Monday, May 24, 2010

The Unbearable Lightness of Carpet.

I work in an office with an unhappy carpet.

Never before have I seen a carpet that that is so obviously not a Carpet, but a carpet. It is a carpet in what I have suddenly realised is my least favourite colour ever, which is pale beige. Pale beige is not so much a colour as what is left when you scrub colour away and leave behind only musty memories of spilt coffees and free weekends.

A pale, watery dirt coloured carpet watching us all, accounting for every coffee spilt and plotting revenge for every stab by an Aldo-heel attached to a Performance-Bonus-shoe.

A foreshadowing over all who walk over it.

I do love to be dramatic to no purpose at all.

I spent one entire evening sitting by myself at M.Drive. I was not sitting there alone by design - although it strikes me now that it would be infinitely cooler to claim as much - but by compulsion. I was critically contemplating my abnormal toes and eating a bad batch of masala peanuts, and I was sulking that I had no company. Company was either working in Bangalore, or holidaying in Bangalore, and Company that was not orbiting Bangalore was not prepared to fulfil its duty as Company, because apparently, it wanted to sleep (I'm looking at you.)

If anyone wants to meet me on Sundays, please do. I will eat at my cost and talk for free. If you are rich, please considering sponsoring the accommodation and education of an overworked and underfed Cog in a corporate Wheel. At least until she figures out a method to get to her home that does not involve taxis.

In other words, I was abandoned, and in line with glorious tradition, I was fully prepared to revel gloriously in selfpity, and so I did. I revelled in a bed of peanuts and sticky candy, and then I took a bus home.

I like the Mumbai I see when I walk towards Churchgate station at night. I like the long stretches of empty Marine Drive and the tired men walking out of Nariman Point with the day's BSE/Nifty high marked in their eyes and the lines on their foreheads. I like the sliver of warm yellow light I can see peeking from behind the door at Not Just Jazz By the Bay, hinting deliciously at crowds of mildly drunk friends making lovely double-visioned memories behind it. I like every single cab driver whose cab I have ever been in, and I know, without exception, the why-I-came-to-Mumbai story of each one of them.

I'm almost afraid to admit it, but I think I detect just the faintest beginning of a like for the local trains also. I think. Colour me shocked.

Bombay makes me happy, and I don't even like wearing skirts, but I'm wearing them just because I can, because it's Bombay. :)

Monday, May 10, 2010

For the Moral Benefit of Genda Phool Jr.

In that parallel universe that flowers live in, where flowers watch movies starring flowers, you think that just at the moment the guy flower and the girl flower are going to do the dirty, the scene cuts away to two humans having sex?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Appa, My Father.

(Note: This was meant to be published on May 2. Adjust maadi.)

My dad was never around when I was little. I saw very little of him and I did not like much of what I saw. He was always curt, unfailingly grumpy, and seemed to turn up for the express purpose of telling me to get into bed, quit sitting joblessly on my fat arse, wash my neck properly or eat the tomatoes in my rasam. (*vomit*)

He was my mother's secret weapon at the Daily Battle of the Bath, otherwise known as Rowdy Reveille. My parents made an incredibly efficient army. My mother would mount the first offensive by informing me of the time (6.30am), and my father would bring up the rear by picking mine up and making off to the wash basin. He brushed my teeth for me until I was five years old. I did not like waking up and I liked brushing my teeth even less. Being the angel (idiot) child that I was, I made my opinion known fairly regularly. I inevitably threatened to bite his finger if he dared to stick it in my mouth, and I was inevitably hung, drawn, smacked on the butt and frogmarched into the Tower of Shower. I would emerge from the bathroom in a delicate mist of flowery scents and in possession of most of the dirt I went in with. I would be sent back in with (O, Ignominy!) a bucket, a mug, and threats of bloodthirsty violence. I would emerge again in a while- cleaner, pinker, humbler.

Our rather colourful, if somewhat one-dimensional relationship evolved quickly into a strictly commands (him) and strictly monosyllabic answers (me) dynamic. Amongst other things, I disliked mathematics, I disliked him for being good at it, and I disliked the thinly veiled pity he displayed when I questioned the intelligence behind the manufacture of bathtubs with pipes simultaneously filling and emptying them. This was made worse by sundry grandaunts and their voluble daughters who would pop up like fungus everywhere, refer to my blushing father as the 'family genius' (I kid you not) and ask for my report card in the same breath.

I have a creative soul! I wanted to cry dramatically to the Universe. I never want to go to IIM! I never want to learn accountancy! And by God, I never want to wear high-waisted pants!!!!!

(...high waisted pants!)

(...high waisted pants!)

(...high waisted pants!)

(silence..crickets chirping)

(That was the dramatic echo, dumbasses. I SAID the cry was dramatic. I warned you.)

Anyway. My cry reverberated through the Universe, and someone, somewhere, heard it. I have, by the Grace of Superman, never yet had to suffer accountancy, management, or chest pants.

Soon after I reached class seven, my father stopped teaching me math as well. The immediate effects included a drastic improvement in my marks, a drastic drop in his blood pressure, a visible spring in my step and twinkle in my eye, and in my father, the wearing of button-down shirts in the(by my father's standards) exciting, borderline racy shade of maroon... *GASP*. He must have been truly ecstatic. God knows I was.

[ Remind me to tell you one day of my father's extensive collection of shirts, encompassing a dazzling plethora of shades from Pale Blue to Pale Blue. ]

So the elimination of math from our lives reduced the tension between us a little bit. We never spoke casually and I did not have an easy relationship with him. I always felt I was a delinquent child, and a little bit of an academic disappointment. While I grew up kicking and screaming against his authority and his IIM-ness, I did, reluctantly grow to admire and respect him very much. No one has the quiet charisma, the work ethic or the intelligence of my father, and no one's standards will ever be higher than his, to me. As I grew older and calmed down, and he did likewise, I came to see my father as a person wholly apart from his job description as My Father.

I was never a remotely sentimental child, but in my old age I am surprised to learn that as little as I know you, I love you appa.

Have a happy forty ninth birthday; for both our awkward sakes, I hope you never have to read this, and if you do, by God, I never want to know.
(Umm. Dad, if you really are reading this - please don't read the last few blogposts. I say 'fuck' a lot. And by 'fuck' I mean 'shit'. And by 'shit' I mean 'ayyo'. Of course.)