Monday, January 24, 2011

No amount of coffee, no amount of crying, No amount of whisky, no amount of wine

It is the particular trademark of writers that they imbue the mundane, the everyday things with a quality of romance and state the unbelievable matter of factly.

It is in good writing and in the coloured thoughts of another that I seek solace again, and again. Amidst the pretty tinted lenses of  Bollywood talk shows, their banter lending colour to my pale complexion and some life to tired eyes, a sudden burst of laughter that had dried to a trickle at the corner of my mouth- I spring to life for a few moments. Not the recommended amount, but perhaps enough to clutch on to living for now. I refused to watched "I Hate Luv Storys" when it released, preferring to spend my time instead with a friend, her dog and my almost-friend-again in the cool afternoon languor of her house. Puppy love peppered with ciggarette breaks, unhurried conversation and Coraline. What I miss about Calcutta and India- both meaning the same thing in my head- is not the frenzied rush to meet up at Aqua Java or chilling with cup after cup of endless lebu cha at VP, one day blurring into another as the days sped on by. I miss the quality of absolute belonging, the certainty in my heart-and I say this with a straight face- of being at home. Homesickness, I've discovered is not something that lessens with time. It dullens and then strikes you all of a sudden, when you thought you'd left it far behind.
So it happened, that after finally watching "I Hate Luv Storys" last night, I found myself longing for my workplace last summer, of all things. "Bin Tere" was a song that Pri Di was very fond off and it blared on and off as I performed my mad scientist feats with tissue culture. I find myself marooned, having joined a program so sure, so certain of my ambitions and future that I never could have predicted that I was cutting myself off from any possiblity of returning home or that it would matter this much. For a child who has only spent at the most 1 and a half years of her life in India, I have an extraordinarily large reaction to being away from it.
I've been reading Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie. The protagonist constantly veers between wondering desperately what the purpose of his life is and an inflated sense of self importance. Resemblance, much? Perhaps in another dimension, I'm an artsy hippie, who's finally learned to play the guitar and is attending the Doverlane music conference right now. Someday, I really really hope I'll know I got it right.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What I've been doing:

1. Working. For pay. FOR PAY. In the government of Canada. Okay, so it's in the Agriculture and Food research sector, but the pay's not too shabby, the work is new and interesting and the boss is...well that brings me to
2. Having innapropriate thoughts about my supervisor. Attractive. Around 20 years older, complete with wife, shiny gold band on ring finger and 2 chubby babies who own pink fluffy princess outfits as evidenced by the pictures plastered in his office. GOD, I feel creepy.
3. Moving on from supervisor to younger but still non-single would be friend/firang . Let's just say all creatures from the basement are not icky.
4. Listening to massive amounts of David Gray. *Jumping Jesus, holy cow/ What's the difference anyhow/ Baby till your heart belongs to me/ Be mine, be mine*
5. Fighting and patching up with Piu and Trisha. For a while there I was contemplating the fb status change.
6. Reading. A lot. Indiscriminately. Here, I must beg you- if you're a woman- to pick up a copy of Backwards in High Heels and BUY it. Smart, touching, witty, funny- all in all, a wonderful wonderful book.
7. Taking care of  Benji/Toby the cat. His name is actually Toby and he came with my new house. When I moved in initially and the other 5 students hadn't turned up yet, Toby was there, mewing and purring and twining around my legs affectionately. Starved of affection, lonely, attention-whore massive fighter cat that he was, I had to call him Something! My mum just kept going, "Beral! Aaai beral!" but I came up with Ben, which evolved to to Benji and when I'm feeling stern, Benjamin.
8. Worrying about the future. Confusion, crazy demands. Maybe I'll be a bag-lady.
9. Having raging headaches and perpetually tired eyes.
10. Polishing off entire CANS of babaganoush at a time.
11. Fighting with Ma-
12.- because she drives me nuts and makes me do unreasonable things like grocery shopping and fruit eating and tandoori chicken making. Also she seems to be bristling at the new realization that my declarations of never entering wedlock are entirely real. As a consequence of which she is proposing things like taking shombondho to the parents of a past boyfriend (the only one she liked and the one i dumped for chotolok). HAH! Good luck with that, Mum.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Something different

“So”, said Cujo, glowering at the terrified hobbit standing beside him, “I’m going to Australia maite. There ain’t no good sheep meat here”. The hobbit scurried off and returned with an odd bucket type of vessel- shaped like a turnip, and for no good reason at all, painted yellow. “Canary yellow!”, thought Cujo incredulously. They would do anything to make you cheerful here, terrified as they were of bad tempers and saying the wrong thing. Just yesterday he’d had a hard time shaking off the battalion of pointy nosed, bespectaled “Feel-gooders” that kept following him around the city suggesting things like a ‘nice cup of tea’, or an “inappropriately clothed nurse-with-questionable-morals fantasy”. When Cujo finally lost it and yelled at them to “Clear the frack off and leave him the hell alone!”, he thought they would weep. Grown men, at that! Now he stared at the bucket wondering what he was expected to do. Beside him the hobbit beamed. So Cujo glowered at him some more till the hobbit realized that Cujo wasn’t overjoyed or even rmotely elated. “Praxis!” , the hobbit squeaked as if this would make all things clear. “Your mother’s bloomers!”, growled an exasperated Cujo. “What IS it?” “This, sir- THIS is the QUASIHELIUMETTE.” Despite himself, Cujo was a little impressed. Finally, a unique invention, he thought. Laughing gas..maybe? “Well, what does it do?”, he finally asked as the hobbit continued to beam. “It’s a yellow turnip shaped bucket sir! It makes you laugh.” “How?” “Because it’s funny. A TURNIP shaped YELLOW bucket!Hahahaheehee” Pardon me sir, but I find it hard to control my laughter when I see it. Oh turnip! Haheehee!” “I would like”, Cujo said very slowly, “to go to bed.”
The next morning dawned bright and early, as mornings in general are wont to do. The sunbeams crept out of the sun’s nose and out of his every other orifice making their way into Cujo’s bed through the slit in his drawn curtains. Cujo was still dreaming when this happened. He was dreaming of his favourite things. For the most part this included the smell of freshly brewed coffee, his mother’s Mince Pot Pie, money turning up in unexpected places and Glen Harrison crying while his face turned interesting shades of purple and blue. Buried deep in the recesses of his mind was the burning desire to Do something- something spectacular. At the moment hwoever, this desire was masked by something even more urgent. “Godammit, I Need to pee!” Cursing his bladder for robbing him of a few extra minutes of slumber, Cujo woke up.

For an ex rockstar Cujo was an embarrassingly definite morning person. In the golden glow of the early morning sun, Cujo became almost…chirpy. Now having performed his bodily functions and groggily brushed his teeth, he was feeling the effects of his minty fresh breath and the cool crisp air. Then he realised that he shouldn’t be feeling any cool crisp air since he was inside the room. Cujo looked up and discovered a gaping hole in the ceiling. Though this partcular fissure could hardly be called a hole. It was a very neatly cut out square which was definitely not there when he went to sleep last night. Now Cujo stared up at the square not-a-hole and it gaped cheekily back at him as if to say, “Here I am! In all my glory! Hahahaheehee” As his mind filled up with “Hahahaheehee”s, Cujo’s temples filled up with a familiar sensation. It was one he had been facing ever since he’d arrived in this strange place filled with hobbits and not-a-holes. Cujo had a headache.