Wednesday, July 29, 2009

So me

Every morning, for many many months, I have been having the same breakfast. 2 slices of wheat germ bread, with half a sliced tomato in between. And every time I have it, I land up in this blissful state. Its not because of how awesome it tastes (Its tomato after all), but because it totally defines the morning. It totally defines my morning.

Giving it company is a Medium Americano from Costa, which I pick up on my way to work. I no longer place my order at Costa. They see me and make it. That's not great when you wonder if its because how little your likes change.

I'm in a pretty demanding job but still, the first thing I do on plugging my computer in is check for news updates, Google homepage to see if they have a cool Google logo celebrating some random event that falls on this day (Loved the eclipse- see below) and highheelconfidential to pat my back for dressing better than these chicks, although with much less money. I used to check facebook, but I don't live there any more.

Without ever planning this out, I spend at least 15 minutes each morning looking up places I want to visit, ticket fares and do a mental roundup of people who may be interested in coming along with me. Yesterday it was Jaipur. And earlier this week it was Portugal, D.C and Palo Alto. The latter two seem realistic since there's a longish trip to the States coming up. This morning I looked up Portugal again.

I keep several moisturizers on my desk, and these are from all over the world. Of the 4 of them, 3 are largely unused. They have the candy-store/romantic night out smell. I always pick the almond hand cream, because it has no fragrance. I had bought this myself, in Singapore, when a colleague told me that hands are the first to show signs of aging.

Then, just before I start work, I check calorie counters to see how bad the tomato sandwich is for me. I do this every day. The answer is always ~150 calories (73 per slice of bread, and about 10 for the Tomato)

By now- 9:00 am- every day, people start to come in. I pull out my ear phones, turn on the music and tune in to work.

The first song on the list today is Deliver Me, by Sarah Brightman (Brokedown Palace OST). Its my good morning present to you.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Star People Dreams

I had a difficult day. Its noone, or nothing, just that the impending conflict between my value system and my work has finally starting making itself visible. Its not a conflict on ethics or integrity, but one on dreams and freedom.

I've dreamt my whole life....I've dreamt of stars...of staying awake all night....staying awake all night running across the horizon...running across the horizon trying to catch stars....precious, shining stars.

My dreams aren't crushed, just pressed down.

I'm off to bed......and hope that tomorrow some of these will shout out and overwhelm everything else

Saturday, July 18, 2009


There's something fulfilling about getting a man to shop, all the way from T-shirts, shirts, trousers, shoes and colgnes. Of course, its even better when you manage to come back home with two pairs of shoes. Well deserved though, for I who haven't shopped much in the last 6 months. By the end of it, I think I did a pretty good job getting someone a makeover. Not like he needed it much, but it was a great afternoon any way....or as I like to say it, our!day!of!fun! (Remember- Janice and Joey's day!of!fun!).

After many many days of crazy work hours, I pulled out an hour of intense yoga. Have I ever told you what a difference yoga made to my life? Its definitely the best thing I've done all year....and I've never loved myself as much as I do now.

After many many days of crazy work hours, I blocked out the evening for mum and papa. The folks aren't particularly fond of fine dining, or music too loud, and this time they didn't want to go to the Golden Dragon (we've been going there for nearly 20 years...). So we decided to go to Potpourri in CP, more because I wanted to head out of the stiff upper lipped part of town. I'm quite bored of seeing pretty South Delhi women looking like clones of each other and men, all of whom keep their hair gelled up, and talk about boring holidays to the Maldives, or how they love their expat groups. I wanted to see real people. Like who I will eventually turn out to be like, after all the conflicting influences in my life make peace and reach a beautiful equilibrium. So, Potpourri. Papa had a Mutton ragout, while mum and I went for the salad and soup (and err dessert) buffet. We had a dinner full of to thank the universe for landing me in an awesome family.

I'm turning in now....listening to Summer Wine, by Bono and the Corrs. Pure awesomeness.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Meet the star

Its Monday morning and I can already see people getting whiney in their Facebook status messages, about work and Monday and bosses. Remember what I felt about people's expressions on their way to work at the start of the week. I see a lot of volatality in people- like things are in a constant state of 'not working out' or 'this isn't what I want'. I don't crib much but even then, its natural for me to wonder if I'm living my life well. Here's something I read, and realized (surprisingly) I have satisfying responses to each of these questions. Enough of a reason to be happy? I think so...

If you knew you had a year (and no more) to live...

Would you still be doing the job you do today?
Yes, if I were working I would be doing this. I think I'd do it for 6 months, because I still do love the place, and the places it takes me to. The other 6 months, I wouldn't do a 'job'. I would see all that I have wanted to see and not been able to. I'd take my companions along. I'd provide free advice to Papa. I would write. I would learn to take better pictures. I would make clay models. Or grow flowers.

Would you still keep the grudges you hold against those you haven't yet forgiven?

At this point I don't think I have any grudges. There have been people I was very very upset with- those who knew they were going to hurt me, but didn't know they were going to break me. Once I healed, I also figured they didn't do any of it intentionally, and would not be happy to know they did indeed break me. I forgave long back, but it took me a while to forget. But I don't need to forget, do I? And no, no grudges! In any case, happy phases are highly over-rated. Dark phases have a charm no happy phase can match. Goya's dark phase brought out his talent on the canvas- and he left so much for the world. My dark phase made me beautiful. (And yes, I do like art too. I don't know much, but passable)

Would you still visit your family as rarely as you do?

I couldn't be closer to my family. Even when I'm traveling lots, I always call home. Nearly everyday. I figured if I am fortunate enough to have 2 best friends in my parents, I'm not going to alienate them. We're a fun lot, and find enough happiness in each other to keep ourselves inspired about life. I have known people who have not had great relationships at home, but touchwood, my folks and I get along awesome. Except!when!it!comes!to!shaadi!

Would you still be comfortable with the figurative distance you and the sibling have developed over time?

Vani and I are NOT distant. Vani, answer? I love you, and I love fighting with you, and I love when you buy me nice clothes, and I love getting drunk on wine with you, and I love asking you not to smoke, and I love you so much!

Would you still be whining about the little things?

Do you think I whine about little things? Do I whine? My natural state is quite a kickass one, may be more than required. So no, I don't whine. Except when my parents start asking me about my shaadi plans. Then, I whine, and I cry and I sob.

Would you still hold off on that phone call to the friend you haven't heard from in years?

Yes, I would. Totally. If I had just one year, I would need to be close to those who have been around the last few years, those who have held me together. I'd spend all my time with them because the thought of having only a year with them breaks me. Why would I call those who I haven't heard from? If I had 5 years, then may be. But 1 year is too short.

Would you still be saving up enough money for when you can finally start doing what you know will make you truly happy?

Touchwood, but I'm doing exactly what makes me truly happy. I wanted to live my twenties defying conventional Indian expectations and yet preserving those that matter a lot to me. That's my goal for my twenties- living beautifully....dancing when I want to, having a point of view, traveling the world, and traveling every weekend, writing, being fit enough to climb a mountain (small mountain), working in an intellectual environment and not getting pulled down by higher paying or may be even more glamourous opportunities (not because they aren't good, but because they don't matter to me), driving on highways, reading the best works of the most accomplished people, loving like there's no tomorrow, and still getting ample sleep. Yes, no world-changing goals, although with all this, I do end up making some difference to people's lives.

I feel like a star today, thank you very much. How do you feel?

Have you heard Dhan ta nan from Kaminey? Love it!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


I'm missing old days. I'm missing KL. Its one of my favourite places in the takes me back to some precious days...a few years back..

In 2007, from Feb to June, I lived in KL. I had my apartment in Singapore but my case took me to Malaysia, and within a few days I figured I'd be happier getting an apartment there rather than moving in and out of hotels. The idea was to spend 5 days a week there, but soon I stopped going back. I would stay back on weekends. Or often I would fly out to other parts of South East Asia. I didn't have much in Singapore- its a plastic, lego city. Its orderly, but its like a board game- easy, mechanical, sanitized. KL is real, like me. It isn't always beautiful. Its filled with extremes. It is not always classy, but it isn't always trashy either. It has its flashy manifestations of progress, but it has its quaint, underdeveloped pockets. It is not comfortable, but it is real. It isn't exactly visitors' paradise. It has no beaches, no mountains....its not a party town, its not as touristy...but its incredible!

My time in KL was incredible, for all that it gave me....

...for the cozy apartment at Bukit Ceylon- facing the towers, yet not too close to them

...for the golden triangle that always buzzed with activity. It wasn't packed with shoppers and club-goers. It had normal people, like you and I, hanging out, for coffee, beer, food

...for Finnegans, the Irish pub, and my poker buddies I met there

...for allowing me to fit in to the city as if it were my own

...for making me realize, for the first time, I love solitude and found unbelievable happiness in being alone

...for Papa's 4 hours stop-over at the airport, stuffed pizza and beer, and the bottle of Cognac

...for Papa's four day visit, and how much I cried when he left

...for making the F1 race with AZ and Rohit happen

...for Mukri, the loyal cabbie, who would find me regardless of place or time or accessibility

...for the wonderful evenings spent with the best case team ....ever!

...for the massive amounts of food at China town, when friends visited

...for the towers that I was practically in a relationship with

...for helping me not get hurt by pfaff lovers (Delhi runied it!)- remember the 'Sorry, I slept with some girl crap', that didn't hurt me, because I was too much in love with how I was living my life

...for making me love the firm (Delhi runied it!)

...for enabling me to see that part of the world

...for how innocently scared I was to spend more than a certain amount on an outfit, because I hadn't been brought up to visit malls 'for fun!'

...for how BB and I became good friends around the same time, co-incidentally (people do like me more while I'm away)

...for the beef paranthas and noodle soup available for less than 10 RM at Mamak stores

...for so many lonely, but beautiful nights spent staring at the sky from the balcony

...for phone cards

...for several dinners, had alone, at the sushi place downstairs

...and for how thankful I was, every time Mukri drove me to the airport, that it wasn't the final departure.

And then one day, I left. I thought I would be back, but it hasn't happened ever since.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Woh Chali Woh Chali

Bombay, Bangalore/Chicago, Ananda Spa....3 promising weekends, which means I MUST do my expenses today. The only (and I swear only) reason I would want to get promoted to Manager is to get an assistant to do all the bitchwork.

It rained last night, and its such a beautiful morning! I'm listening to Woh Chali, remember, the Bombay Vikings.