Friday, October 30, 2015

Noises and Voices

The week has been one of self exploration. 

Oh and it hasn't been a smooth ride. At all. I fell! quite literally, while stepping out of a meeting. We were at a Government building, recently done up in  swanky glittery marble  floors (there might have been a glow sign for the Department board, I  kid you not). So there I was, floundering on my knees (which are still ouchy btw) when a Minister steps out and he is very confused because he thinks I am paying my respects by doing the traditional pranaam by touching his feet. He confuses me for a petitioner and strides past us while my Boss helps me up to a couch and the cop standing guard, nearby, watches with a building sense of anxiety. He probably thinks there's going to be voices raised any second. 

 I do not like being the centre of attention in this way, but there are few things one can do when one's stars are aligned in a let's really embarrass this sad wimp of a girl this week kind of way. There have been many more instances but I shall not recount them here, mostly because it is agonising for someone who has been brought up on healthy doses of shame every day. 

This is something I am working through at present. 

I guess learning to laugh at myself and remembering that people are seldom really thinking about me as much as I think they are, helps, partially. Also, there are going to be accidental mistakes and revelations almost every day. There are a dozen ways of listening to what a person is saying and what they are hinting at. And I might be reading the messages wrong and a dozen other things could be misinterpreted (I am super psychotic that way). 

But if you constantly let everything get to your head, your voice and your purpose gets crowded out. So from now on, I lower the volume of what's going on outside...and tune in... to the flutter and the buzz that we constantly ignore or get distracted from. Listen to won't make sense all the time...but really.. what ever does? 

Patterns and things. I kept it black and white because it's more fun
 if you let your head decide on the colours

PS. On a more tangible note, aren't phones supposed to auto-lock themselves after a phone conversation is over ? Instead of flashing your private whatsapp conversations in your Boss's face after she's done talking to someone on your phone? I already have enabled the lock screen mode but clearly it isn't helping! In my head I have set fire to a Samsung factory which happened to have only that one dude who came up with the shitty model I am using. Because I am kind like that. 

Friday, October 16, 2015

This Is Unusual Coming From Me

Pujo  has prowled through the thicket of doldrums and is finally here! I shall not wax eloquence on the glories of the upcoming  4 days. If you have read earlier posts you'll know that it isn't the favourite time of the year for the family. There is pandemonium, there is utter madness waiting to unfurl. 

Friend:  I don't hear from you anymore. Where have you disappeared?

Me: In crowded streets and unmoving tracts of traffic...noise and lights :) 

I didn't have a choice. Work forced me to see commute at 7 in the evening- the peak office hours as they call it. I spent hours stranded in a bus... The official pujo starts Monday. But the streets are busy with eager beavers, unending shopping sprees,  groups of youngsters jostling for a quick tick of must-view pandal locations. 

And somewhere in between the seeing and the observing, I found myself quietly making my way into one of these must see pandals, of partaking the excitement of guessing the theme...of marveling at the simple fact that this one was air conditioned...who would have ever thought...and taking that customary first shot of the first viewing of the Goddess and her family- 2015 

That's when I thanked my city...for making me feel like a tourist...for infusing a sense of awe and wonder and for unfolding little bits of wisdom- Kolkata is literally all dressed up and has nowhere to go in the next days to come...and she never once sighs in impatience...not once. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Vashti- 'Hate and Murder and Madness Incarnate She Stood'

What do you do when you feel restless, annoyed and helpless beyond measure?

You cook a simple fried egg and cheese sandwich. I know it's not a genius solution. But there's immense cheering up potential there, especially if you're trying to turn into a pseudo veg person who eats fish but no meat. 

I tell everyone it's because the monk said it helps with handling anger issues. And then they raise their eyebrow and say "But you don't have anger issues." (the you is in italics because they know my mother's best friend is rage, so I couldn't possibly be my mother's daughter...I must see sense? ) And then I have to grin and not talk about all the horrible things I do when I am angry because no one likes to see cracks in things they thought were perfect or beyond flaw. 

No one likes cynics. I would be a cynic if I said, "yeah I do actually. I hurt people. I hurt myself. And in the throes of anger, I have taken reckless decisions that have affected my life in the worst possible ways." I tell them..."No I know, and that advise isn't for me per say, the monk was speaking's just something I thought I'd know..I need to lose some weight anyway." 

And then they sit back, watch the show instead of worrying about how much of it could ever be real...

Mr. Gottardo Is Doing It Right

I am celebrating a milestone you guys- I bunked work! Yay! This is a big deal. Because I have always done this thing where I've worried about how my actions would be interpreted?  So I'd end up taking the "correct" road. 

Celebrating Alessandro Gottardo 

But life will always try to hoodwink you into missing the treasures...the good parts...they're there but they've been hidden in a look-harder-look-different kind of way.

Friday, October 9, 2015

"I have measured out my life with coffee spoons..."

I shouldn't be allowed to have the time to write here. But it's Friday night and I'm screwed anyway so my exam tomorrow can suck it.

Here's the thing though? I had thought all along that the exam was on Sunday. Until my super busy doctor friend asked me what plans I had after my exam got over on Saturday and I'm like And then he's all... didn't you say it was on the 10th? Pretty sure 10th is a Saturday, Stupid. I'm paraphrasing here, but wtf me? People are going out there doing whatnot.. and I can't remember days of the week and dates correctly?!

So there I was having a panic attack because I had suddenly lost a day AND the Boss had asked me to work this Saturday. What the fuck am I going to do? (because I couldn't tell her I had an exam to sit for...that's another blog post altogether)

 So I whatsapp sourced the problem.... and everyone said "Break a leg!" That would have to be it then... "I slipped and fell in the bathroom, Boss."

Have I mentioned that I am a terrible liar? I agonised and cried over the fates....

Also the mother was missed. She is in Goa again... twice this year over a period of two months. Coolness is definitely not a genetic trait I see.

The soothsayers were being oddly cryptic today
Last weekend was indeed dramatic...the worst kind of dramatic. I am not ready to talk about it in prosaic terms...yet. 

Anyhow...the weirdest thing happened and the Boss said I wouldn't have to come in tomorrow after all..

This incident has to be the best metaphor of my whole life. And I should probably get back to the books now, instead of thinking about metaphors, life and other unimportant things....I suppose. 


Thursday, October 1, 2015


Everything is annoying me.

There is one asshole in my office. I should probably practise gratefulness and say thank God there's only just one. 

But I've been in this annoyed frame of mind for quite some time now. And this has mostly to do with the fact that I'm being asked to do certain things at work that makes me feel like I'm being taken for granted. I may be completely off the mark here but that's why I wish there was a weird work-life balance guide because I clearly suck at it. 

So maybe I need to make a list of things I am looking forward to help me get through this: 

  • Long weekend ahead (there might be a possibility that I have to work on Saturday though? Shush little voice, let me soak this in) 
  • October is here! The weather, the friends coming to town with the Pujo just around the corner and a general sense of festivity... (I never was a sucker for the Durga Pujo crowd. It's maddening, there's a reason why me and mom would pack up and leave Kolkata at this time...OMG it's like I'm not even trying) 
  • My Garden. Yes. I water plants every morning...the first thing I wake up...and some of them are doing very well. Others are going to get showered with love this weekend. 
  • Furiously Happy is available in India from October 7. Nirvana :D 
  • I am getting a haircut this weekend. Forays shall be made into adventurous territories :p 
  • We are probably getting new furniture. (WTF me?) 
  • I am mentoring kids for a business fest. (This I am really looking forward to.) 
I really need to shut up now. 

But that's life right? It can't all be funny and awesome with jazz hands alerts... your best bet is to find the good parts, shrug away the anger and... 

PS. I was on this long bus ride home and a lady boarded the bus with a huge package. Turned out it was Kans grass.  And the grass flew everywhere spreading it's gossamery whimsy all over the bus. I thought she needed it as a prop for a pandal but she said she'd found it in an abandoned plot behind her office and she just wanted to take it home and decorate. As simple as that. 
A Scene from Pather Panchali. One of my favourite books ever. Kans Grass in the background

So when I go out in the crowd during the madness that is Durga Pujo...or just any kind of crazy gathering really, and feel like I am losing my head, I will think back to this woman and how we're all carrying our awkward packages not because that's our job but because sometimes it's what we decorate our lives around.