Wednesday, August 15, 2012

I am running away

May be he had always been right. She did love torturing him, watching him bite his lip and not retort as she said the unkindest things she could think of. He never was unkind, come to think of it, only exceedingly careless with her feelings. Or may be she was confused again. She looked over her bag one last time. Walked around the house turning off the lights one by one. Stood in the dark contemplating her life, the many laughs she'd shared with him in the house, the many little tragedies that had bruised her heart. She switched off her phone. If she heard his voice now, she knew she would change her mind.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


One never knows if one is about to do a smart thing or a stupid thing. Well, there is only one way for one to know, isn't there?
I say goodbye to the current hellhole to join a new place. I have no idea where this will lead me. And I frankly don't much care. I've moved past the stage where I wanted to become famous. Now I just want to be rich.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Story of my life

- Bratty younger siblings are never the first to make up after a fight. Even when you can tell they're dying to talk to you.

- 'Yeh kya jagah hai, doston?' and 'Aansoon bhari hain' are songs I steer clear of when I'm sad.

- Also 'Whiskey Lullaby'.

- I always tell myself I will never ever speak to the husband again after a big fight. Ever. You can guess the sequel.

- Some fabrics are very transparent in the light. You realise this only when you step in to the light.

- All the good jobs are mostly taken by undeserving prats.

- There are actually people in this world who introduce themselves as 'smart, funny and good looking'. The 'funny' bit is true in most cases, albeit unintentionally.

- It is possible to think you are in love when you are actually merely in like.

- Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Vishal Bharadwaj sometimes sound similar.

- Loneliness is sometimes more manageable than unemployment.

- When a person says, 'I need help', drop everything and run to assist.

- It is possible for melanin in your scalp to correct itself. A grey hair can turn black or brown (or whatever) mid-way.

- People with half a brain and some amount of depth will not laugh during the sodomising scene in Saat Khoon Maaf. Believe me, quite a few people laughed in the cinema hall.

- One must not be judgemental. But it is boring if nobody is.

- I will not be upset or rattled if my child ever tells me he/she is gay. This is not a statement to create effect, this is a statement of fact.

- I always use men's deodorants.

- Many people at the gym do not use deodorants. Blech.

- One semester later, many people at the college still mistake me for a student. I was asked for my I-card yet again by a peon last week.

- I yelled quite severely at a girl copying during the internal exams last week. She was close to tears. I am not sorry for what I did.

- Say 'idli idli idli' fast. After a while, you can only hear 'dli'.

- I do not mind not having children. Just because I have a uterus, doesn't mean I want to use it.

- The Harbour railway line sucks donkey balls. I do not wish it on anyone.

- Journalism thrills. Kills.

- Vishal Dadlani would look funny with hair on.

- My mother is the snarkiest, funniest woman her age ever. Also very intelligent and hardworking.

- Marriage, sex, singlehood, parenting...all very overrated.

- Gossip is the best antidote to many ills.

- Sachin Tendulkar has as many detractors as fans.

- If I ever die suddenly, please somebody remember to donate my organs.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The little woman and the superstar

He looked like a short prince, or at the very least a regal-looking tourist in an orange jacket, somebody who would start to look tubby the moment he stopped watching his weight. Like somebody remote and so good looking he had to be a movie star or a person who happened to get photographed often, you probably had to touch him to realise he was as flesh and blood as you and me, but maybe you had to slice open a bit of that white skin to know his blood was not royal blue.

So anyway. He was supposed to be there at 5 p.m., but a really important person must be fashionably late or risk being called a groupie or Amitabh Bachchan. Everyone else seemed to have made it to the theatre before him, and for two hours, we stared at several stars and their wives and husbands, admiring the flowing dresses and the well-cut (but not always well-worn) suits, the several glassy, unblinking stares and fixed smiles at hundreds of flashing cameras. I was staring so raptly at Dilip Vengsarkar and marvelling at how much difference a suit makes to a man, when there was a hush in the vicinity.

He was there.

He was to sit with his film’s leading lady in the centre of our row. Stupid idea, I remember thinking, because obviously nobody’s going to want to sit right in the middle of a line of little people who still couldn’t believe they were surrounded by so much royalty. He seemed to think so too, because he took one look at us, an entire line of inanely smiling faces and said, “No no, Gracy, you sit here. In the second seat.” Turning vaguely in our direction, he said, “I’ll need to get up often.” None of us said a word, though there was some sighing, and the cameras flashed in our direction. His leading lady shrank further in her seat, from genuine bewilderment or in a show of her purported acting skills, I really don’t know. He looked at the cameras frankly, a bit impatiently, and as the lenses adjusted and the shots were taken, it was like being in the neighbourhood of twenty bolts of lightning.

When he stood up again, his eyes locked into mine for the briefest second, and it was like there was ice around my heart. Because his eyes are truly beautiful, like a river lit by a sunset. Or that cool place where dreams retire to whisper their many secrets.

He turned away and was gone.

I watched him stride about, feeling a bit of emptiness inside, like a girl who’s lost her moment when she could have jumped on to a train safely. Instead I turned my attention to the tall, white dude seated in the row before mine, and who was wearing a white cotton kurta and an expression of bemusement so endearing on people when they are genuinely puzzled. Then he strode on to the stage and got his entire team together, made speeches with several hand gestures and smiled benignly as the audience, B-towners and little folk alike, laughed fakely at whatever he said. Then he got the tall white dude on to the stage and introduced him as the baddie of the film. “Don’t be fooled by what he does on screen, he is really one of the nicest people I’ve met,” he said, patting said dude’s shoulder. Har har, said the audience, clapping.

The film started. The premiere organisers decided they had to have us in a photo with him, because there is really no point giving out free film tickets if you’re not going to have photo proof. So we filed out of the theatre, just as Mr Bachchan voice began to tell us the background story, and waited in front of a staircase. A bossy photographer began shuffling us around the foyer, looking for a suitable backdrop. “This is good,” we heard him say, and the superstar himself was guiding us to a likely-looking spot in front of a huge likeness of him on a Lagaan poster. Again, the flashbulbs.

Then he turned to us and held out his hand for our tickets or any surface we cared to have his autograph on. I was last in line, detachedly looking outside the glass doors where a multitude of office goers and hangers on where standing under umbrellas or letting the July rains soak their bodies through a skyful of dull blue. All they could have seen was a blur of yellow light and photographers racing each other, an occasional celebrity and the big white bus he and his team had arrived in. But never him.

Some of our group had difficulty telling him their own names. “Ni-Nishtha,” a girl stammered, awestruck, finally shoving a greeting card in his hand. He took it with a smile but did not open it. She looked like she would faint when he shook her hand. And finally it was my turn. I shook his hand, warm and soft and professionally firm, looked in his eyes and said, “Vrushali.”

He signed my ticket with a flowing hand. “To Vrushali, love Aamir Khan,” he said, the first time a superstar’s ever said or written my name. “Oh,” he suddenly seemed to realise. “You’ll are missing the film.” Our group giggled again and started filing back into the theatre. When they looked back to see if he was escorting them, they found he was deep in conversation with a TV reporter. The guarded smile was back on his face.

I turned and walked out into the rain.

This post is my entry to IndiBlogger’s ‘FireFreeze’ contest. Do leave a comment and describe a FireFreeze moment you may have had. I’d love to hear from you.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Great journalism happens

In the pursuit of journalistic excellence, you can often find me willing to go to any lengths to chase a story if the travel is paid for and the food and accommodation are free.

I confess. The only reason I even agreed to cover a car and bike race for an automobile magazine was that the event was scheduled at Bengaluru, where my darling now stays. “You’re coming HERE?” she squealed when I told her the happy news.

“Yes,” I said, wondering if I really was.

“You are?” she said in a hushed voice, wondering too.

“Yes,” I said, but I don’t think I was convincing enough. The husband looked fit to faint when I told him about it, and that I was actually turning the idea over in my head.

“Very good. You should get out more often,” he said sagely.

Hmph. One would think I was pale white from hiding in the house. (If you must know, my complexion is creamy.)

Then I started to think about more pressing matters, viz How, in the name of arse, was I going to cover a bike race?

Some footnotes may be in order at this point:
1. The question (How, in the name of arse, was I going to cover a bike race?) arose primarily because I know squat about any automobiles. (When I say ‘squat’, I mean ‘jack’.) If you asked me to deliberate on the subject, all I could tell you about any kind of automobile was that the buses in Mumbai were red and that my dad owns a Ford Ikon.

2. And also that I think the Tato Nano, in any colour, looks like it belongs in a cartoon film.

3. I cannot, even at my intelligent best, tell one car from another. Ditto for bikes.

4. I can, however, tell a car apart from a bike. I am not a total idiot.

And so I went to Bangalore.

The sister thought I would probably describe what I saw there as, “Some big white car with a green sticker on one side won the race.” I rather think she rolled her eyes when I scoffed at this line of thought. Well, har har. In keeping with my usual work ethic, I was extremely precise, clinical and unbiased while reporting the event. I append a critical paragraph from my as-yet unfinished draft, to illustrate aforementioned precision, clinicality and unbiasedpana:

‘_______ (insert name the moment you learn what it is) won what everyone kept referring to as the Dissel Wopen, and which proved to be, on thorough analysis and much sifting of official documents, the Diesel Open category. The winner was such a show-off about his victory that he came out of his car smirking all over his loathsome face and patting his own back, thereby riling certain sections of the crowd. This correspondent heard somebody on her right say, and she quotes, “Xjuouirljiuon melaiab wandapandi.” Translated from Kannada, this means, “Kitna shaanpatti kar rela hai, gaandu.”’

The hearing has still not been restored in my left ear, which was the ear closest to the start point, since I spent most of my time looking at the racers whizzing past. I keep getting Kannada flashbacks even in my sleep. I do not want to look at another idli for the remainder of my life. And the opening line of my piece really reads, ‘Some big white car with a green sticker on one side won the race.’ But the trip was fun and highly educational. If given a chance to do something like this again, I will certainly take it, provided it is in Bangalore.

And now I must go write the story before the editor decides to remind me. He says December 2 is my deadline, and though that is AGES away, I can see I have lost all my notes. Besides, I have other pressing matters to look into now that I’m back in Mumbai, such as What I should order for lunch.

Did I hear you say, “Xjuouirljiuon melaiab wandapandi”?

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Jaya wanted a set of gold bangles for her birthday. Sumit thought that was too extravagant.

All day she complained about his lack of consideration. Never once to him, but to her friends at work. "I mean, come on," she said in tones of deep frustration. "I get him whatever he wants before he even says the word. Can't he do this much for me?"

"Men, men," one of them said in a commiserating voice, but the girl quickly flashed a look, part gleeful, part gloating, at another woman in the circle.

"So anyway, nothing for me this birthday," Jaya sniffed. She looked balefully at the sabzi in her lunch box, then said, "Anyway he'll just forget the day. I'm not reminding him again this year."

So in a disturbed state of mind a full three weeks before her birthday, Jaya persuaded herself that her thirty third would be the worst birthday ever. In the history of birthdays. In the history of history, as Po would say.

On the morning of her birthday, Sumit was nowhere to be seen. She called his cellphone, but it rang in their bedroom. Wondering if he'd suddenly decided to get back to his exercise regimen, she glared at herself in the mirror as she brushed her teeth. If her mouth hadn't been so full of toothpaste, she might have screwed up her mouth and howled. My birthday and he's not even home.

Then he returned. In his work clothes. With a bouquet of red roses in one hand and a box of chocolates in the other. And as he took her in his arms and she laughed as he twirled her around the living room in a practiced dance, she closed her eyes and thought, "He really didn't get me bangles."

Sunday, September 5, 2010

A story.

I think nobody knows how it started. They say that no partnership is ever equal, especially when one (or both) has dreams and ambitions separate from the other.

How awful, though. One morning he recounted a long anecdote about somebody eyeing his promotion at the end of the month, and not once, not for a second, did he realise that she kept her face hidden behind the newspaper. Not because she was reading it, but because she couldn't let the tears show. She kept saying, "Hmm," and "Really?" at really interesting points in his narrative, a habit born of years of listening on autopilot, and he did not notice even once the inflection in her voice.

What was more awful? That lately he does not even notice that she falls asleep in a second, sometimes too quickly. That she reaches out for a book the moment he sails into the bedroom, that sometimes she's holding the book upside down in what could have been a really funny situation had it not been for the tremble in her hands. That she does the dishes with increased violence each day, that she has less and less to say to him as each week passes on the calender.

He has his grievances, too. But he says not a word.

He does not notice. She does not see a thing. Love blinds.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Nothing matters

And that is scary. At least, it used to be.

I blamed it all on inertia. On the fact that I wasn't as active as I used to be, on the fact that I had quit my job for reasons which seemed lofty at the time. And which seem demented now, but whatever.

There was an inertia phase, but only at first. Then it melted into total and complete indifference. Not a nice thing to have on your slate, indifference. Not healthy for a marriage. Not healthy for relationships. Not healthy at all, for anyone, for anything, for you.

But oh, what shall we do?

Never mind. Que sera sera.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Ye Gods!

Nothing, I tell you, NOTHING fills you with happiness and quiet pride like the glow of achievement, however small and insignificant.

I have been in such a good mood lately, I haven't once yelled at the cat who invades my terrace at 10 p.m. every night, fixing me with an insolent stare before it retreats into the darkness of the neighbouring terrace. May be once my good mood fades a bit, I can go back to kicking at it and threatening it with my mosquito bat, which doesn't seem to impress it much anyway.

I am also cooking more, eating enthusiastically, and my neck has finally healed. Suffice it to say that I am really happy after such a long time.

Also, my husband is the best guy in the world. Smartest thing I did was marry him.

Bye for now.

Monday, August 9, 2010


After two moments of delirious happiness, I am back to the waiting game.

I swear I have not waited for anything for this long. Keep you posted, people.