Thursday, October 28, 2010

The essentials

I have a #genuinekoshchan, as they say on twitter, for the menfolk today. And to be absolutely fair, I also pose it to the women who will not identify with what I am going to ask.

How, in the name of all that is holy, do you people manage without handbags? To take off from what Shwetha wrote on her blog some time back, there are things that are essential and must be carried everywhere.

I'm known for my penchant for big handbags. I have, in my defense, tried buying smaller purses in the effort to look more formal or some such thing, but the things just don't fit in! There's my wallet (which in itself is fairly bulky), my keys, my little pouch which holds all the various loyalty cards I have (and as I've mentioned before, I have a lot), the case which holds both my glasses and my sunglasses, tissues and hand cleanser, and basic medicines which I always carry around. If it's the monsoon I carry a little umbrella with me, if it's winter a teeny-weeny bottle of moisturizer, and if I'm headed to work or for meetings, then I usually have a note pad and a pen. Sometimes there's a book. There's also the little Ganesha statue my mum gifted me which I carry. My phone and its earphones are usually in my hand anyway because I use it to listen to music - assuming I know where my earphones are, they are currently missing, does anyone want to gift me a pair?

I change my bags often, and each bag has a bunch of miscellaneous stuff anyway - old movie tickets, earrings I was wearing and took off because they hurt, the receipt from a restaurant or the NH-8 toll gate, the last eyeliner I lost. But the essentials listed above - those I move from bag to bag.

So tell me, how do you manage without all that? I mean, even if I'm going to a shaadi and am forced to discard my nice handbags, I usually have a tiny purse with the phone, some cash, and mayyyybe an eyeliner and/or lipstick to be on the safe side - because you know, we're girls and we need to use/carry these things blah blah blah. And if the car is there, I leave a handbag with everything else in the car!

Most of the guys I know roam around with just their wallet and their phone*. I used to stare open-mouthed at these girls in college who could come with one register and a tiny clutch purse which wasn't even big enough to carry their car keys and their phone. Well, they also wore heels to college, know full well that that was just a disastrous idea given the cobbled paths we had, but that's besides the point. My point is, don't you need all this stuff?

*This may be a good time to point out that the brother is not like that. He perpetually needs music and a book and so carries a jhola everywhere he goes. Very shmart the brother is.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Conversations from yesteryears

A random tweet that showed up in my timeline a few hours ago reminded me of one of those strange and morbid conversations that get ingrained in your memory, that took place between the father and me more than a decade ago.

We were walking on the side of the road, when a car swerved and passed by him a little too close for my comfort. Of course, I gasped dramatically, clutched him and pulled him a bit to the side, scolding him for being so careless. He shrugged and laughed, saying he was fine as long as an accident, should it happen, caused a quick and painless death rather than leaving him a vegetable.

Needless to say, I was not amused. But then he went on: if death has to come to someone, it'll come sooner or later. And his or her family and friends will have to deal with it. But if a person gets stuck in a coma, it makes everything so much more painful for his or her loved ones. He then looked at me and told me that if that decision has to be taken, I should take it.

At age 14, I was forced to admit he had a point. At 25, I still hope and pray almost every day, like I have ever since that conversation happened, that I never have to take that decision.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

There are snobs, and there are snobs

I can be a snob of the first order, but something I really don't get is following people on twitter for the singular purpose of retweeting them and mocking them.

Calling someone an orkutiya or a bulb, because their idea of expressing themselves is different from yours? Because their English isn't as articulate as yours? Heck, my English is quite decent, but I'm atrocious in both Bengali and Hindi, so what do I have to be so proud of?

Following celebrities on twitter, and then spending your time coming up witty one-liners to mock them? Really? I have the utmost respect for most of these people I follow on twitter - they're intelligent, well-read, and outrageously funny most of the time. But it infuriates me when they judge people they don't know or have never met simply on the basis of their ability (or lack of it) to articulate decently in a tweet.

A lot of people cribbed about Aisha, and not purely because of its terrible script or the utterly flat and annoying personality they gave to the eponymous character (which, to be fair, was exactly how it was in the book, so you can't really blame the makers of the movie). No, a lot of people actually cribbed about what snobs Aisha and her friend Pinky were. (Like, hello, have you ever been to urban India? South Delhi, or even South Bombay from what I hear?)

My point is, people criticized, or even mocked the utter snobbishness displayed by the characters in that movie. But you, who retweets a guy because his opinions aren't completely in tune with yours, or mocks the guy who tweeted his admiration for that celebrity who may not be so great in your eyes. How different are you?

Sunday, October 03, 2010

I like... (Part 3)

When I was in school and college, the morning of an exam invariably meant I would have this tight feeling in my arms, and a pain in my left shoulder. I called them my stress pains. For the past few months, I've been having them almost perpetually, and for no good reason either.

The last few months hasn't been the best of times, as my various blog posts may have indicated. There's just been too much I've been trying to juggle, and sort out, and y'know, get it all together. I think I've gone soft even - the slightest bit of niceness makes me all weepy these days. Tchah, I say.

As a result, once again, I find myself needing to do a post of this kind. Without further ado, therefore, let us have the drumroll, and a list of things I like:

Second-hand books, with decades-old dedications written in a squiggly handwriting, and the lovely musty smell of old books.

Finding money in the pockets of a jacket I'm wearing after a long time.

Sweaters with long, loose sleeves that cover half my hands.

The torn winter jacket that my father bought for himself when I was a baby - I borrowed it when I was 15 and haven't returned it yet!

The sound of the princess drinking water.

Compliments that come out of nowhere, which you know can't be anything but genuine.

An evening out with the gal pals - or even the guy pals actually. Both are interesting in very different ways!

People I've never spoken to in my life asking me why there hasn't been an update on my blog for two months.

The sudden crumbling of my writer's block, when the words coming gushing out.

Friends who worry about me more than I worry about myself.

The feeling of satisfaction when I manage to drill some sense into a friend's head.

The warm feeling when I wrap my hands around a cup of chai or soup.

Leaving the car windows down and feeling the breeze - especially if it's just after a spell of rain.

Saying "y'know which episode of Friends this reminds me of?", and having at least two people present bursting into giggles.

Realising someone who was just another acquaintance has become someone very important.

Looking out the window as a flight takes off or lands and trying to recognize landmarks in the city below.

Watching the Gurgaon skyline from the metro.

All such fun, no?