Archive | December, 2008

Where Do Lurkers Go To Die?

28 Dec

Where do lurkers go to die?

When they’re done scanning surreptitiously,

Flitting behind translucent screens,

Consuming voicelessly the offerings of another,

Nodding in mute agreement,

Dissenting distantly,

They scuttle back into the black hole

From whence they came.

Rise and shine the next morning,

Train those eyeglasses again,

Voyeurism can’t be bad if we’re all snoops (right?)

And saying hello might just kill us.

So this army of lipzipped bystanders

Scuttles back into the black hole

From whence it came,

Shut the lid for good measure,

There, now we’re follow-proof!

Maybe that’s where lurkers go

to die.

Time & Yuletide

25 Dec

Either it’s old age playing catch-up or it’s the time of (this particularly painful) year that has me oozing sop all over this page. This post may go down when I see it in the stark light of the morning, so don’t yell if you find it gone.

One of my (many) pet peeves is symbols. You heard me. And, by extension, symbolism. I have a theory about how the human race thrives on symbols because they help us make sense of the world and compartmentalize ideas/objects/people into neat little pockets of supposed comprehension. What I get annoyed with is how we use symbolism as a crutch that prevents us from thinking abstractly, out-of-the-boxedly, individualistically.

Now scratch everything you just read. Because for the first time in my adult life, I willfully created a symbol. Humbly. Out of sheer need. The need to hope, wish and connect. To do something with my hands that would help heal my heart. For the first time in my adult life, my annual Christmas tree routine took on critical, absolutely-must-do-or-I’ll-bust-all-my-blood-vessels proportions. And I dragged an already willing Boy by his full head of hair through an elaborate trim-the-tree ceremony because I had to (gosh I can’t believe I’m saying this, someone shut me up, please!) perform an act of love and meaning. I decorated this tree like my life depended on it. And, with the Christmas cake I’m going to ingest today, I also eat my words. Okay, I hereby ban myself from this blog.

Merry Christmas, folks. Here’s the tree in question. I’m off to pray for peace and sanity.

Credits:  The Boy’s Olympus E-520 DSLR, in his hands.

P.S. Click on the volume icon (top left hand corner of the picture album) to play Faith Hill’s ‘Joy to the World’ as you view the pictures.

Sail for Peace

23 Dec

…is the name of the effort I was part of this afternoon. And oh what a chore it was! Clad in a Baywatch-red life jacket, I hopped aboard a snazzy, all-white-and-chrome speedboat manned by a cute Ozzie sailor that whisked me off to a little private sailboat with 5 of my friends and family. We took in the sights of the Bombay harbor, chomped on chicken rolls, quiches and brownies, gazed lovingly at the Taj and attempted to imagine how the terrorists could possibly have sailed up to this gorgeous city and wanted to annihilate her.

Aquasail India, the company started by India’s first gold medallist on international waters, has come up with an interesting way to help the families of the 14 Mumbai police officers who died in the line of duty during the 26/11 terror attack. All proceeds from cruise bookings this week go directly toward the said policemen’s fund. I am unable to answer specific questions as I was a guest on this expedition and the info-mail I was to receive hasn’t made an appearance, but (see details below) you can contact them through their website or call one of their skippers– Abhishek– at 9969372914 and they’ll be happy to help you.

If you’re interested, make a trip sooner rather than later, because this offer’s on only for a week.  And honestly, I can’t think of a more enjoyable, relaxed way to reach out to my city.

More efforts, of course, continue here. And we’ve only just begun.

…….

Edited to add: Received the Aquasail e-flyer this morning. Am posting a relevant excerpt.

The team at Aquasail felt that we need to do something with boats and sailing to make a statement, to sail beyond, to tide us over this feeling of sadness. As we talked about this we thought about what to do involving all of you who share with us a love for Mumbai and its amazing spirit as well as a love for the sea and all that it means to us. Why not use our boats for people to come together in a way that would be positive, bring in energy and revive a sense of hope?

And from this came the idea of a Sail For Peace & Freedom From Fear. . To use our boats to raise funds, help those affected in a small way and demonstrate a spirit free from fear. So join us for a sail for Peace & Freedom from Fear in the Mumbai harbour. The fundraiser is on from 20th Dec to 26th Dec. Please donate generously for every sail as per your ability (minimum Rs. 1, 000 /-). Every single rupee thus collected will be used for relief to those impacted by the events of last month. The recipients of this donation will be the widows and families of 14 very junior policemen who laid down their lives during the terror attacks. The money will be given to the Ashok Kumar Foundation who will ensure it reaches them.

As you sail in the harbour, you will see the physical scars of a city that was under siege but demonstrates a spirit that has the power to heal. In our own quiet way we hope this would be one very small and token step towards creating a positive wave of energy, of saluting Mumbai, of remembering and perhaps finding stronger ways of addressing the challenges before us. We hope to see each of you Sailing For Peace & Freedom From Fear and donating towards this cause.

Antsy & Other Animals

22 Dec

Today, I feel like badgering you.

Nudging and goading with a metaphorical paw,

Being the empty-houred hausfrau of K serials

Who churns up excitement from chewing-gum-stretchable time.

Today, I feel like badgering you.

Knocking on your inbox with a loud “anybody home?”

Sewing up our togetherness in neat herringbone stitches

Gleeful and smug at having you alone.

Today, I feel like badgering you.

Ignoring the tables, the flowcharts, the sheets,

Twirling around the house, gathering your scent in my skirt,

For release when your geekmind packs up for the week.

A Clutch of Awards…

19 Dec

…is particularly welcome when one’s spirit has been lolling in the gutter for a while.

So many thanks to generous souls D and M4 for their kindness.

butterflyaward

This self-explanatory honor needs to me to pay it forward to 10 other bloggers, which I will soon, after some consideration. (Yeah, okay, it’s 2 a.m. and I’m bloody lazy, alright?) I’m especially thrilled that I received this for “calling a spade a spade”, as D insightfully put it, because that is OJ’s offline persona as well.

premio-dardos-award

I love how this sounds like one of those foreign knighthoods or honorary degrees that Bollywood stars receive for their “contribution to world cinema excusemewhileIbarf”. What makes it way better than the fraudulent Ph.D.s is that this little cookie acknowledges “the values that every blogger shows in his/her effort to transmit cultural, ethical, literary and personal values every day.”  And rah, rah, I’m all for values. Erm, as long as they aren’t numerical.

So thank you muchly, ladies.

D, I’ll pass on the bling soon and will update this post as well.

Warmly and wisely,

Your lady in neon nightwear.

……..

Updated to add: And we’re ready with the links! The Butterfly Award for the coolest blog I ever know (or 10 of them) goes to……….. (drumroll):

  1. Circles in the Sand: Poignant text, aesthetically delightful visuals and the brevity to hold my bouncing-off-the-walls attention span.
  2. Fight Back: We all claim to say no to gender violence. But to band together and keep this daily injustice in the public eye takes a special kind of effort. Bravo, FB!
  3. Gaysi: A space for gay desi women that is supportive, inclusive and, from what I know, the first of its kind. Even among all matters gay, there’s a distinct bias toward males and their stories and I’m hoping this blog becomes a platform for hitherto unheard female voices.
  4. High Heel Confidential: My go-to place after a long, hard day. It’s fun, sassy and so easy on the eyes. (Well, mostly!)
  5. Two point three children, six point six ideas on raising them: I imagine maidinmalaysia as a frizzy-haired mommy running through libraries in a purple smock, tripping over the rugs, arms windmilling wildly. In case you didn’t guess, that’s a compliment. And anyone who makes me giggle is worthy of an award.
  6. The Key Bunch: Oh-so-stylish, with little tutorials that look so easy, they almost make me believe I could be artsy and craftsy.
  7. The Nino Effect: is a good effect. It is a blog I look forward to visiting, just like one would a new, interesting friend. As someone who takes a stand, speaks her mind and does such fun stuff with her sonny boy, Nino’s Mum is a woman I’d love to hang out with and if it’s only virtually possible, then so be it.
  8. wordjunkie: Her love for books and words drew me to her page. Her gorgeous daughter keeps me going back.
  9. Where the Mind Wanders: When Nitya casually strolled into wordjunkie’s living room and sat next to me on the couch, I hadn’t a clue who she was. Now I do. And I’m the gladder for it.
  10. Thinking Cramps: An old favorite who claims she lives in the past, Anamika’s snippets of life never fail to amuse and prod the mind simultaneously. Her online and offline personas have such a basic sense of decency and honesty about them that you can’t help warming up to her. Oh, and she’s a foodie!

Congratulations, people. Enjoy the glitter and have a wonderful holiday season.

Esoteria

17 Dec

The difference between the Lobster and all the other fish in the sea is that you can never cry quite the same way with anyone else.

Peace on Earth & Goodwill to (Wo)Men

15 Dec

It’s all very well to howl over your heartbreak and sniffle into your coffee about admittedly horrific events so close to home, but beyond the pain is the practical and that’s what this lady and her team of mostly mommy bloggers have been doing so well. (So the next time anyone thinks mommies are about just nappy-talk and burping babies, think again. Or I’ll sit on you until you do.)

Now, where were we? Oh yes, the India Helps blog. Especially remarkable because it’s really as basic as having good intentions and making them work. This group of proactive women has banded together to make a grassroots, human connection beyond writing out cheques (though those are great too—keep ‘em coming!).

It is my privilege to be able to contribute a little something through connections in the social work field, and request that all of you reading this visit the India Helps website to be a part of the effort in your own way. Spread the word, send links to related articles/new developments, draw attention to other similar efforts—every little bit helps. Let me be very clear. No one’s rushing into this. None of the bleeding hearts throwing money in an outpouring of temporary compassion bit. The groundwork needs to be done first. To figure out the most effective, useful ways to help. And these may not necessarily be the most obvious ones. India Helps is currently trying to contact people and organizations in the social work field to determine how resources can be best put to use. If you have ideas, do share them directly with Kiran and her team. If you don’t read regular post-26/11 updates on this blog, it’s because I encourage you to get your information from directly over there.

Here are some pictures taken on December 2nd. Thanks to the Boy really, because I was busy bawling like a baby. The ones from the December 3rd rally can’t go up until I knock some sense into my silly old camera, but I do, do want to share those with you. That rally was the single most cathartic, enthralling, amazing social experience of my 30 years and nothing I’ve been part of anywhere or anytime else comes even close.

Life is rumbling again, but just barely, and for once I know that the heaviness inside doesn’t stem from the extra pounds I lug around on my bones.

Stay well, people. It’s 10 days to Christmas.