Sunday, June 29, 2008

1 year in Delhi

Today I completed 1 year in Delhi.

This time, last year, I said farewell to a few very close relationships. The farewell gesture by the Office Head, the final evening at Clarke Quay, the last cigarette AZ and I shared, the tears that fell as I saw my apartment for the last time, the last Cappucino with low fat milk at Starbucks Changi airport, and the mixed feelings, of sadness as I left Singapore, and excitement as I was moving to back to where I had always wanted to work.

The memories of this night, one year back, are only too vivid. At about half past mid-night, a couple of hours after I had reached Delhi, the boy I liked, came over and we headed towards Dublin. I had been away from Delhi long enough and imagined Dublin to be an Irish-like bar, where I could share plenty of conversation with the boy. I imagined it to be of the type the boy and I loved, and loved talking about.

But! Dublin! Was! a! Club!!!! ‘Tu hi hai mera pyaar mahiya’ playing as we entered. No Draught beer. Random (and hot) Delhi chicks around us. The boy brought me to a club!! I should have followed the signs that night, my first night in Delhi, anticipated what lay ahead in the city.

Ironical. I had never been as excited about being back in the city.
A few other things that come to my mind, as I close my eyes and think of this 1 year.

Papa and I
Being surrounded my favourite people at my desk in office
The Cancun trip
The time I cried to BB for nearly 4 hours
The accident I had a week after the Cancun trip
My PEG life
The engagement and the entry of Nobster into the family
Getting back to endless email conversations
Flying in the Ghats
Coffee at Coffee Day, every single winter weekend morning
3 awesome books I read
Several photo trips
Gtalk conversations with people I hardly knew in school
The first Bombay trip and the cute American
Friday evenings with Beer and Peepu
Long, and almost always meaningful conversations with BB
Watching Khuda Ke Liye
Meeting old boy the next day, and a nice new one soon after, that night
The crazy TGIF + Ricks + Meridien coffee shop evening (!!!)
The Europe trip that got called off 3 times, and died a sorry death
Papa falling sick
The promotion
Mum, Papa and I watching Ghalib in New Delhi, at the end of this 1 year

I started the post intending to describe the last year. But may be not any further. The year was exciting, and eventful, but not a lot more than the previous years. So I’m just ruminating. What lies ahead? TGIF, home, chai in the summer rain, long road trips, short drives on green Delhi roads, FM radio as I drive, friends from DU, plays at IHC, another Delhi winter, chappals from Janpath, beer at Flavours, ice cream at India Gate, coffee at Coffee Day, books from Fact and Fiction, late conversations at Priya, quiet Sunday evenings at Italic.....

I think I’ll live here, in Delhi. The music….Aashayein……

Sunday, June 22, 2008


I don’t know what I’m in the mood for. I’m a bit of a grumpy asshole right now.

The events in the last few days have, not surprisingly, left me low. After a few crazy days of running in and out of hospitals, I finally got a slightly easy day. Dad’s better now. We chilled together this evening. He’s better but he won’t ever be what he was until a week back. He refused a drink today (thank heavens!). He promises he won’t drive (I don’t believe this one will last). He’s a brave old chappie!

So am I.

I’m off work for a few days. My absolutely wonderful team has taken the load off me, and despite all the crazy weekend work, messages me several times every day.

Any way, I don’t intend this to be a depressing post. There’s calm now. It’s a beautiful night, and although in the middle of June, still not too warm. I don’t have an agenda for this post. I’m just really sleepy. But I’ll put off sleep. There are a few things that are making me stay awake.

The songs of ‘Khuda ke liye’, and ‘Achtung Baby’ alternating as my music player toggles between the 2 CDs. Actually, its just ‘Bandey’ and ‘One’ from the respective CDs. I’m usually a big fan of FM Radio, but there’s club music playing across channels, and I’m not exactly in the mood for “Mere rab ne diya sensation blah’ or ‘Where’s the party tonight’ or Rihanna. I could do with James Blunt though.

The afterthoughts from the first half of ‘The rise and fall of the great empires’ by Paul Kennedy. I’ve read it before, 5 years back. I’ve read a lot on History, but nothing as elegantly written as this piece. It convinces me of the impermanence of what we see in the international political economy today. It’s ironical how in a relatively short period, the axes of power have turned full circle. The first time I read it, it was borrowed from the library. I own a copy now.

The smell of Aloe Vera on my feet. It’s a Crabtree & Evelyn body cream that reminds me of my Singapore days. I’ve owned it since I moved into the little apartment at Darby Park, on Orange Grove Road. The luxury was so new to me. These were my first few weeks of work. I would end each day with a hot shower in the plush bathroom, followed by 15 minutes of slathering my legs with this cream. Then there was hot Darjeeling tea (all I could do in the kitchenette was boil water) and a book totally un-related to everything else in my life. I remember I was reading The Guns of August, those days. Another one I recommend.

My friends relentlessly messaging me on Gtalk. I won’t respond. J They understand. I’ve never been chat friendly. I find people messaging me on the IM at work, the most annoying habit in people. I understand if its ‘Hey, you wanna get lunch?’ or ‘Lets head to the meeting room’. But I have no tolerance for ‘Hey, if we use 2006 revenue per bed day, will that not skew our numbers, since every else its 2007, and the discrepancy will show up in erratic value increases?’ Ok, the guy who does this a very dear friend of mine. So the annoyance is not at the person, it’s at the habit.

My Pig (I don’t have a name for him), with its head buried in the bed and its bum facing the ceiling. I have 14 Pig figurines/toys in my room. Its not a conscious obsession. Rather, it’s a protest against the discrimination against anything Porcine, by toy companies that existed when I was a girl. It was usually stuffed bears and cats and rabbits (I h-a-t-e rabbits!). Pigs have only recently been added to the toy maker’s catalogue. (Pth: Why would a restaurant call an all-chicken dish Porcini. Dad was highly disappointed with his order last week) (Pth: Megha, Porcini mushrooms!!!!!!!!!!! Sic!!! Highly embarassed of my lack of knowledge. To my credit, noone pointed it out. As I built on my knowledge base, I discovered that there are mushrooms beyond Shitake (Spelt incorrectly, I know!)

My Pictures folder, which needs to be organized. I have a photo-blog long due for updating, or rather, bringing to life. Soon.

Now I’m really sleepy. There was no purpose to this post. Just lightening the load.

Pth: The music is now Carry You Home, by James Blunt. ………………..

Sunday, June 8, 2008

25 and red!

Ask me what I did this birthday. I slept. All day.

Finally rose early evening, and decided its time for a change. My long (well this is the longest its ever been), black tresses are no longer black. I decided to take the bold step of coloring my hair red. Bold enough for someone who's hair has been the cause of 20% of her sorrows (pth: 30%-the weighing machine; 20%- guys, but this one varies significantly, has gone up to a scary 80% in post break-up times; 30%- sitting in one place for anything over 2 months, this one's nearly 90% now since I have no guy problems right now, the gym is showing its effects and my hair looks pretty good- see below).
This giant leap for my-kind actually turned out pretty neat. For someone who fears the sound snip, and has the history of always walking out of a hair salon disappointed, my tipping the stylist definitely reflects a happy birthday.

What do you think?


I’m finally there. 25, super smart, over-worked, VLNWI (very low net worth individual), proud, always trying to lose weight, emotional, loves U2, and history and big cities.

1:20 a.m on my 25th birthday. Having clocked over 90 hours this week, I should be sleeping. I’ll be off soon.

I’ve worked 12 hours today (its Saturday), consumed 2 bottles of beer, 2 glasses of scotch, and decided to sacrifice an hour of sleep to put together my wish list while my emotions are charged and my fingers aren’t complaining. So here’s what I want

Change. I’ve spent 12 of the last 15 years in Delhi. I have Delhi running in my veins. I love my city. But I think I need change now.
All the love I got from friends the last 6 months. I’m much stronger than I was earlier, but I had you by my side. I want this always. I’m greedy.
Time, to travel and read. There was a book sale at the club yesterday. I bought 26 books. I want the time to read at least 13 of them. And to get my UK visa this Monday. And the Schengen next week. And use them to visit Scandinavia and the UK.
More shoes. And I’m going to have it. The perks of busting your behind 5 days a week is you don’t deprive yourself of a single pair of shoes you really really like
Love. Well, there was this one time……………. But nevertheless. I’m convinced I came into to the world with an immense capacity to love. I want to love again. Just the way I did in the past. Unconditional, unyielding and fearless
Work, though a little less. So it’s established. I’m a workaholic. You might think I’m a hard-nosed, business suit clad, ambitious consultant, strutting along in my high heels, everyday. From 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. I’m not all that. But really, I love my job. It’s what’s kept me going despite in a really tough couple of years. I love the work I do, the people I work with, and how I successfully intertwined my work with the rest of my life, to an extent that I can never not be emotional about it. And I haven’t had enough of it. Well, maybe a little less won’t hurt

You know you’re 25 when at 12 a.m. you get fewer calls, but from every one who matters, and hardly anyone who doesn’t. All the guys who once loved (or lusted) for you, and made sure they didn’t miss the chance to call you at 12, have suddenly disappeared. Girlfriends always hang on, despite being 2.5 hours ahead. As do their sleepy boyfriends. Partners in crime who despite being overworked themselves make sure you don’t spend the day alone, and drink to the beginning of your 26th year. Family never misses this day. Old love (very short love) that could never find a way to work, but calls to wish, and , though not intending to, makes you wonder again, if it could have worked. The Partner on your case, who incidentally makes you work through the day, but texts you at 1:48 am. And some people, who somehow always remember to call you once a year, and only this once.

Its 2:15 a.m. I’m about to turn in. Pulp Fiction soundtrack in the background………Girl…’ll be a woman soon.