of humour here, Microsoft Word corrected 'defect' to 'defecate'. Nice try, Word, but not really.)

Long story short, this blog's finished. It's been four years of a good run. I always wrote for an audience, but it never really stopped surprising me that people actually wanted to read me, so thank you, all. The Daily Mail tells me the Internet = creeps with no life (there's a point in there somewhere - 4chan, anyone? (I'm kidding, 4chan, don't kill me!)) , but at least we're creeps who can spell well. That has to count for something, right?




Saturday, September 4, 2010

Love Song with Unimaginative Rhyme Scheme.

Now you've given me a ring, and asked to be hitchin',
May I never have to enter a kitchen,
May we never fight more than a titch ('n'
May my rhyme scheme always be bitchin');

Love- may you never be heartless;
May our pairing forever be partless;
May your digestion always be fartless;
(Note how I am endearingly artless.)

Listen well! My name is Spaz,
Not to be confused with Cameron Diaz;
Indeed, I has far more pizzazz;
(Think I googled for rhyming words? I haz.)

I am the Copa to your Cabana,
I am the tobacco in your Havana,
I am awesomer than your grandma;
(Yes. Lame is an understate-mah.)


This is undoubtedly the lowest point of my blogging career.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

An Excellent Argument for One Paracetamol and Eight Hours.

The nights are too warm. It sounds like Mister Jaipur-wala DJ is playing Justin Beiber feat Imran Khan and one, two, five, twenty, fifty five people are dancing dancing dancing to it. I look up and the sky is orange. They say there's no pollution here, but I do believe that half the Indian desert is suspended in the air. Red sand, red moon, dark blue sky. And I look down and it's Justin Beiber. A night like this and it should be Yann Tiersen. But law school is never what is should be, law school is always inappropriate; you sit back and laugh in disbelief and affection - if you are old - and simply in disbelief - if you are new. Old, young, young, old.

Never is the line between youth and cynicism so obvious as on Freshers' Party Night. First come the young ones, the fresh ones. Their faces are washed and their moustaches are bleached, so cute. Their ties are tied. Eight o' clock, nine o' clock, ten o' clock and the dance floor is filled with the cream of joyous undergraduate youth dancing away, powered by little more than alcohol and optimism, although I'm feeling kindly tonight, so it'll be only optimism then.

Law school parties are a cheap investment; the rich harvest of gossip that they produce is well worth the cost of a Jaipuri DJ and a sound system. The posters and other fripperies are probably best appreciated by those not contributing to the making of such gossip. Sometimes I seriously consider abandoning all pretence and converting this blog wholesale into an anonymous law school gossip blog. Perhaps throw in something about myself as well, which is the closest I'm ever going to get to being a Bad Girl. A gossip blog, yay!

But if you follow that thought to its logical end, you'll wish you hadn't followed that thought to its logical end, for all gossip has at its crux either lust or alcohol, and usually alcohol fueled lust. One libidinous misadventure in the shadows on that side, and the awkward initiations of a first romance on this side. But tonight, here in this sweaty neon Daler Mehndi-themed moment, how is one to tell the difference? How?

Even in gossip, one must be fair.

I used to want to play the part of the ideological rebel and dis parties as part of that plan, when I realised that I did not have an ideology to go with the plan of dissing parties. I simply do not like parties for no fancy reason, and there is no getting around that. So I am doing what I like to do and sitting on the off side of the dance floor, inconspicuously eating boiled corn and watching the parade of high heels trip down the sand and lodge themselves in sticky mud. The zenith of a college romance is having your boyfriend pull your heel out of sludge, aw, so cute.

I feel nothing.

Come, rest your feet, collapse on the grass, the food is bad. But that's okay because no one is really tasting it tonight. The move from smoky shadows to harsh tubelights is a little disorienting. The chowmein is hosting a housefly dinner party. The bhaji has congealed but the pao is still fried and crisp. Come to me, fatty goodness. Come to mama.

It's past midnight and the sky is so black it's purple. Shoes are coming off and feet are slowing down. Foundation has caked on your face; I must say the middle of your forehead is positively glowing tonight, darling. Lipstick has left the corners of your mouth and oddly stains just the middle of your lower lip - you, do you know you look like a burlesque star? Dita von Teese, tadka laga ke. Tee hee, tee hee.

Everything is just so funny tonight. I play act, I am commentator to my own life - Spaz Kumari sharing the box with Nameless Mangy Cur:

SK: The air is charged with anticipation! Will the creepy seniors make a move on unsuspecting freshers or won't they?

NMC: roots about energetically in the dustbin

SK: The creepy seniors are leading by an advantage of several years! What chances do you give the young 'uns, Cur?

NMC - gets head stuck in a cardboard box and falls about confusedly


I'm suddenly tired. Off to bed.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Confident Faffings on Stuff I Know Nothing About.

This is a super self-obsessed post. It is on my sins against gender stereotypes.

I am of the school of thought that believes that to acknowledge stereotypes is to perpetuate them, so I've been sitting really quietly in a corner and hoping this tag will pass me by, but mera bad luck hi kharaab hai and she thinks I should do this tag, so here it is.

1. I cannot dance. I will not dance. I do not like situations where I am expected to dance, and I will shamelessly sit at the corner table, eat everyone's food and drink all the Pepsi while they are living their brief alcohol-fueled Hrithik Roshan delusions. If you try to force me to dance, I will not like it, and then I will get agitated and then I will pass out.

2. I do not wear makeup because I hate how it feels like a plastic raincoat on my skin. I began wearing kohl a few months back, so on a good day I'll be wearing earrings and kohl. On a regular day I will be wearing neither.

3. I have a very dirty mind and a a huge appetite for off-colour jokes. I swear a lot in ordinary conversation and I love learning to swear authentically in different languages. I am an equal opportunity letch; I letch at men and women of all ages. I regularly objectify people and I rather enjoy it.

4. I am a very focused, very quick shopper. I love my friends, but I will never accompany the more finicky ones on a shopping trip because I enjoy the glow that comes with not having killed anyone.

5. I have a very literal mind and I usually do not 'get' hints. If someone wants me to do something, their best bet is to ask me directly, otherwise it will never happen.

6. I do not remember birthdays. I have on occasion, forgotten my own birthday, and having been reminded of it by a friend, acknowledged it and proceeded to ignore it. It's a birthday, it's no big deal.

7. I can't cook. I can't even boil water without help. However I can make very decent tea, and a passable maggi. I have a theory that the Food Pyramid requirements are covered by tea and maggi. If they are not, I'm going to have a very short life.

8. My deepest desires are to go paragliding, parasailing, waterskiing and bungee jumping. I also really, really REALLY want to learn to shoot, in pursuit of which desire I have spent two whole days taking buses from dingy office to dingy office in Madras, only to have an assortment of moustachioed idiots tell me that there are, of course, places to learn to shoot in Madras, but I probably can't because I'm too skinny and too female. To these men I offer the one-fingered salute, and the privilege of being my first targets when I DO learn to shoot.

9. I do not like newborn babies. To call them ugly is to downplay the sheer animal STRANGENESS of their faces. They can't focus their eyes, and their irises simply bounce randomly about in the sockets. Their mouths are shapeless and lipless and always open in some silent primal scream. Their heads are constantly lolling about. They look like miniatures of the grandfather who had a stroke in Thevar Magan. There is nothing charming about that. Nothing.

This list stops at nine because it will pain me to stop at an even number.

Now, why I don't know if this tag is a good idea:

I've read many many blogposts by many different women who have done this tag, and I find the gratuitously self-congratulatory tone of most of them somewhat self-defeating. Acknowledging the breaking of a(n alleged) stereotype as a 'big deal', simply attributes legitimacy to that stereotype where none may really exist. I must confess that stereotypically 'womanly' women have been the exception in my life, and most women I know straddle gender roles with ease and display no special sense of accomplishment for having done so. So forgive me for suspecting that the 'womanly' stereotype is simply some highly fictionalised, excessively romanticised construct that may at some point in time have had a strong basis in reality, but which no longer has that.

In other words, it's no big deal to sin against this stereotype, because no one really fulfils it to begin with.

Feel free to call bullshit, I have no training in sociology.

Monday, August 2, 2010

That's Why This Lady is a Tramp.

Two beady black eyes on a six inch high body, staring you down. You are armed with a jhadoo and your opponent is armed (toothed?) with teeth. You are poised like a ninja. Your jhadoo shivers in the breeze. Six inches of bottlebrush tail bristle in response. You are evenly matched and the world stands still to watch the Battle of the Balcony.

My jhadoo, your tail. My jhadoo, your teeth.

There were a few tense moments there, I can tell you.

So what I have learnt from Glee, is that Lea Michele needs to shut up. I suspect there were many more important life lessons (shrinkwrapped in Autotune), but my comprehension of them was punctuated - eventually overshadowed - by the desperate desire to get Lea Michele to shut up. Also, the Great Internet and my friend in the Yoo Yess inform me that jocks and cheerleaders are no longer the Aryans of high schools, but Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield told me otherwise ten years ago, and I am loath to unlearn the lessons of my youth. New tricks, meet old dog.

Old age is coming upon me with the speed of the bus in Speed. Yesterday my sister informed me that "in those days", there were no CDs or DVDs, and people recorded things on cassettes, how funny! Oh ye child! - said I, stung - What knowest thee of the modest appeal of an unlabeled cassette tape! Of the prospect of uncovering untold delights hidden within a squat black clumsiness of form! Of the exquisite agonies of desire as one waited for it to unstick itself inside a dusty VCR! What knowest thee of the romance of anticipation? Ye worshipper of the pagan Gods of Instant Gratification, what knowest thee of such subtle joys? Said I in passion.

And then she said "........OOOOOOOkay..?"

And then I went quietly to a corner, braided my grey hair, beaded my chin hair, tallied up all my wrinkles and bawled like Kapil Dev after the matchfixing thing (which again only I remember because the demon sibling was at the time mere demon spawn, with a jurisdiction of terror spanning only her kindergarten class.)

As I casually skim through my dose of tabloids for the day, I eyeball many stories of women stabbing significant others (of course, now significantly dead others) in the eyes with stilettos, and young children with faces like dessert killing other littler children with faces equally angelic, and I wonder, what makes human life special? Is human life really special or it the idea simply a vast joke engineered by the evil West, like fat-free cheese?

Oh, and fat-free cheese is a joke. Trust me on that one. It is, however, not a joke everyone finds funny, and a fantastic illustration of why Europeans are more evolved than Americans is in how Walmart has aisles full of fat-free food brands, but France will likely revoke your citizenship for eating fat-free cheese. I'm pretty sure the only way you'll ever eat fat-free cheese in Paris, is if you have it made from a fat-free cow.

Of course, if you can find yourself an unclaimed cow wandering the roads of Paris, then you deserve to eat whatever the hell you want. If the cow aforementioned is clad in jeans and a sweatshirt, you may want to return her to the US Embassy instead, to avoid regrettable - but almost inevitable - political outrage, in the alternative.


And that right there, ladies and gentlemen, is your racist, weight-ist and misogynist comment of the day! Be warned that the sachharine content of Glee marathons may produce similar compensatory reactions in the best of you. Quell now your outrage, and proceed with me to...

Chuck Palahniuk.

I've been re-reading me some Chuck Palahniuk recently, and I note with pleasure that initial impressions aside, that man is full of Teh Bullshit. Aside from the sniffy pleasures of a critic watching an Establishment crumble, I also experienced amazement at the sheer bravado with which he has hitched together a (half-decent) plot with not a lot more than gimmickry. I speak only of Diary here, so narrow your aim as you converge upon me in righteous anger.

I deny your Palahniuk! I deny your God!

And now I get some sleep, goodnight.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Rainy Days and Broken Professorial Spirits.

You fondly watch his eyes glaze over, and you sigh proudly as he shouts ineffectually above the cacophony. You are delighted when he decides to throw a chalk, and you blink back tears of affection as he threatens to withhold attendance. His voice eventually peters away and he is a shadow of his confident self. He finally decides to ignore the rest of the class and teach only the three people in the first row. When the bell rings, he slinks quietly away.

You look around at your class with an unmistakable sense of brotherhood and pride; in the grand tradition of things, another new teacher has been successfully broken in.

But it takes so long to train them, and before you know it they are gone. It is a thankless job, but well. Sunrise, sunset.

It rained today and the earth smells new again. There is a quiet, gentle romance about the rain in the desert. There is no lush greenery that follows it, just the opening of tiny star shaped flowers, gaudy in their colouring and few in their number, blooming between tiles and pushing up stubbornly through cracks. We step on them all the time, but they persist. The people here are exactly the same. Proud, hardy and coloured like tropical birds.

People are prettier in the rain too. Umbrellas fly away, hairpins are lost and clothing sticks in funny places. This makes people awkward, so they laugh for no reason and the cold brings out the pink in their cheeks and the whites of their teeth and melts their makeup and the walls they construct around themselves. It's nice to watch the death-metal fanatic smile stupidly in the rain.

The rain in the south is so different from the rain in the north. The rain in Chennai is warm and grubby and the roads fill with grey sludgewater, with an enthusiasm that is only matched by the people who wade through them, nodding joyfully to each other, saying aiyoo every year the rains come earlier, this global warming also no, god only knows what will happen to our weather now, the last time it rained like this it was in 1958 and my auntie was pregnant with chinna, you know chinna? chinna's son is doing yem yess in yoo yess, and how old is your daughter now?

In Bangalore the rain is cold and clear and people do not comment on the rain because rain of course a part of Bangalore's weather, and no Bangalorean worth his Bhagyalakshmi Butter Gulkand would dare to insinuate that he is surprised by the fabulousness of the weather. But everyone is happier, and if you are very shortsighted like I am, you should sit on a bench in Cubbon park with your spectacles off, and watch the rain come through the fuzzy canopy in fat crystal drops magnified by the aquarium light and your faulty eyesight. And you can watch the lazy pie dogs settle themselves in puddles and bark with anger and suspicion at the drops bouncing off their noses. And you can drink your excellent hot coffee and think, perhaps I should have brought a book? And you can be happy.

The rain in Cochin is the cleanest, friendliest rain I've ever seen. The rain comes in a wave of water and washes through the whole city. Crowds of women with purple-black curls, chitter excitedly like birds and disappear under communal umbrellas. You take your glass of pink water and stand outside your restaurant to watch as a gaggle of nuns in white sarees tumbles confusedly out of a tiny matador van and splashes energetically to safety. And as suddenly as it came, the rain is gone. The sky, the trees, the roads and the white houses with colourful roofs look scrubbed clean. People pause at the sudden absence of pattering raindrops and juddering traffic. Someone laughs, a child jumps tentatively in a puddle. The pause is broken, and Cochin is on the move again.

In Jodhpur, of course, drama is two for a penny, so we don't just have rains, no sirree, for how would that please the foreigner tourists? No, the droplets are icy bullets and they swirl in the midst of a dramatic sandstorm. The air is red and the sky is purple. There is thunder and there is lightning, and in the best tradition of all bars of lightning, trees will be struck and burnt to black skeletons. Occassionally there are hailstones. These storms come prettily accessorised with fallen buildings, flooding dams and dead pedestrians. O, you white man who has come from Yoo Kay, are your pitiful London rains anything like this? Are they?? Huh?? HUH?? Yeah, I thought not. See why National Geographic loves us so much!

Perhaps this is unnecessary to say, but I love the rains.