Life's Like That

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Of nothing in particular...

Life is very peaceful and happy...well not really...but I am feeling very peaceful and happy anyways. Not to mention sleepy. I just figured out that next month I will have 10 events on one client alone...across India. Plus one more event in Bangalore for another client. Then in February I will have one more mega event. Everybody concerned is freaking out right now trying to figure out how to manage all this work and ensure everything goes off well. Everybody except me i.e. I think I stressed out as much as I could during the briefing, Im beyond all of that right now. Whatever will be will be!! Realizing that stress cannot make things better is a wonderful feeling...you feel very happy and peaceful!
Anyways, some snippets from my fascinating life for your reading pleasure:
  • My mother called up very excitedly from Sri Lanka to inform me that she has hugged a python...a real live one. "Khub aanshte gondho aar besh thanda bujhli, aar ektu heavy, but quite peaceful." (has a fishy smell and is quite cold, and is slightly heavy) was her rivetting insight into the look and feel of pythons. She has apparantly posed for a photograph with this snake, so I shall, in due course of time post that here. My father, when I spoke to him had a very resigned attitude towards this whole episode. I suppose he is quite used to my mother's eccentricities after being married to her for over 30 years. Ma was rather disgusted with the lack of enthusiasm on both my father and my sisters part towards any activities involving snakes.
  • My aunt called me from Darjeeling to tell me that they had locked themselves out of their hotel room and were slowly freezing to death while the management tries to find the hotel keys. I suppose she felt that she should speak to her near and dear ones before she died but I did not appreciate being woken up at 1. am at night to be told this.
  • The combined effect of these phone calls was that I got depressed about being in Bangalore (as opposed to partying with snakes in Sri Lanka or freezing to death in Darjeeling) and so I ate brownies and plum cake and insisted on Rahul telling me what a nice girl I am and how horrible his life would be if I wasnt a part of it. (Now that I think about it, he looked very stony and grim faced throughout)
  • I watched The Phantom of the Opera, Veer Zaara and Bluffmaster over the weekend. Loved the first, fell asleep halfway through the second and enjoyed the last. The phantom was quite sexy, Shahrukh looked weird and acted badly as always, Riteish Deshmukh was surprisingly good and Abhishek was.....yummy!!!
  • My parents met Rahuls parents last week and everybody liked everybody else and got along really well. My father of course couldnt stop himself from talking about how useless I am in the kitchen and how disorganised/messy I am and how he cannot imagine me managing a clean comfortable household. Much to my mothers relief, uncle and aunty found it tremendously funny and according to her "took it in the right spirit".
  • Now everybody (except Rahul) is highly excited about the wedding. The fact that it will most likely happen only at the end of next year has not stopped people in my family from discussing what they will wear (my sister wants a Indo Western white lehenga outfit if you please! I have no idea what exactly she means) , what I will wear ( I have no thoughts on this topic right now) whether the rituals will be Bong style or Punju style,(Bong style involves that horrendous topor so Im rooting for Punju style) whether the groom will arrive on horseback( everybody except I thinks it would be great fun) and most importantly what food to serve (I have tons of things to suggest here if only people would listen to me).
  • I have goofed up very badly (Stop asking what else is new!! grr) on the Coorg trip. All I had to do was book tickets. So I happily went and got tickets to Coorg, but not from...as in tickets for going there but not returning. the boy realized this fact day before yesterday when I proudly showed him the tickets and called me scatterbrained and sent me back, but by then all return tickets were sold out. Now we have 2 one way tickets , a resort reservation and no idea how to get back.
  • My boss is making smoochy noises at a Channel V calender featuring semi naked women, Im rather traumatised as a result.

I cannot think of anything else to write so I shall stop and thank you all for patiently reading till now and....ooooooh...I do have 3 questions I would like answered:

  • Is a baby fish called a fishling? Or a fishlet? If not then what the heck is it called??
  • How does one ensure that paneer soaks up the masala properly and does not remain un masala fied on the inside while becoming very well masala fied on the outside?
  • How does one cook mushrooms? Do you need to boil them or fry them before adding to the masala? Or do you just cut and wash and directly add?

My mother is busy cavorting around with snakes around her neck in a far off land, therefore Im having to cook for myself. And although I am quite untalented in this department I am also unfortunately very ambitious, therefore I find it difficult to stick to simple things like eggs and alu. Have truckloads of mushrooms at home and would like to get rid of them before they spoil...so please help.

Thank you in advance.

Happy New Year to all of you. See you all in 2006. Ta.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Pajama party

It should be illegal to make people work on the Friday before Christmas! I am not motivated to do anything. I have been thinking about plum cake all day. I would like very much to go home right now, eat plum cake and then sleep.

Anyways, I have nothing significant to write about...maane I do, come to think of it, but am too lazy to do any such thing right now...so will just ramble on about nothing in particular.

Had a pajama party of sorts last night after a verrrry long time. Its so much fun to do all girly girly things every now and then.

What happened was that my family has taken off to Sri Lanka for a holiday. And I am alone at home. And the flat below ours is being renovated and therefore our half empty building is full of weird mistiry type people. And a few nights back, this one mistiry came and started banging on our door with full force...rattling the doorknob and everything. My mother's panicky cries of "Kaun hai"(please to be reading with horrendous Bangla accent) got no response. We peeped out of this window that looks out over the landing and saw this vague man in green lungi standing outside the door. After much shouting of "kaun hai, kya chaihiye" he looked blankly at us and went away.

Anyways, the point is that the whole thing was rather weird and scary. And my mother being highly paranoid( she insists on checking for thieves under all beds before going to sleep every night. Though what she will do if she actually finds one one of these days I really dont know) freaked. She is convinced that the man has somehow come to know that our flat has no male inhabitant and was trying to break in and rape maim rob kill etc. ( I dont know why she feels my father's presence will discourage all miscreants...he is a small non macho Bangali man afterall) . The possibility that he might have been drunk and might have confused the flats did not occur to her ( "dekhei bojha jachchilo bodh uddeshhe eshechilo" was her response to my suggestion. Translation: one look at him and you would know he was planning something bad). Anyways, she insisted that I dont stay alone at home while they are gone. (To be honest I was also a leeetle bit unnerved by the incident and agreed very quickly).

The point to all of this is that last night I stayed at Rahuls place with his brother V and sis in law N. V was away at an office party and Rahul was in Chennai..so N and I decided to do stuff we dont normally get to do...like watch girlie movies and eat fancy bread and cutlets for dinner, and put face packs on our faces and paint nails, discuss how amazingly disgusting/irresponsible/irritating V and Rahul are (e.g. of disgusting behaviour: sometime back when N was away, they washed their shoes and floaters in the washing machine!!! I was told that I was being stupid when I walked in on this and almost fainted and that noone ever made a rule that a washing machine must only be used to wash clothes. To my complaints that the machine was smelling, V told me very firmly that I was hallucinating!! N is yet to recover from the shock I gave her when I told her about this incident).

We also watched the new Pride and Prejudice. And HATED it. Its seriously bad. Anyone who has watched the BBC one starring *drooools* Colin Firth, will agree with me in saying this was really really bad. Keira Knightley is skinny. She is also very giggly and flightly. She would have made a better Lydia than Elizabeth. Bingley looks strange. Mr. Collins is not as ridiculous and sickening as he is supposed to be, the man who essayed the role in the BBC was soooo much better, this fellow tries too hard and fails miserably. The sets are strangely shabby and lack the sense of grandeur that Jane Austen's writing evokes. The editing is bad, the story moves forward in fits and starts, the clothes are shabby, someone should ahve brushed Keira Knightleys hair before shooting, it looks messy most of the time.

The worst part of the movie is Mr. Darcy. Where Colin Firth looked like the charecter was written with him in mind, this man(am too lazy to link names) looks like a ugly block of wood. Colin Firth (besides being INCREDIBLY HOTTTTT) looked proud and arrogant and yet in love with Lizzy Bennet. This fellow looks stony and scowls throughout. There is ZERO chemistry between Keira Knightley and the new Mr. Darcy. Their repartee is shallow and boring...unlike the old movie where the scenes between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy ooze chemistry. II developed a major crush on Mr. Darcy the very first time I read Pride and Prejudice; (I do know he is a fictional charecter, but Ive always had crushes on fictional charecters) a crush that deepened into love(not to mention lust) when I saw Colin Firth in that role(ooooooooooohhhhhhh). This fellow was a disgrace. Lovers of Colin Firth and Mr. Darcy please do avoid this one.

Ki aar bolbo. N and I stopped watching halfway through the movie and went to sleep very dejected and sad about the whole Darcy debacle. We should have just watched the BBC original, eaten ice cream and drooled all over the place.

Other than that, I had a very nice girl's night out (or night in..considering we stayed home and all) Tonight, I shall stay in my own house since I will have company. Tonight I will also attend an office party with (hopefully) loads of free alcoholic beverages, and nice food and everything. Tomorrow I shall sleep till 1 p.m.(or more) , then go and eat chicken roll (dont know why but I havvvve to have chicken roll from Lazeez), then drink some more and sleep some more. Sunday I shall again wake up as late as possible and eat brunch at Koshys (I want to eat something involving turkeys..never tasted turkey before), then eat lots of plum cake, buy a Santa Claus hat and watch Bluffmaster and then sleep. I like to plan ahead..makes you feel better about life in general.

I shall go and demand coffee now, Merry Christmas to all. Have fun this weekend(even those unfortunate children who have exams...*hugs*). Goodbye. God Bless.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Security...

Pratibha Shrikanth Murthy was probably like any other woman in the city. Newly married, happy with life,one among the thousands that comprise the BPO workforce in Bangalore. Till one night, the driver of her cab decided to take a detour instead of taking her to office and rape and kill her. A bright young life snuffed out just like that because of one man's perversion.
I don't know what to write really. A lot has been written about the case in the newspapers. I don't even know where to begin. The overwhelming feeling at this stage is one of utter shock. That and "it could have been anyone...even me". I don't work in a call centre, I dont need to go to office at 2 a.m. I do however have to attend late evening events that go on till late night. If the event goes on till very late we are encouarged to hire cabs instead of going home by autos. So much safer than autos you see. God! It could have happened to any one of my friends and colleagues. My friend SR used to handle all sorts of events that would go on till very late and she would always take a cab back home which is beyond the back of nowhere. It could have been her. It could have been me or RS on our way home from the client party just a month back. Scary isnt it? All the more so because it happened to a call centre employee. ..arent call centres supposed to have all these really great security measures like pick ups and drop etc to ensure the safety of thweir workforce?? Organsations like mine have no such rule...if this could happen to a call centre employee, what are the chances of it happening to someone who works a job like mine?
What do we do now? We cannot stop working or attending these events. Forget events, what about life outside of work?? Should we stop going out after work because someone somewhere might be mentally sick and hell bent on rape and murder?
The Bangalore police issued a statement yesterday(appeared in TOI Page 7, dont have the clip right now) in which they suggest a broad code of conduct for the city's women. And guess what tops the list? Yep!! You got it right: "Dress decently", . It always always ALWAYS boils down to that doesnt it?? Can someone please please tell me what constitutes "decent dressing"? I have no idea, since women clad in burkhas are not necessarily spared the torture of rape. The Bangalore police went on to elucidate that their suggestions were by no means any attempts at moral policing, just genuine concern for the city's female population and an attempt to explain to us that drivers and such like belong to a certain socioeconomic background where "free mixing between the sexes" and "certain modes of dressing" can lead to unacceptable behaviour (or words to that effect). BULLSHIT!!! How indecently can a woman going to work be dressed?? Call centre or not Im sure employees cant walk into work dressed in micro minis and bikini tops!! How long, just how long will this "dress decently to avoid being molested" attitude persist?
People whose opinion I used to respect have said things to the effect of "Why do these girls need to go out at all odd hours of the night to work anyways? What kind of a job is it?" Without trying to defend the call centre culture and the associated odd hours, I hardly think thats the question oen should be asking right now. how can so called educated so called liberated peoplwe ask such stupid questions? The question here is of overall security for women. Judging from all reports, HP failed miserably to ensure the safety of its employee. Consider this:
  • This guy was not the regular driver. He arrived a little before time and said that the regular driver was ill and he was substituting. There was no intimation from HP to Pratibha on the same. Apparantly there was no such system.
  • The regulard river arrived only to find Pratibha going away in another car. He called her and was told that a substitute had picked her up.
  • The regular driver called the HP desk and reported this. However noone from HP got in touch with Pratibha's family till late evening despite the fact that after being picked up by a different driver she had not reported in for work.
  • Apparantly this guy, Shivakumar had tried the same trick on some other women who had refused to go with him. He apparantly had a list of women employees and their contact details..a list of potential victims..this is probably the most serious breach of security yet.
  • Apparantly Shivakumar had a record of misbehaviour, yet he was not taken off the commuter service.

Its a case of shocking negligence and callousness. Yet most people seem to be more concerned with the working hours of call centres which(apparantly) lead to such crimes.

A lot of hue and cry is happening over the security (or lack of it) of BPO employees. My point is...its not just BPO's...its every woman everywhere who is at risk. It does not even have to be late at nite for an incident like this to occur. Call centres are apparantly beefing up security.How about the rest of us who dont work erratic hours in call centres? Who have regular jobs which sometimes require us to return home late at night? Or what about those of us who just want to go for a late night movie or go to pub after work? What should we do?

I dont know what the solution is. I do know that the Bangalore Police cannot be trusted to help. Its each to her own now. I for one will start taking the car when I have to go for late night events. Or insist on being dropped home by a male colleague or a friend. And hope and pray I reach home safe and sound.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

I want to marry a millionnaire

I'm back at work today, looking very much like a studious owl in my spectacles. Eyes are much better, and doc has given the green signal to go ahead and return to office provided I don't wear my lenses and continue with the drops.

Which is all very well. But I have been swamped with work. I have been told that I will have to handle 2 more clients, and scale up the amount of work happening on existing clients. I have churned out 6 PR plans and recommended activity plans from morning, I have made countless phone calls and I have seriously considered suggesting to my daft client that she should try to grow half a brain( growing one full brain would be a physical impossibility for this person, trust me). Im yet to meet a more harebrained woman.

Everything considered, I have come to the conclusion that I should have thought more carefully and practically when accepting Rahul's proposal. I dont need to be marrying a penniless advertising person. I need to be marrying a rich industrialist. Someone with pots and pots of money!

I want to quit my job right now. I want to be a rich housewife. I don't mind being a slightly desperate housewife as long as I can be a rich one. I want to spend the rest of my life going to kitty parties, and PTA meetings. Ideally the biggest problems in my life should be what dress to wear to Mrs. So and So's dinner party tonight, and not "How can I get media coverage for this brainless foolish activity that the brainless foolish client wants to implement?" .

I don't think I can sit at home all day, Im far too restless and easily bored for that...so I think I would like to associate with some glamorous charity.. nothing that would require me to visit dirty muddy slums, naturally..nope something nice and posh, where other people do all the actual dirty work, but I go to all the charity dinners and help organise celeb functions and wear expensive clothes and make appearances at these functions.

I would also spend a lot of time on my appearance. Expensive gyms, beauty parlours etc would be an integral part of my daily routine. From time to time I would accompany my rich industrialist husband on his business trips abroad where I would go sightseeing and shopping (Im not too fond of shopping, but I understand that one must shop when one is abroad). I would go to Kolkata every single year for Durga Pujo, I would visit my friends across the country whenever I felt like (as opposed to now, when Im demanding that people tell me their wedding dates at least 2 months in advance so that I can manage leave and tickets). I would also have a huuuuge library and books whenever I felt like without having to worry about being broke. I would also sit in Barista in the middle of a weekday and sip coffee and read (something I see people doing when Im on a media round, and feel incredibly jealous of).

Siiiigh. If only....

There are two problems I can think of that would come in the way of realising this dream:

a) Why on earth would a rich industrialist want to marry me when they can marry a filmstar or a model??

b) Rahul.

Lets just ignore the first problem for the time being, Im sure with little bit of effort and loads of makeup etc a drunk, old and balding industrialist could be persuaded into mistaking me for Bipasha Basu. (ok ok...enough of the sniggering)

The second problem is slightly more difficult to solve. Unfortunately for my dreams of a rich housewife lifestyle, I happen to love this dysfucntional penniless child a lot. Also, Im worried that if I don't do him the favour of marrying him, noone else will.(hehe..seriously! stop laughing) Poor boy. Therefore, after much deliberation, I have come to the conclusion that there are only two ways in which this can be solved to the satisfaction of all concerned:

a) Rahul has to find a way of becoming incredibly rich in a very short amount of time. A.S.A.P!! His methods dont need to be honest and straghtforward.As long as he becomes rich enough for me to be the kind of rich housewife I said I want to be, Im happy. I wont let moral judgement come in the way.

b) I find some other rich industrialist (preferably old fat and balding, with poor eyesight and with a tendency of getting drunk quickly...would make my job of convincing him that Im Bipasha Basu a lot easier), marry him, and have an extramarital affair with Rahul. Now that would be fun. The rich industrialist would be very a very busy man and he would keep travelling a lot, making life sooo much easier for us. Of course, he being really old etc, would die ina few years time after having made a will leaving all his riches to me. Then Rahul and I will legitimise our relationship and live in the lap of luxury happily ever after!

I do come up with such brilliant ideas really. *look of self admiration on bespectacled face*

While you guys think over which is the best plan of action for me to follow, I shall get back to work and finish this foolish ridiculous nonsensical plan and send it to one of the many nonsensical clients in my life. Once we have a clear majority on the preferred course of action, I shall set about trying to implement it...or getting Rahul to implement it, whichever the case maybe.

Am feeling so much happier with my life...there is hope after all!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Update

Right now, I have a striking resemblence to an owl. Not the pretty snowy Hedwig type of owl, mind you, rather the tawny ugly fat barn owl. I have a terrible eye infection and am not allowed to wear to my lenses. Therefore I am forced to wear my spectacles...which because of the antique frame and the thick lenses (what else do you expect when your power is -11?) makes me look like an owl. I cant wear my lenses for 10 days. I am also not allowed to read, watch tv, or use the comp or do anything that would involve straining my eyes. I spent all of yesterday either sleeping or staring at the ceiling, and I cannot bring myself to repeat that again today...hence the brief return to blogging (I really have nothing worthwhile to say).
In other news, Im happy to report that a compromise has been reached regarding our activities during the New Years weekend. We shall indeed go to Coorg, but not live in a tent or some other horrible thing. We shall stay in a nice resort and do adventurous stuff during the day, only to return to the comfort of loos and animal free rooms and the like. New Years eve shall be spent drinking vodka and orange juice, not worrying about leeches and snakes and panthers. We have found a nice and affordable resort too and have done lots of begging and pleading over the phone for a room. The management has finally taken pity on us and agreed to accomodate us.
In yet other news, our great Karnataka government has decided that infrastructure and MNCs leaving the state and the floods and ..oh so many other things..are not as important as rechristening the city. The return to our roots in terms of nomenclature shall miraculously do away with all other evils plaguing the city and help in boosting the average Bangaloreans morale...hold it!! should it be Bangalorean or Bengulurean??? This is a exceptionally nicely written piece which expresses the average Bangalorean's(or Bengulurean's) feelings very well.
My eyes are beginning to hurt a little bit, so I shall now go and look at the walls (as opposed to the ceilings you see). Bye bye.
PS: Death wanted to know about the last dream I had...so here goes. I dreamt I had taken a journalist to this client of mine for a demo on Botox. And the doctor decided that I would be the best candidate on whom to demonstrate the medical powers of Botox (though my client is involved only in the cosmetic aspects). And she forced me into a chair and and strapped me in very tightly so that I couldnt run away and proceeded to inject Botoz into my hands...on the backs of my palms, near the thumbs, while I screamed and wailed and said that I would much rather live with sweaty palms than go through this. After 6 injections, she was getting ready for a second round when I woke up. Thank god.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

On the Nature trail

Conversation from last night:
Me: Hey, lets go somewhere during that New years weekend , its been a long time since we went anywhere
Rahul: *snapping out of his half asleep state and sounding verrry enthusiastic* Yeah lets!! Great idea.
Me: *taken aback by unusual show of enthusiasm but determined to make most of rare opportunity* So where do you wanna go?? I was thinking maybe Mangalore, or Pondy, or if you want the mountains then maybe Ooty...
R: No no..lets go on a weekend trek to Bandipur. Or Coorg...yeah trekking in Coorg will be fantastic!! I know someone who can help us organise this.
Stunned silence for 2 minutes.
Me: *appreciably less enthusiastic tone* erm..yes..Bandipur..trek..but sweetie think of the cheap booze in Pondy, or the yumm homemade chocolates in Ooty...or umm..the seafood in Mangalore...did I say cheap booze in Pondy...??
R: No no..Im telling you Coorg will be amazing... Trekking will be fun, we might even get to see some real big animals!!!Ill make all the arrangements.
Erm...this is the first time that this boy has been excited about anything enough to offer to make all arrangements...Im thinking its a good thing and I should go with the flow....BUT....a trek???? In the jungle?? Where there are animals?? Not to mention creepy crawly creatures ?? Is it reeeeaaaallly such a good idea???
Don't get me wrong. I belive strongly in wildlife conservation. I have never been cruel to any animal in all my life. I like cats and dogs (although not very large scary dogs like Alsatians or Dobermans or bulldogs..they scare the life out of me) I used to feed squirrels in Purulia where I also once owned a small black baby rabbit for a brief period of time...and I worked for almost two years in an office where they had 6 cats and a dog...we coexisted very peacefully indeed.
BUT....this is wildlife in the wild that we are talking about. I like Nature...but at a distance. I'm perfectly willing to sit on a balcony and look at Nature outside and get lyrical about the trees, the leaves, the monkeys and what have you. I just don't understand the need to go traipsing about in the middle of all that. The idea of sleeping in a small tent under a tree ( from which snakes and other creepy crawlies might drop on ones head) does not appeal to me. And call me finicky, but I need a nice clean western style loo...I cannot answer Natures call in the middle of a freaking jungle behind a freaking bush!!
Not to mention the animals and the reptiles and the amphibians and the birds and the insects!!!!
I mean, look at it this way, how would you like it if a couple of chimpanzees decided to drop into your living room to be one with you?? I bet you wouldnt be very pleased at the intrusion and you would jump up and down and scream "hat hat"( pronounced exactly like that and it is the Bangla equivalent of shoo shoo) and flap your arms at them till they left. Right?? So what gives us the right to intrude into their space?
If I were a tiger living in the wilderness of Bandipur I wouldnt be very happy with Rahul and Ron suddenly jumping into my jungle living room to see me. I would probably roar terrifyingly at them (which would cause Ron to have a quiet and immediate heart attack and die, I dont know about Rahul) till they ran away (though in Ron's case, she would be too terrified to run or, more likely, dead, as a result of that quiet heart attack. Actually the mere presence a tiger would cause Ron to have a heart attack, I wouldnt need to roar) or if I were really hungry I would probably want to change my boring diet of deer and cows(or whatever tigers eat) and want to snack on Ron and Rahul ( though R and R would probably constitute a very heave meal even for a tiger). Not a very pleasing thought is it?
I was explaining all this to my mother, and also telling her about the possibility of snakes attacking us,( have you ever wondered what would happen if a snake bit your behind as you went about answering Natures call behind the bushes? How the hell would you tie it up to prevent the poison from spreading? No, dont be grossed out at the mental pic..think about it..really) She of course snapped "Bokar moto kotha bolo na, sheetkaale shaap ghumoiye, oder kheye deye kaaj nei eshe tomake kamrabe! And bagh ki emni emni jekhane shekhane ghure berai naaki, je tomader dhore kheye felbe? If you dont bother them they will not harm you"( Dont be silly snakes hibernate in winter and tigers dont just roam around to eat you up).
This should have been reassuring..but then again this is my MOTHER....she is slightly crazy about Nature. She once sat peacefully beside a pond and watched a large snake swim across the water towards her, instead of shrieking at the top of her voice and running far far away.( "UFF!! If I screamed and created a commotion it would have been frightened, it was soo pretty, I didnt want to frighten it" was her reaction to my suggestion) She waited till it was within striking distance of her, at which point luckily the snake decided against attacking her and went off in the opposite direction. She also dragged a very reluctant 7 year old me to the big peyara gach (guava tree)behind our Purulia bari to show me a mammoth bee hive!! I still remember the angry buzzing noise those bees were making, there were 1000s of them. And my mother kept pushing me towards the hive(within about 100 feet of it) "kach theke dakh ki daroon"(look closely how amazing), the danger that I, her only daughter(at that time) faced of being stung to death by 1000s of bees didnt seem to have occured to her. Thankfully my instincts of self preservation were very strong even at that tender age and I howled at the top of my voice and screamed "na na chede daooo( no no lemme go) till she digustedly let go of me. She still refers to that incident to demonstrate my lack of courage spunk!!
Anyways, the point is that trekking, according to me is a reeeaaaallly bad idea. If you are dying to watch wildlife and all that watch National Geographic, or watch Animal Planet. Crazy people on those channels go around enthusiastically putting their hands into dark holes to drag out the most poisonous snakes known to mankind for your viewing pleasure. ( ne crazy man allowed a python to wrap itself around his arm and then cheerfully showed us how the arm was turning blue because the snake was cutting off his circulation). I mean have a thought for their efforts. They are risking their lives just so you can sit in your nice comfortable wildlife free living room and experience life on the wild side!!
But trying to convince Rahul of all this will be a very uphill task I think. He will probably laugh at me and join hands with my mother in teasing me and calling be rude names (Ma, Im NOT an unadventurous hopeless twit!I just happen to greatly value my creature comforts, not to mention my life, like most normal human beings should!!Also I think we should give animal life their privacy! So there!) I am very distressed about this. I really dont want to spend New years Eve worrying about scorpions and panthers. Cant we go to Pondy , drink cheap vodka get drunk and watch the fascinating life stories of scorpions and panthers on Animal Planet instead?? Please??

Monday, December 05, 2005

Nice girls finish last!

I'm a rather nice person. No really. I'm nice. (I do snap at people from time to time, but these are mostly friends who have known me for many years and know that snapping is a form of self expression for me or...in the case of Annoying Man, someone who irritates me beyond belief). On the whole, specially at work, I'm mostly sweet and funny and good tempered and helpful and oh! so nice!! (I do not think too much of myself so stop saying so)
And I'm sick of it.
Noone takes me seriously!! Branch offices feel free to treat me as a sweet little distraction not to be taken seriously. My mails are ignored, noone feels the need to revert to me...I chase ALL of them with endless phone calls and "Guys I HAVE To revert to the client...tell me na whats the status on XYZ activity?" Today (in fact just about 15 minutes ago) I discovered that I am also incapable of writing really stinking stinkers to incompetent irresponsible donkeys who richly deserve it. I don't like to use strong words, and I am strangely reluctant to mark mails to the unfortunate bosses of the aforementioned donkeys. *I would now like to take a minute off from blogging and box my own ears for this idiotic behaviour.*
I can't say no to people. As a result I end up doing extra work that people bum off on me!
I insist on being helpful...even with people who don't deserve it. Consider this:
Last year,someone I knew several years ago and had serious issues with, moved into town. At one point in my life, I had shifted cities thanks to the way this person(lets call her A shall we?) behaved. I went through my worst phase of lonliness and depression thanks to A. I thought I was rid of this indiviual forever. Then A moved to Bangalore... and as fate would have it, we were in the same office. A behaved as if nothing had ever gone wrong between us. I, being nice (aaarggh) behaved the same way with A. A spent Christmas weekend at my house because A could not stand the thought of being lonely. I wanted to tell A that it was too bad..but I had spent a very lonely and miserable one year thanks to her so I really couldnt care less if she was lonely for Christmas. But I didnt. I smiled and said yes of course.I introduced her to my friends (who I must say were wonderful. You know why you were wonderful..thank you!!) And kicked myself on the inside and wished I could be a bitch.
We talked about what went wrong and she explained her side of it...and I agree some of what went wrong was my fault. But you just cannot behave that way with someone you call a friend. You just cannot! Anyways, being nice, I accepted whatever she said...I didnt want to talk about it and relive that phase of my life once again. Today we work in the same office and things are ok between us (we are, after all, mature adults are we not? ) but I still wish I had told her "No you can't spend Christmas at my place..after everything that happened between us Im surprised you can even ask." But instead I told myself that an eye for an eye is not very mature (I hate maturity) and I should be the bigger person and all the rest of that nonsense. Which is all very good, but the fact that I'm writing about it one year after it happened should show you how badly I wish I had been a bitch. Childish you think? yes of course....but oh so satisfying!!
This aspect of my personality spills over everyday at work. I try to help a colleague by telling her that a particularly hard to catch journo is in office and to call her a.s.ap. I repeat myself because I'm not sure if she heard me, and she snaps back at me "I heard! I heard!" I think that I should say "Well excuse me for trying to help"...instead I hear myself saying ":Oh yeah ok, I just thought you hadnt heard...sorry" And then ask myself "What the hell am I apologising for?? " Being new to this office I ask a colleague where the stationery is kept and hear "Oh god! stop asking so many questions...go and look na". (Look WHERE goddamn you?) And I still keep quiet!!
There is a fine line between being nice and being a pushover. And I think Ive crossed that line. I'm sick of telling myself to just let it go. I WILL NOT let it go. Why the hell should I? Being funny and friendly is all very well but it does not give you to the right to take me for granted! Its time I did away with the Ms. Nice Girl bit and sharpened my catty claws. No more Nice Girl Ron. Starting now, I shall be the Bitch from Hell. God help those who take me for granted (yes Rahul that means you too!Grrr!) Nasty mails shall be written with cc's marked to the big bosses...no more sparing people because they are my friends. No more keeping quiet and apologising for other people's rudeness. No more being afraid of the consequences...HAH!!!For a start: I know A reads this blog and though I thought I should change the topic of this post at least 15 times while writing, I sternly reminded myself of the Bitch from Hell persona I'm trying to create and continued to post it. No more getting upset with other people bitching about me... (Im expecting that to happen soon, though sadly, I may never hear about it).
Behold all ye..the new improved Superbitch Ron. Thats right...tremble with fear because god help you if you manage to piss me off!!!
P.S: I like this Ron much better.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

"She asked for it..."

I'm angry!

I was groped by a man last evening. Near New Indian Express junction. He rode up on a scooter as I was waiting to cross the road and very casually touched me and also whispered something that started with "Hi Sweety..." and then trailed off, I didn't hear the rest. He rode away, stood a little distance off, smiling at me and making lewd gestures.

But I'm angry because all of this happened in plain view of the traffic cop who merely looked away. I'm angry with the attitude of the people around me. But more than anything else Im furious with myself because I still didnt go upto him and slap his face. Im angry because I didnt slap the bloody cop! Im furious I did't slap those people aroudn me!

There were at least 3-4 people standing with me, waiting to cross, all of whom saw what just happened. The women pretended they hadn't noticed and looked away while the young guys seemed to find it funny.They giggled and looked at me and looked at the man (standing a little further down the road pointing out the location of his crotch to me) and giggled again...they also said something which I didn't understand since it was in Kannada. Bloody hell!! I should have slapped them as well. All I did was to push the guy away, and though he did seem to lose balance and twist his ankle I don't think I did him much bodily harm (although I hope he broke at least one bone).

If this seems like too a mild a situation for public protest, let me tell you about my first experience with Mumbai locals, where both the provocation as well as the reaction was worse.

We had gone for the TISS entrance exam (2001), our first visit there. After the exam we took the local from Govandi to Churchgate for some shopping etc..since we were a mixed group (and anyways, noone told us the concept of ladies compartments and general compartments), we sat in the general, and since it was at 3 in the afternoon it was uncrowded and comfortable. On our way back from Churchgate we did the same thing. Only, this time it was around 7 o'clock in the evening. We managed to squeeze into the 2nd class general compartment, 3 of us in 3 different corners thanks to the crowd. I was pinned against the wall. After about 5 mins I realized that the guy in front of me was pressing into me. And I mean PRESSING into me. I could feel his penis against me. His face was centimetres away from mine, he was breathing fast and hard. I tried inching away from him, but the crowd did not permit that. I didnt think turning my back to him was a) possible or b) advisable.

Being used to Calcutta Metro and buses (though I believe these days people arent very helpful in Cal either ) I spoke up. I told him to move away from me, since, inspite of the crowd there was no reason for him to be standing on top of me or touching me unnecessarily or pinning me to the wall. He looked at me and belligerently replied " Itna comfort chaihye toh AC taxi mein travel kijiye. Local train mein aisa hi hota hain. Aur waise bhi, hum kya kar rahein hain aapko?" and pushed into me some more. The people around me smiled in agreement. They tittered and laughed. They commented on how some women just ask for it, how if we expect special treatment we should travel in the womens compartments (I have never ever stepped into a general compartment in a Mumbai local ever again) and even how if we expected to be treated with respect we should dress decently ( my sin: a sleeveless kurta). Others looked away not wanting to get involved. All the while the man continued to push into me, his breathing got faster and deeper and he started saying something too (my brain had kind of stopped functioning by then, what he was saying didnt register).

A and G were in the far ends of the compartment and there was not much they could have done anyways. After what seemed like an eternity, he disembarked. The titters, the comments, the snide laughter however continued till we got off at Govandi. Not one person tried to help in any way. It was obvious we were new to Mumbai (from what little bit of conversation was possible between me and G who was nearest to me) but not one person tried to help, noone offered me their seat just to help me get away from that disgusting man, noone tried to tell him to lay off. No sir. They sympathised with him. I had gotten into a general when there are compartments reserved for women, dressed in sleeveless clothes!! I deserved everything I got.

No, I was not surprised when I read about the girl who was raped in a crowded Mumbai local. She probably deserved it by being in the wrong compartment, wearing the wrong clothes or even by being born female. You see, men,( ok, some men) by virtue of being men, are entitled to teach women who ask for it, a lesson...almost like their duty! I'm not surprised when I read newspaper reports about how people just rush by accident victims without stopping to help. Thats the way the world is.

I should not have been surprised with the reaction of the cop or those people yesterday. I should have been prepared for it.

And thats why I'm furious with myself!! I should have slapped that creep. The I should have slapped that giggling fellow near me and made a HUGE issue with the cop. I should have known that if I didnt help myself, noone else would!