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.