Archive | July, 2008

Paola’s Confession

30 Jul

I stopped taking the medication

and let the vitiligo spread

just so I could find out

how much you really loved me.

OJ Hearts…

28 Jul

…Heath Ledger as The Joker in The Dark Knight.

Now I don’t claim to be a film critic, connoisseur or even a regular keen watcher of the medium, but in my book, this is one of the best performances–film or stage–I have ever witnessed. So deeply did the actor disappear into the character that, come to think of it, I wouldn’t even call it a performance. Or the role of a lifetime. It was almost as if he lived his last months being The Joker. And a good half year after his tragic demise, I’m heartbroken at having discovered him only now.

But then again, if you’re all the way up there, the only way out is off the ride. Suddenly, people, I feel like the joke’s on us.

Edited to add: Clearly, I’m not the only fan The Joker has. Check out this clown.

Wisdom at 30

25 Jul

Two days ago, in preparation for today, I made a list.

A list of the lessons life has taught me, mainly over the past decade.

Important pointers, no doubt, helping me prepare for what lies ahead.

Rather pleased with myself, I headed out last evening to celebrate my last few hours of twentydom.

And, with less than 2 hours left to midnight, life cackled at me as she is frequently wont to, and, when I least expected it, threw two more zingers my way.

Climbing up a fancy wooden stairway on my way to dinner, I had a footwear malfunction (for those who remember last July, it was the same pair of shoes). Strap off from one end and nothing to secure my foot to the base, I was barefoot and horrified. Thanks to soothing, encouragement and sound common sense from The Boy, I took the pair in my hands and walked into the restaurant in my Mango outfit… Much angst and a little Fevikwik later, I was back in my heels, gingerly stepping out into the world again, a little stronger in the knowledge that I had done one of the things I detest most. (Yes, walking barefoot is a biggie… will explain childhood connection someday.)

At 2 minutes to midnight, The Boy surprised me by producing cake, candles, et. al in the car and… knife. While he berated himself, I felt my fingers get a life of their own, dig into the cake and move toward his mouth. Before we knew it, half the cake was gone and we were frantically looking around for tissues.

It may seem like nothing at all to most people, but tonight, I did the two things I was brought up to absolutely NOT do. Conditioning is a powerful tool, but stepping beyond one’s own boundaries can be a liberating feeling. And that’s when it hit home. My final lessons as a twenty-something are likely going to be the most useful as I stumble into this new decade, and they are, quite simply, this:

1) When life strips you of kitten heels, have the grace to walk tall and barefoot.

2)It’s surprisingly fun to get your hands dirty. Close your eyes, dig in and share the yumminess.

Suddenly, I can’t wait to live my 30s.


20 Jul

She grabs me by the shoulder

and shakes me up,

to make sweet music

from the clatter of teeth.

Her claws leave bruises,

maps of despair,

that spread, sprawl, stain

across the dark continent that is my body.

Hair ripped out, lips split open,

fingers clenched

into fists of desperation,

I claw back

at her sneering mouth,

foaming bile burning my feet,

devouring my spirit

and what’s left of my resolve.

Life and I, we were once fast friends.

A (Birth)Day In The Life Of

17 Jul

So I had a birthday today. Not really, if you’re looking at the Roman calendar. But if you consider the beautiful bungle that is the Zoroastrian calendar after arriving in India, it’s my birthday. And it’s the one my family celebrates with many loud noises and jokes only they can consider funny.

I’m writing this with too much rum-drenched cake in me, so pardon the drunken recounting of the day:

Mom (feeding me cake): Now next year, celebrate your birthday in your sasroo (sasural). [Incidentally, she’s been saying this since I was 4. Or 14. Or thereabouts.]

Me: Is it still called a sasroo if there’s no sasoo (M-I-L) living in it?

Mom: Yes, it means your marital home.

Me: A sasroo without a sasoo?

Mom (keeping her patience): Okay, your husband’s home.

Me: Not mine??!!

Mom (trying to remember it’s my birthday): Okay! Yours and your husband’s. Your home together. No sasoo. No sasroo. Okay?

Me (smugly): Okay.


According to my mother’s accurate calculations and superior prior experience, the number of rice grains that stick to one’s forehead when pressed onto the tilo (kumkum tikka) indicates the number of children one will have.

“28!” she delightedly declared to my father today, squinting at my forehead.

Right, Ma, and Granny had 32 on her 79th birthday, but never mind that. Maybe other people’s babies are accidentally included in the count.


My cousin forgot it was my birthday. Most of my generation only remembers the calendar that they actually use. Or maybe it was because she was too busy doling out worthy advice over SMS. “Tie up those tubes!” she messaged. “Here I am, on my few days off, teaching Z to write ABCD instead of flying off somewhere!”

I’m wondering if I should’ve gently reminded her that flying is her day/night/weekend job, one she passionately claims to detest.


My mother’s assistant refused to eat my cake because it was soaked in rum and Thursdays are for Sai Baba, who apparently frowns on chugging a few. Dad launched into a history lesson about the Sufi movement and the need for alcohol to “Transcend the Everyday”, but I don’t think Shevanti the Poker Face was suitably impressed. She, like everybody else, knows that Dad doesn’t drink.


Mom (smilingly): Someone told me you’d get married at 32.

Me: Someone also told you 28.

Dad: Yes, yes, 28’s right. I think you’ll get married at 28.

Me: Uhm… you do realize I turned 30 today, don’t you?

Dad: Oh. Ahem! Right. Of course I knew that!


Dad’s been diagnosed with slight hearing loss recently. I can’t decide who’s happier about it: Mom, who can finally blare all she wants, or him, for finally being able to ignore all of it.


As a child, I was a perfect angel. Check with my brother, he’ll agree. When I was 10 and he was 5, I educated him in gory detail about a banshee called Bhaskari Bai who inhabited a hamlet near our native village. Of course, since Bhaskari Bai the Nocturnal Banshee was a powerful spook, she could fly over to Bombay anytime she fancied and hence there was no reprieve from her there either. All this, I solemnly swore on our religion, was absolutely true. The erstwhile Doubting Thomas wobbled his stick-like legs and crapped his pants and I rolled all over the floor, consumed in unshared mirth. Two decades later, an occasional steely glint in his eye tells me he hasn’t forgotten. (Strange, given that I’m the family elephant.) I’m so glad not many of you know I work with children.

Err… Good night, folks.

A Funeral In The Bloggerhood

14 Jul

So most of you know that I’ve been whining about the big Three-Oh around the corner. I was. Until today, that is. Nothing like some solid numbers to keep things in perspective. 30 seems infinitesimally teensy-weensy when you think about 108. That’s how old she was when she passed away today. The oldest blogger on the planet is no longer among us.

R.I.P., Olive. There’s sure to be wireless connectivity where you are.

The Thing About Geeks

12 Jul
You’re always on my mind.
Like a default pop-up window that is occasionally minimized.

~ The Boy to me.