Saturday, March 20, 2010

Me Me Me!

Ten days ago, I completed a quarter of a century as a living being. In this lifetime, that is. I have no idea how long I've spent as a living being with all my lifetimes put together. Or even if I have had other lifetimes. Which really isn't the point of this post.

What is the point of this post, you ask? I'm not entirely sure myself. I got a new laptop you see (and before you start, that is PURPLE, not pink - the lighting was poor). And I wanted to put up a post from it simply because I can.

Anyway, so as I was saying, I turned 25. Now as a rule, I love birthdays. This year, for some reason, I was totally depressed about my birthday, to the point that I didn't even make my usual very detailed wishlist handed over to the family two months before the day arrives for them to treat as a shopping list.

I mean, 25. Isn't there something just so... milestone-y about it? Shouldn't I have done far more than I have by now? Or at least figured out what the hell my life is about? A bit?

Well, whatever it was that I was supposed to have done by now, I clearly haven't. I am therefore going to instead write this post. 25 facts about myself. Which you didn't know. Or did. Depends on who you are.

You may leave now, you know. If you're still here that is.


  1. I love Hrishikesh Mukherjee's movies. There is no other film-maker in the world about whom I can say that I have loved each and every movie made by him/her. My life's ambition is to get hold of the DVDs of every single movie he ever made.
  2. My one regret in life is giving up singing classes as a kid.
  3. Gmail's Label feature is the best thing that ever happened to me. I label everything. I have two Gmail accounts - one official, one personal. The official ID has just short of 250 labels, and the personal one has 450-odd labels. Seriously.
  4. My favourite colours are blue and purple. Hence the laptop. Dell's blue option was too electric for my liking.
  5. I know nothing about English music. Or any music actually. Unless... Does Bollywood music count as a genre?
  6. I perpetually feel cold. The family hates having meals with me in the summer because I whine about the fan being on.
  7. I have had a godawful allergy since childhood as a result of which I get these awful marks on my arms and legs. The dermatologist once described it as "hypersensitivity to mosquito bites". I call it a curse.
  8. I love numbers. And Excel sheets with numbers in particular. Playing with them gives me a joy like no other. Back in school I used to get this joy when I would solve a particularly tricky math or accounts problem.
  9. I wanted to be a teacher as a kid. Nursery teacher. Mainly because I thought Rani Ma'am, my Nursery teacher was the greatest thing since sliced bread.
  10. As a teenager, this ambition changed to being a librarian. I thought it would be awesome because I could sit and read all day long.
  11. I am not a people person. By which I mean the company of others annoys me no end. Spending more than a few hours with even my closest friends exhausts me. Which makes my choice of career a mystery to pretty much everyone who knows me. In my defense, I hadn't realised how much of a non-people person I am till I took it up.
  12. If it wasn't for the fact that I love my near and dear ones, I wouldn't like them much.
  13. No one, but no one, is allowed to criticise my family. Other than me. Even if you are my best friend, and I have spent two hours cribbing about them, you do not say anything against them. Ever.
  14. As a kid, it was instinct for me to look at every single vehicle passing by on the roads, add up its license number, and check if it's divisible by 3. I still do it sometimes.
  15. Sanjeev Kumar is the greatest actor to have ever lived. In my very humble opinion. Exhibit A: Koshish. Exhibit B: Angoor.
  16. I'm a sucker for spoilers. The only two things I have always refused to look up spoilers for are the Harry Potter books before they released, and Lost. Yes, I'm a huge fan of both.
  17. I hate yellow gold.
  18. Equality of the sexes is a huge deal for me. Not just in terms of women getting the freedom to do what they want, but also in terms of men contributing more when it comes to household matters. I think it's important, and I have been known to get onto a soapbox about this issue fairly often.
  19. The moon, butterflies, and rain are the themes figuring in most desktop wallpapers or site templates I choose. Which I'm guessing you know if you've been following my blog for a while now - you may remember the trauma I went through when I had to give up my rain template when "New Blogger" came into existence. I had to choose between keeping the labels option or the template - toughest decision in my blogging life so far.
  20. Rounded off numbers are the most awesome thing ever. My obsession with rounded off numbers was at one point so intense that I would SMS friends last thing at night just so my pre-paid balance would be a rounded off number. Even today, the radio and TV volume has to be a rounded off number, and I refuse to stop the microwave till it's showing a multiple of 5. In fact, the only blessing I see about turning 25 is that not only is it a rounded number itself, but it's the square of a rounded off number. How cool is that?!
  21. I have never quite got used to the whole concept of telling the whole world who you are, where you are, and what you do via your blogs and your tweets. It's something I'm still uncomfortable with, and most of my friends know that I'd prefer they didn't use my real name in the blogosphere.
  22. I have a thing for tall and fair guys. And lawyers. I think it comes from watching way too much of The Practice growing up.
  23. Imtiaz Ali's movies, in some ways, remind me of Hrishikesh Mukherjee. I have no idea why.
  24. I can't read or write Bengali. In fact, when I visit Calcutta, my cousins make fun of my accent when I speak in Bengali. I am, in some ways, to Bengal what an ABCD would be to India. A born and brought up probashi, forsooth.
  25. I have gorgeous hair.
You're still here? Wow. And you're not one of the two people I force into reading my blog everytime I put up a post? Double wow. And I thought I didn't have a life.

Monday, March 01, 2010


You can't blame people for being cynical in this day and age. Our politicians are crooks, the protectors of the law are no better, you can't do well in life unless you choose to take shortcuts, our favourite actors prove they're complete twits (literally) by joining twitter - what is there to make you feel good about the world? Really?

I’ve been guilty of it oh-so many times in the past. Despite being pro-Obama during the 2008 US Presidential elections, the day after he won, when a colleague mentioned that he seems to be “clean” I remember looking at him and asking him “But how do you get where he has by being completely clean”? I don’t any of us are capable of believing that the biggest successes came the “right” way.

Occasionally, however, you come along an overly cynical comment, which either makes you wonder the author is either trying too hard to sound cynical because y'know, it's the done thing, or whether he/she is simply blinded to anything else.

Exhibit A: A tweet during yesterday's World Cup match between India and Pakistan, where we were nicely thrashing the visiting side:
Seems almost like a fixed match, no? #hockeyworldcup
To which I responded "Why think that? Just enjoy the fact that our guys did a good job no?". And called an optimist for my pains. An optimist. Me. Gah.

Exhibit B:
Rehab, whose blog I have recently discovered (as in, some hours back), put up this post about a month back about Conan O'Brien's farewell speech where Conan essentially talks about how he hates cynicism. And there is, on that page, the following comment:
you should never take to heart what a guy who makes millions an hour tells you.
of course, he would advise against cynicism.
note: cynicism is not equivalent to pessimism.

My issue with both these comments was their refusal to acknowledge the message behind what they were observing, and look for hidden, darker messages. India can’t play so well, the match must be fixed. The guy earns millions, who is he to talk about the softer emotions?

But then again, I’ve been guilty of this as well. A friend and I were recently discussing a series of blog posts a fairly popular tweeter puts up – on her gratitude for various things in life. I was wondering if it was just me who though that far from sounding beautiful, the posts just ended up sounding preachy and priggish in nature. My friend, as it turned out, agreed with me, but I still wonder, have we completely closed ourselves off from acknowledging niceness, for lack of a better word, in people?

In our angst against “the system”, in our frustrations at our lot in life, in our tendency to hide our love and gratitude for near and dear ones, have we completely lost the ability to allow for the fact that others may not be the same way?

I get that there are times when we look around and see utter darkness. But does that mean we stop waiting for the light to come back? Is it so hard just to believe?

Confessions Part 1: Subodh, tumhe time yaad nahi hai?

Quick, have you seen Dil Chahta Hai? Of course you have, you weren't born yesterday.

D'you remember Subodh's character? You know, Sonali Kulkarni's boyfriend till Saif and she got together in what was the weakest part of the movie?

There was a brilliant scene in the movie where Subodh's tendency to remember exact dates and times of event was brought to light, like so:

The family literally howled with laughter the first time we saw this scene because, quite frankly, this is exactly how ze father is. Ever since, the brother and I have taken to interrupting some of his more boring stories with the line "Subodh, tumhe time yaad nahi hai?"

What has struck me recently, however, is the fact that I am in fact as bad as, if not worse than, him (the comma usage in this line needs checking). Case in point: this post. I mean, who remembers such stuff? Me, apparently.

Chances are therefore, that if I've known you for a really long time, and if you're kinda important to me, I not only know your birthday and phone number by heart, but also remember exactly how and where we met/became friends, and have at least one weird memory which you would have totally forgotten about.

I also totally have a memory ready to relate as an example about ze father but a, he may not approve, and b, it is really long and boring.

I see potential in entering the blackmail business though.