Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Mother of God!

Today my mother tried to stab me with a knife. Accidentally she says. This was after she came home with frostnip in her feet, after standing in the snow for an hour. She kept going " OH GOD OHGOD OHGOD", while vehemently refusing assistance or 911. A couple of days ago she cut the vein in her hand and proceeded to spurt blood for an hour, completely soaking through the cotton and bandages I was trying to clamp against the blood-wound. Accidentally while chopping vegetables. And then she refused to call 911. She keeps commenting on the frequency of the buses that pass on the road outside our window with a sense of amazement that would be more appropriate when in the presence of the Dalai Lama. I always knew that I got my retardedness from somewhere but I'm beginning to wonder if I should be scared.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Monsoon Wedding is full of all kinds of awesome. You cannot Help dancing in your head and in your seat when Aaja nachle ni nachle comes on. Catch me if you can is also a recent favorite. And while we're on culture, Room by Emma Donoghue is pretty damn brilliant. I've never come across a more endearing or loveable protagonist in my life. Meltedy spoon is now my new favourite word. I may just even call my first born that, just for the pleasure of saying it aloud often. Downtown Guelph is full of all sorts of cool stuff. Went exploring with Ma today instead of sitting at home eating and zoning out on House like the usual. Came across these freaking awesome boho/ hippie/ hemp shops with feathers and printed dresses, pretty bags and buddhas and incense. Harmony has THE most fantabulous dresses but at 38 dollars you've gotta be either Blair Waldorf or very very generous with your money. Me being neither and still possessed by the urge to go boho, I went on my first consignment store shopping expedition. Wild Rose turned out to be a complete disaster. The clothes were odd, shiny and fluorescent. Utterly unattractive, and the place itself was dingy and shabby. The only happy customer I saw there was this black chick with a wonderful Jamaican accent who positively Preened in a shiny green horror of a dress. She's going to wear it to the formal, God help her. From there went on to discover Meow. So as I'm entering, I see that the door is pink and has pink cats on it. I enter and I'm greeted by this Victorian teashop atmosphere- stuffy and full of pink cats reminiscent of Umbridge's study from Harry Potter. BUT I swallowed my distaste and climbed down the stairs....into wonderland. I kid you not. It has the most Beautiful collection of dresses and skirts and tops. I touched the tip of the iceberg today and came away with one gorgeous red and white spring dress that I cannot wait to wear. It has these hideous white ribbony things holding it up but I'm going to tie it up as a halter, and voila- problem solved. Yes, my inventiveness amazes me too. Other discoveries- one Wong's Diner which sells an obscenely huge lunch combo with egg roll, chicken chow mein, chicken fried rice and sweet and sour pork, all for the low price of 4.89. I don't get it. HOW? And WHY? Also Ma took me to Bookshelf which was quite wonderful.  I want this graphic novel, Blanket. It's supposed to be seminal, and I really loved the cover . Also Scar Tissue and The Handmaid's Tale. Not enough money, but I'm going back to Meow very very soon. My heart bleeds when I buy clothes instead of books but Ma keeps reminding me of the bookshelf in Calcutta which is barely holding itself together under the weight of all the dusty books. I despise ebooks, and I can't watch any more movies tonight. Julie and Julia and MW have filled my quota for the night. I think I'm going to hit the sack. It's 5.36 am and it's Sunday tomorrow. I can lie in bed reading The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett. Goodnight world.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


"I'm not a princess, this ain't a fairy tale
I'm not the one you'll sweep off her feet
Lead her up the stairwell"

3 years ago
one girl crouched on a carton in the spare room, cradling a cordless phone in her hand.
"I love you"
*pause* just the sound of the waves as they crash against the shore and one boy struggling to keep his voice from cracking
"'s going to be fine."
"Yeah..yeah, stop crying sweetie"
"You stop first!"
*pause* the boy catches his breath and finds the words
"I want to see you."
she hesitates. her parents are in the next room packing up her life in soul less grey suitcases. she is only 15.
"I'll meet you at the back of the building."
she runs out, not bothering to make an excuse. hopefully by the time they notice that she's missing she'll be on her way back up in the elevator with a pack of chewing gum.
he is waiting and she sees him at once. she throws herself into a hug. as she melts in his arms, she feels certain that this is exactly where she is supposed to be. they kiss. he tastes sweet- of seven-up and longing. she looks into his eyes as she says what he cannot put into words and runs back into the building, thankful that they got the chance to have a proper goodbye.

3 months later
one girl crouched in the verandah of her house cradling a phone in her hand, struggling to catch her breath under a suddenly claustrophobic night sky
"i kissed her"
this time she can't restrain the sob
"i don't care okay? that's how crazy i am about you. i can't lose you over something as stupid as this"
"you have to move on"
disbelief battles with hope and then she hangs up, hating herself

"Holding on, the days drag on
Stupid girl, I should have known
I should have known"

2 years ago
one girl pacing in her grandma's bedroom one winter afternoon cradling a phone in her hand trying her best to swallow rage and grief
"if you'd just let me explain!"
"i really can't talk to you right now! i have an exam tomorrow and i can't deal with this."
"you don't know the full story! please, just give me a minute"
the only answer she receives is the dead flat dialtone of the phone.
the maid enters the room- "what happened? "
"nothing, come" hastily she pulls her lips into a smile and leaves the room to sample pickle and chat

"This ain't Hollywood, this is a small town
I was a dreamer before you went and let me down
Now it's too late for you and your white horse, to come around"

they pass each other in a crowded library. he has his girlfriend at his side, she's on her cell phone talking to her best friends. they exchange perfunctory smiles, a how do you do and then walk off in opposite directions. indifference is the emotion of choice.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Big Three, and then some.

Today draws to a close, uneventful for the most part. It was International Women's Day today though, and being somewhat of a feminist at heart (and of late, at tongue even), I can't let it slip by without acknowledging some of the most kick-ass people I know.
Ma- i wouldn't be exaggerating if i said i owe her my life- doubly so. i mean firstly, labour is about as painful and enlightening as getting your hand sawed open with a rusty blade while himesh reshammiya serenades you. also she figured out my suicidal tendencies and abandoned her dahi-phuchka at v.p to hunt down my birthday-celebrating, patient-fleeing, gone-into-hiding doctor, and say "DELIVER THIS CHILD!" infuriating, bangali spiritual snob, lover of all things rabindranath, stubborn as a mule about politeness and hospitality even to s.o.b's, the most fantastic "a little here, a little there" cook, self sacrificing- my mother was never an ambitious woman. but she's built up her career time and time again after carelessly giving it up for family. she's been a daughter, a wife, a mother, a friend, a lecturer, a teacher and currently she's reinvented herself as manager of an art gallery. mum is proof that no matter how many times you've been knocked down, you can always get back up and kick em in the nuts- all in a dignified and modest moddhobitto bengali way.

Trisha- it's been barely two years since i met the intimidating woman with spectacles perched carelessly on her button nose, waves pulled into a pony tail and big eyes that seemed at once intelligent and bored. i could never have predicted that we'd wind up wife and wife, but i am so unbelievably glad that we did. black belt in karate, soon to be published author, bharatnatyam someshit, director of a play, lover of blood, gore and comic relief, witty, sarcastic and a total bitch- she looks freakishly impressive on paper. what i think is more impressive though, is that from time to time i get to say to her, "make me a sammich, bitch" 

Piu- rabid woman that she is, i figured she was a vacuous skinny chick when i first met her. then she got with the poster boy of our college class in the days of yore and i didn't know what to make of her. in what has got to be the weirdest start to a friendship ever, our friendship was cemented over transatlantic post breakup phone calls between relative strangers. piu was born to be an earth mother. lover of all things furry, surprisingly smart and intuitive, creative, inclined to 'older' professorial fantasies, unnecessarily graphic about hygiene and bodily functions, theatrical tendencies- both on and off stage, fantastic cook, fellow pre-birth suicidal soul sister- she's the number one thing i need to thank trisha for.

So my eyes are rebelling at the lateness of the hour and writing about the three of them has been easy considering I spend at least one one third of my life talking to them. However there are other equally wonderful ladies whom I absolutely must mention cuz they teach me everyday how to be a successful woman. 
Upasana- for being the quirky intelligent adorable bundle that she is. one total surprise of a person, that woman was. begone all you south point preconceived notions.
Mishtu- for just being her. in a way that i cannot really explain she makes me believe in happiness and contentment by just being herself. i wish we'd had the chance to hang out properly and get to know each other better, but i'm definitely glad to have met her. she contributes beauty to my world and proves that small packages can pack subtle but powerful punches.
Karishma- whom i do not know but wish i did. one of my favourite bloggers out there, wonderfully positive and introspective (which seems like a contradiction), and freaking smart- i mean dude. the woman's a doctor. 
ShY- whom i named, who can be my turn-to frenemy, who is capable of writing beautifully haunting poetry, who bubbles over with gossip and giggles, who can put herself out there with astounding ease, and who has graduated from being one of the guys to being disgustingly mushily in love and loving it.
Rhia- okay, so she's not a woman yet. but she is friggin adorable and precocious and beautiful and intelligent. no, really. my baby sister bestest! :)
Annu- for being wise, calm, grounded, perceptive, non-judgemental- all while holding fast to her faith
Soumya- for rolling her eyes at the "goofy guys" and making getting thrown out of class fun. because she was my angel, and because she could be anyone's.
Sakku- for "main jahaan rahoon", for being sweet and utterly uncomplicated, and for genuinely caring in her own way. for always picking up where we left off, whether it's been a week or half a year. for proving that we never really grow out of our best school friends.
Sabitha ma'am, Chitra ma'am, Anisha ma'am, Mrs. Gomes, Mrs. Sengupta- for being so much more than teachers, for imparting life lessons, for making an impact on your student that has lasted far beyond school and classes, and above all for truly caring.
My grandmothers- whom I love to bits and pieces and even more, whose reserves of strength, vitality and compassion continue to astound and inspire me.