Life's Like That

Friday, July 14, 2006

Holiday Spirit...

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, I'm off to Calcutta on Monday morning. For 10 days. Do any of you realize what this means? This means I have a 10 day break from clients and journalists. *cheshire cat like grin*. This means no responsibilities and no buying Vim and Ezee and atta. This means that I will sleep late and wake up late and eat Mummy's cooking (alu posto and alu deowa chicken curry have been demanded and promised) . This means I can meet SD and SR and RD and all the rest of them and have a thoroughly enjoyable time. This means alu kabli and phuchka and chicken roll. This means Gariahat and New Market. This means mishti doi and dorbesh and old books near Golpark. This means sheer unadulterated BLISSSSSSSSSSS.
Oh and it also means wedding shopping, which should be fun, but thats besides the point. Or is it really? For the first time in my life Im excited about shopping.
In all the excitement I have sent the wrong press releases to the wrong people, sent numerous mails without attachments, demanded pictures from people who are not supposed to have pictures in the first place and told my boss that he is a prize idiot. On the positve side I have tried to finish off as many pending things as possible, close loose ends, and done a very detailed hand over document. I have also done a lot of shopping for everybody at home and bought very nice gifts too. All in all I think Im a verrrry good girl,*halo shines over head, harp twangs are heard*
I have nothing much to say about anything, but will leave you with a few random and interesting snippets from my life over the past few days.
  • This colleague of mine, from Delhi called and enquired how long it would take for us to go from Bangalore to Karnataka. She went on to say that they have this Karanataka based client so they have asked the Chennai office to look after it, but we would need to do little bit of work when he came to Bangalore and maybe even travel to Karnataka. On being explained the concept of states and state capitals, she said that to her (rather underdeveloped and ignorant mind) Chennai and Hyderabad comprised the whole of South India, and Bangalore, although somewhere near to South India was like a separate entity that just existed.."because of all the IT ya". Does anyone here need me to explain and justify, once again, my attitude towards people from that city?
  • Rahul very kindly and helpfully gave my dirty clothes to be ironed and put my washed clothes in the wash basket to be washed again. So I now have one set of dirty but ironed clothes and one set of clean but unironed clothes. Therefore, in effect I have nothing to wear. All because I was dealing with a headache last evening and told the boy to give my clothes to the istriwalla instead of doing it myself. Siiigh!!
  • My mother wants me to buy 4 giant tubes of Promise toothpaste from Bangalore and carry to Calcutta because apparantly you dont get Promise toothpaste there and its the only thing that gets her sensitive teeth clean.
  • I created a huge scene in Food Bazar day before yesterday,because this guy harrassed me and passed one comment too many. By the time I was done with him, he was snivelling and begging for forgiveness and saying that I was like his sister. Bastard. Since he was wearing the ID card of his company, and therefore still representing his company, I felt free to call his HR dept (I knew someone there) and lodge an official complaints. Hopefully he got into some trouble at work.
  • I have learnt to make dal makhni. Am very glad about this development in my life since I love dal makhni.
  • I just heard of my colleague's client who refused to allow a journalist enter this very "exclusive" party she was hosting because she did not like her hair. Another journalist was discreetly prevented from mingling with the guests because she was not dressed well enough. Please join me in hoping that there is a LOT of negative coverage for her and her "exclusive party" in tomorrows paper.

On that rather aggressive note, I shall take your leave. Bye bye. I dont know if I will post from Calcutta. I have the means, but will I have the will..that remains to be seen. Children of Calcutta, you know where to reach me ( ronitadutta@gmail.com) in case you want to meet up etc. Am not sure how much time I will have, mother and aunt are being very firm about shopping being treated as priority number one, but I shall try to work around that.

Tata everyone :D ( I wish one could put that wide toothy smiley one has on yahoo messenger over here, would express my feelings very appropriately).

PS: For an absolutely lovely post on what home means to a Bong, please read this. She puts it waaay more eloquently than I can ever hope to.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The men I have loved.and who have loved me..total chicklit stuff

We were discussing first crushes and the like at work the other day...no we don't work too hard in this office...and it occured to me that I have incredibly bad taste in men. Oh, and the most appalling men seem to have crushes on me. Really!! What was I thinking.

The first boy who had a crush on me was, I think, about 22/23 years old. I was 14. He lived in Purulia. Now, I love Purulia, and everybody there, but most of the young men belonging to that town were rather....umm...I dont know...idiotic. I could be friends with them, but could not begin to imagine anything else (This one parar dada wore this belt that had twinkling lights on it...he would walk down the dark lanes of Purulia wearing black shirt and black trousers and this belt, and from afar all you could see was a line of twinkling lights suspended in mid air walking towards you. Very scary). Anyways, so this boy knew this little boy I used to play with. This Little Boy would come in the afternoon and stand in the garden while I stood regally on my balcony and we would talk about life in general. And this Boy-Who-Had-Crush On-Me would cycle past looking at the balcony. He would keep cycling past my house all evening...which was when I would descend to the garden to play with the Little Boy and other children. Little Boy was most paaka and would drop hints left right and centre, which I chose to ignore naturally. Because the Boy-who-had-crush-on-me was really quite atrocious. Wore hawai chappals and odd looking shirts and had khoncha khoncha daari (dirty unshaven stubble)..much like an escaped convict. Oh but I did enjoy all the attention, and would diligently stand on the balcony all afternoon in the searing heat. Like I said, bad taste and no discretion whatsoever.

My first crush was our tenants son. By our I mean my grandparents. And yes, the location was again, Purulia. We were both around 15 I think. Although he didnt live there, he studied in the Norendropur Ram Krishna Mission and stayed in the hostel and was well read and serious and intellectual. And very high principled. Apparantly their hostel did not have fans, because fans were an unnecessary luxury and a obstacle in the course of charecter building. This in a part of the world where summer temperatures go up to 40/ 45 degrees every year was a bit much according to me, and someone who accpeted such ridiculous rules so stoically and even agreed with them, was worthy of my devotion. He liked me too. I could tell by the way he offered to teach me to play chess, and looked delighted at being hit on the head with a large bit of hail during the years first hailstorm, just because I was thrilled to bits. This sweet young love story unfortunately came to a premature end when I went back home to Calcutta and sent him a letter through my grandmother, who disapproved (yes I was that stupid). The letter never reached him, and we never met again...siiiiiighhhh.

My next crush was my first boyfriend. Have talked about my Valentines Day post earlier. I think my crush died the day he asked me "Who the hell is Robin Cook ?" How can someone not know Robin Cook!? You might not like him, but you at least know of him. Anyways, I wanted to break up within 2 months of starting to date him, but then we had all these common friends, and if I ditched him, they would think badly of me and be on his side. Therefore I decided to wait till he messed up and then dump him, so that all sympathy and support would be with me...henh henh...yes I was a devious little bitch then. Anyways, so that ended soon enough much to my parents relief. Though in true Hindi filmy style he threatened to kill himself when I dumped him...I distinctly remember sobbing into my mothers lap and saying "I am scared he will hurt himself"... you dont need to say it, I'll say it again....I was extraordinarily stupid!!

Then came this boy who liked me. Was a friend of my friend's boyfriend. We used to chaperone my friend on dates so as to avoid raising parental suspicions and this boy and others would do the same for the boyfriend. His name was...hold your breath..Saurav "Mithun" Chakraborty. ..Mithun being the daaknaam. I think his chances at romantic success was doomed the day his parents christened him. He was....for lack of a better word...lumpy. And would sing third rate Hindi film songs in an attempt at being romantic. And would keep asking me to walk with him down the dark alleys of Salt Lake. With a lot of assistance from his buddies, and a whole of stupidity from yours truly, he managed to get me alone one evening, and told me that he wished to "make friendship" with me. He looked exactly like a distressed cow when he said that, so I think I can be excused for snapping at him that he did not want friendship he wanted much more and I was not in the mood for it. For months after that, that ass would follow me home from the bus stand and stand outside my house...and sing sad songs!!

All the while that "Mithun"da was trying to make friendship with me, I had this humoungous crush on this terrible boy. I think I can safely call him a rowdy...galli ka goonda. Do not ask me why I had a crush on him. I think I found his bloodshot eyes, swaggering gait, and dirty red rag type bandana, incredibly masculine. I looked at him...he stared at me...total chemistry I tell you. Luckily we moved to Bangalore around that time.

Once in Bangalore I started dating my good friend V..who was sweet, but very very weird and a little bit dumb also. I felt bad for him for several reasons and so I dated him(Told you I was stupid). After I dumped him he literally stalked me for a year, complete with distraught phone calls in the middle of the night demanding to know why I was such a bitch. I was quite kind to him I must say, because I felt very guilty about dumping him like that. I am glad to say we have managed to put all that behind us and become good friends today. He has a girlfriend who hates me though. And once after I had spent half an hour drinking coffee with him,she called me up and said "You bitch!! Havent you hurt him enough" and hung up. Most hurtful and stressful that was.

Then I moved to Hyderabad and had my one and only "fling" with this boy who was verrrryyyy intellegent but also very bizarre. He fell in love with someone else while I was away for 5 days so that ended there. Was not a very happy phase of my life. Flings are just not my scene. He is currently doing his Phd in the US, and if gossip is to be believed, he has a girlfriend and a boyfriend. And his girlfriend has a girlfriend. Im quite horrified (because I dated him) and thankful (because I dated him only for 2 months) at the same time. But not surprised. Nope. Always knew he was weird.

I remained crushless after that. Till 2 years later, I met Rahul. Before I admitted to myself that I liked him, I introduced him to Gauri, who had lived through most of my disastrous crushes/ relationships. Her first reaction was "Ron, he is sooooo normal..." And the rest as they say, is history. Come to think of it, my parents first reaction when they met him was also..."Bah besh shundor normal chele toh.." (He is a nice normal boy). Siiiiigh. Whattotell only!

Monday, July 03, 2006

The perils of living alone

I've been living alone since my Mom moved back to Cal. For the most parts its good fun. And waaaay better than living in a hostel (Remind me to tell you about the loos!! The horror!! The horror!!) or a PG with a 5 other girls (who messed up the bathroom, drank the juice you bought, insisted on watching Kyunki and objected to your reading at night).

But living entirely on your has its own set of problems. Forget the smaller ones like the irritating caretaker who comes at 7 a.m and tells you to pay attention to his every word regarding the malfunctioning tap because he is "an engineer and is educating you". Or the overly inquisitive neighbour who asks "So your husband works in the night shift..." and leaves the question trailing in the hope that you will jump in and tell her exactly how you are related to the man who visits everyday. Or the cat that insists on living with you. Or the fact that one cabbage makes so much sabzi that you have to keep eating till you begin to feel your teeth elongating and bunny ears erupting from your skull. All of those problems are manageable ones.

What is not manageable is the few moments of sheer terror that one occasionally experiences. .

Like when the two cockroaches decided to fly at me in the dead of the night. With this horrible frrr frr sound. How I wished for someone to hear my shrill shrieks of terror and come rushing to my rescue. Unfortunately, there was no such man around. I had to battle these vile creatures all by myself, aided by one can of HIT. From my position of vantage behind the door...I extended my can around the edge of the door and sprayed blindly. Stop laughing. I think it was extremely brave of me to stand my ground and fight these things by myself, as opposed to running out of the house screaming for the watchman and refusing to enter again till he made sure that both cockroaches were dead. By the time the damn things died entire house was smelling of HIT. Very nauseating.

Or like the other night. Ooooooooh!! What a horrible nerve wracking night that was.

I was feeling unwell. Not to worry. Too much of anything...even something as heavenly as well made bhel puri, can do that anyone. After much moaning the groaning and whining over the phone to Rahul I dragged myself off to sleep. And then... at the stroke of two...just when I was about to drop off...I heard it!!! A faint noise.. like the dragging sound the kitchen door makes. My eyes popped open!My heart stood still! My hair stood up on end!Internal dialogues happened :

Me 1: * eyes wide open* Was that the kitchen door?
Me 2: *tremulously* Sounded like it.
Me1: Nah!! Who will open the kitchen door at this time....*shivers run down spine*
Me2: Who.......oooooohhhh......Mammaaa...*covers head with blanket*
Me1: *attempt to be strong*I must get up and investigate. If really someone is in the kitchen then I need to run out of the flat immediately.
Me2: *shakes under covers* I cant turn around. What if I turn and there is a murderous looking man behind me? Ill just die.
Me 1 : No I must be brave. I'm braver than my mom...ooooooh Mummmmeeeeeeeee.
Me2: Remember what happened to Dipta in Delhi? How there was a man sitting at the end of her bed when she woke up? What if there is a man behind me looking at me? Oh Goddd!!! Why did I decide to live alone? Why? Why? How could my Mom leave me alone like this. How can Rahul be so careless...I cant turn around. Whatever there is behind me will go away if I dont turn around. Mummeeeeeee.....

After much debating, I forced myself to turn around. No murderer. I got out of bed, I went to the kitchen..I opened doors, I looked behind the fridge, under the bed, in the loo. Nothing. I heaved a sigh of relief and went back to bed. Then five minutes later got out again and fetched the biggest knife I possess. And put it lovingly on the bedside table....for protection. And didnt sleep the entire night.

Next morning, I felt very silly about the whole thing. I put the knife back in the kitchen, waited for my maid to finish and leave and went to have a bath. Then came out and started my daily routine of hair dryer and moisturiser and so on. And then...standing there in my room..in my *blush* underwear, I heard something again. The unmistakable sound of the key in door!!!!

Someone was trying to break into my house!! At 9 a.m. With a key!!!! OOOOOOHHHH MYYYY GAAAWWWWWDDDDD!!!!!!!!

Me1: Robbers. Rapists. HELP!!!!!
Me2: Ki shahosh. Chaabi diye dorja khulche aabar!!! (What guts! He is opening the door with the key that too!)
Me1: Oh god!! Why did I put the knife back in the kitchen....its soo far away. How will I deal with the robber?
Me2: Shiiiiiitt!! Im not wearing clothes....how on earth am I to tackle robbers and rapists in my underwear? Shit!! How can I tackle anyone in my underwear (Please note, I have serious issues with changing clothes in front of people...even photographs, hence the thought of having to confront robbers in my underwear was deeply unsettling)
Me1: Bathrobe bathrobe!! Wrap bathrobe!!! Ooooh Deo!!! Spray deo at him and run out...never mind if its in a tattered bathrobe.
Me 2: Oooooooooooooooooooo

Door opened. And I confronted the robber clutching a bathrobe and armed with a half empty bottle of Impulse deospray. And.....and I am yet to live down that incident.

Turns out robbers dont come to rob at 9 a.m. And they defintely do not try to open doors with keys. The only people who do that are the ones that you yourself have given a spare set of keys to. Such as your fiance. Who was concerned about your ill health the previous night and felt that he must come and take you to the doctor in the morning. (In my defense I was really quite sick, and well...he is trying very desperately to make up for something, and is therefore being the ideal boyfriend. On a normal day, there is no way in hell he would have gone late to work for me). All concern was forgotten at the sight of me clutching bathrobe and brandishing deo. He still chuckles quietly every now and then whenever he remembers it.

It was most humiliating. Noone loves me. Noone feels sorry for the terror I felt. Even my own family laughed at me... uproariously. My feelings are very hurt. I am going to adopt the cat and live with it happily ever after. At least when Im scared I can talk to it instead of myself. And get it to accompany me when I go to face possible intruders. Yes. A cat is better anyday.