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Showing posts from December, 2010

And I still love monkeys too…

While on the topic of scary-funny animal incidents, let me share this one too.
This dates back to when I was 8 and my brother 4. We had gone to Nagpur to visit my father’s parents.
They lived on the first floor of a bungalow. There was a terrace attached to their drawing room.
One morning, my father and grandfather had gone out and my grandmother and my mother were busy in the kitchen cooking lunch. My brother and I were left to our devices.
We were rummaging through grandfather’s wooden cupboard taking advantage of his absence. Suddenly I saw a very old matchbox. I read the year written on it. It was nearly 30 years old. I opened it and to my pleasant surprise, I saw that it was full of matchsticks. I was very curious to see if they were still working. I wanted to light at least one. So I told my brother. He too got very excited.
Then, somehow, and thankfully, I got the feeling that my mother wouldn’t be too pleased if she caught me lighting matches, especially inside the house. So my …

I still love elephants

Remember I’d mentioned ‘another chase’ when I wrote about the cow incident ? Well, here are the gory details of another chase of a whole new magnitude altogether…
This was when in the holidays after the 12th standard (grade) exams…i.e. we are all of 17 years old. Five of us girls decided to go on a jungle trip organised by an organisation. In all 40 of us, including our 2 guides, took a 7 day jungle trip to the beautiful jungles of Mudumalai in TamilNadu in South India.
When our bus reached the reception area of the forest department reserve there, it was around 4 p.m. While the guides were completing the formalities, they told us to walk to the dormitory which was about 1 km away. They would come with the bus and our entire luggage later. The road was straight and there was no chance that we would get lost.
So enthusiastically, off we went. As it often happens in large groups, sub-groups got formed. We (my 4 friends and I) were the last group to set off. The road was about 10 feet wide …

Thank God there’s a solution to a problem that could have been avoided !

I just read this report about “Bangladesh sand to keep Maldives afloat”.
If humans cared more for the world they lived in, this problem could have been avoided. In fact, even if they now become aware and alert…it could still be avoided from worsening.
I feel a little relief, though, knowing that there could be a viable solution to this problem, which would be a win-win situation for both Bangladesh and Maldives.
I don’t know whether to be happy or sad.

Being a non-conformist is not easy

It isn’t easy to explain to somebody how I still find my life alright although I don’t follow mass mentality. It is easy for me to live with my views and act based on them, but it is a huge problem for many people since they tend to discount me as they think I’m weird / rebellious / mad / … :)
I’m not weird. Naturally, I wouldn’t think I am, since I don’t find my own views weird. I am not rebellious. I don’t hold these views to ‘show’ somebody, to antagonise somebody or as a reaction to some incident / philosophy. I am not mad. My views work for me and therein lies the proof. I am what I am. And I am OK with it.
It works both ways…sometimes I think they are weird :) But I don’t force them to subscribe to my views and I expect not to be forced to follow theirs. Also, it is not that I have taken non-conformism to a new level or something like that. There are certain important areas of life (ok, actually, quite a few) where my views are divergent from the majority.
I get my sense of achiev…

Learning

I am presently learning a new skill. It is something huge since it is deadline oriented…and the deadline is very close. I don’t have the luxury to learn at my pace, gradually progress and then get comfortable.
I have never done it before. I have always felt that I am not particularly suited for it. I have admired people who are good at it…my father, my brother, a person in my workplace…
But the funny part is…I like it. I mean, I am enjoying learning a new skill. It is challenging me. Also, the new and improved* me thinks that she may be alright for this skill.
*New and improved me…in an earlier post I had mentioned about being on the verge of overcoming a crisis situation. Of the many changes that this crisis, and the fight to overcome it, has brought about is that I am very less fearful of leaving my comfort zone now. Learning was never a problem with me but leaving my comfort zone, was. In fact change itself was a problem and you will find me expressing that here and here. Suddenly I…

It’s a matter of principle !

The other day I had gone to a footwear store of a big, very old, footwear brand in India. I bought two pairs. As I stood there removing my wallet, the shopkeeper billed the purchase and the bill came to be Rs. 798/- While the bill was being printed, the shopkeeper said, “800”. I had made a mental calculation and knew that it was 798. So I haven’t even asked him.
I removed Rs. 800/- from my purse and handed it to him. He handed me my bag of chappals and the bill. I put the bill back in my wallet, assuming that he would return the balance Rs. 2/-. To my surprise, he didn’t ! For a brief moment I hesitated, I contemplated what to do…I felt a little shy to ask for the balance Rs. 2/-…it’s such a small amount… by letting it go I will not turn poor and he will not turn rich…but the next moment I felt, ‘It is my hard earned money, however little the amount is. And, most importantly, it is a matter of principle.’
Then I looked up as soon as I put the bill in my wallet, sweetly looked at him an…

I love…

…traditional Maharashtrian* wedding food…there is such comfort in familiarity :)
…to curl up under three blankets and sleep late on winter mornings
…to be alone in the house and enjoy the silence
…it when people gift me plants
…looking at old photographs
And finally…
I love…it that I am writing each and every day without fail…even on the days when I can’t think of what to write about…like today :)
*(For the non-Indians: In India, the division of states is language based. Maharashtra is one state and the people are called Maharashtrians who speak Marathi.)

Unintentionally hilarious people !

Last evening I met up an ex-student, and now a dear friend, H for coffee. When we walked out of the restaurant, H walked me to my motorcycle. We stood there for another couple of minutes, chatting.
Suddenly I sensed movement to my right. I turned to find this roly-poly, fair guy in blue jeans and a red-striped T-shirt standing about two feet away from me to my right. At the same time as I turned to look, he leaned in and unabashedly stared at me ! I was so taken aback ! I looked him in the eye and said, “Excuse me ?” Then he straightened up, stepped back, smiled at me and said, “Sorry…sorry…” as he retreated.
Assuming he had mistaken me for somebody else, I smiled back and muttered, “Its OK”…only to be completely thrown off-balance by what he said next ! As he walked away, he offered, as an explanation, “I thought you were a foreigner”.
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HUH ????? WHAT ?????
H & I doubled over with laughter. I laughed so loudly and so hard that tears started streaming down my che…

A ‘dog-person’

I laughed so much when I read this ! I connected instantaneously to Josie’s plight. I am so much like that ! All the ‘dog-incidents’ came rushing to my mind.
I absolutely adore dogs (the four-legged variety…its best to clear that right in the beginning :) ) and they, me (but more about that later).
Right since I was in school, almost every week I used to find a puppy on the road or a nearby construction site or near a waste-bin, feel bad for it and bring it home…only to be forced to take it right back to where I found it, after giving it some warm milk, since we already had a dog. And so it continued till I was in college. Thus, in college, finally I was able to persuade my mother to let me keep the puppy I had brought home this time even though we still had our old dog. A couple of years our old dog died, who was, incidentally, brought home from a farm outside our city and was half-dog, half-wolf. I think that was when I stopped bringing home random doggies, but my love for them didn’t…

Contradictory proverbs !

Today, in office we were talking about a colleague who went away. Somebody said, ‘Absence makes the heart grow fonder’. Then somebody jokingly remarked, ‘For me to feel fond of certain people, they should be absent for a very very long time’. We all laughed but then I remembered another proverb and I quoted it, ‘Out of sight, out of mind’.
That got me thinking. As a child, I took these proverbs quite seriously as the absolute truth. But as I discovered more and more of them, I started getting confused. Some were in a direct contradiction to others. So I figured that all proverbs must be context specific. I felt so cheated ! (This was when I was really too young :) )
Of course, now I realise that everything is subjective and they don’t bother me at all.
Here’s another pair of contradictory proverbs:
Penny wise pound foolish v/s Take care of the pence, the pounds will take care of themselves.
Do you know any more ?

Gratitude and Desire

Work was so hectic today that I had no time to even think of anything to write, leave alone actually writing down something. So I thought I’ll use a prompt provided on NaBloPoMo. So here goes…
Firstly the three things that I am grateful for:
First and most important – My parents. I am so fortunate that I have the parents that I do. They gave me freedom to do what I wanted to but guided me along the way. They are there to appreciate every little accomplishment and to help me get up and get going when I fall down. They are tough with me when I slack and worry for me when I push myself too hard. They are such wonderful individuals…so diverse and thus I have imbibed all that they both possess. A love for the fine arts and a passion for reading. A logical, rational and incisive mind. A compassionate and emotional heart. So much more that I can’t even begin to express. Even at this age I feel so protected because of them. I shall be eternally grateful that these two people are my parents.
Mira…

Stillness

Yesterday was one of the rare days in a long time that I spent a lot of time at home; that too, alone. In fact I don’t remember the last time I did that.
On weekdays, after my job, I have rehearsal for some play or the other. So I reach home late at night. Since I am available for rehearsals only for a couple of hours on weekdays, most of my weekend time is spent in extra rehearsals. Then there is housework to catch up on and also weekly shopping, some tasks. Consequently, I hardly ever spend time at home.
It is not as if I lazed around all day yesterday. I just woke up reasonably late for me to feel that I had made good use of my Sunday :) TH went out for some meetings, after breakfast. Then all day I pottered around the house. I loved being around the house. I like this new house we moved into at the beginning of October. It is spacious, bright and airy. I cleaned up a bit, baked a cake, read a script and had somebody over for a quick rehearsal (that never has a day off, does it ? :)…

Eyes

Yesterday evening while going to rehearsal, I was behind a car at a traffic signal. In the car, in the rear window, there was a small stuffed toy of a dog. Its neck was bobbing up and down as the car moved. But the most terrifying thing was its eyes. They were so real that it seemed like a real dog and not the toy that it was. Those eyes staring at me, gave me the chills. I overtook the car at the first available opportunity and immediately felt relief.
I must be of the rare breed of people who don’t like dolls. Do you want to know why ? Because of their cold, eerie eyes. I have been told by many of my friends that they are sometimes scared to face me because I read their eyes and they can’t keep anything from me. I adore dogs (the real variety) because of their loving and loyal eyes. Masks with eyes sometimes make me uncomfortable. I love it when somebody smiles with their eyes, which, in my opinion, is the best way to smile.
There’s something about me and eyes.

Liar...Liar...

These days I am hooked to a TV Show called ‘Lie To Me’. It is based on a scientific research done on micro-facial expressions and body language to detect lies. In this show the protagonist plays the part of the scientist who established this new method of lie detection. He heads a group where he, along with other people who work for him, takes up jobs of lie detection. The show is well made and I love to know about what signals the scientist read and relate to which emotion. It also has an element of case-solving, like in a detective show, and I have always had great inclination towards mysteries and crime solving – books, films and TV shows.
As a child, in fact, right through my teenage years, I had intense hatred for lies and liars. ‘Little white lies’ were also not spared of it. To me the equation was pretty straight-forward and, thinking about it today, rigid. To Lie = to commit murder. That was the seriousness and gravity of the ‘crime’ for me.
As I grew up I accepted the utility o…

Useless trivia about me – Part deux…translates as: I couldn’t think of what to blog about today ;)

I get a high when I finish performing a piece and somebody in the audience involuntarily lets out a “Wow !” (happened twice in day-before-yesterday’s show *blushes*)
I have no idea what is ‘PTT’ that I see in my cell phone. (I tell you, I am technologically challenged!)
I am mortally afraid of cows and buffaloes (for a very valid reason).
Sometimes, I act out scenes from plays or movies, the way I’d want to do them, in front of the mirror when alone at home.
I am addicted to buying books…well, not addicted really, but it takes immense effort on my part not to buy more books.
I love to sing loudly while driving my bike.

The cow incident

This dates back to when I was 7 years old. We were living in Bombay (or Mumbai as it is called now).
On Saturdays we had half-day school. So I usually returned home at around 2 p.m., ate and then we friends got together at somebody’s house to play.
One Saturday, I went to a friend’s house to play. After an hour or so, we decided to take a break, go home, finish homework and regroup in the playground later in the evening. I left her place and started walking back home, which was about 10 minutes away. I was wearing my new red skirt and white blouse. Those days ‘red’ was my favourite colour. So I was happily prancing and singing to myself while going home.
On the way, there was a cow eating some grass just outside the garden fence of a building, her face towards the building and her back towards the road, on which, I was merrily walking unaware of imminent danger.
As I passed the cow, whom I had barely noticed, I heard heavy footfall behind me. So I turned around and to my great shock I …

Zaadé premieres today…again…

I’m very excited and nervous. Today a new play, Zaadé…Mateechya Manateel Kavita, premieres. I had written about it here. It is a poetry presentation programme that we had performed about 4 years ago. We closed it after a good run of 25 shows. But TH and I wanted to perform it again. We also wanted the new people in our theatre group to gain from it as we had done in the previous run. From the previous team only 3 of us (TH, I and PP the flautist) continued in this team. All others are new. We have redesigned it and today, after a long wait, it reopens.
I’m tremendously excited because finally we are performing Zaadé again. It is great to be there on stage and perform those poems, experience those feelings again. This time, due to the living in the interim years, there will be a newer sensibility to it. Some ‘old trees’ aren’t physically present with us; some new ones have joined the forest. All this is bound to add a different flavour to it.
On the other hand I’m very nervous. I want it…

The ‘Pomfret Curry incident’

While writing about my food memories yesterday, I had mentioned a recent ‘pomfret curry incident’. Here’s what happened.
I grew up in a vegetarian home. My parents never prevented my brother and me from eating non-vegetarian food, or bringing it home or even making it at home. But since my mother is a vegetarian, she never cooked non-vegetarian food except for 4-5 times in all these years. So I don’t have a natural grounding or inherent knowledge of preparing non-vegetarian food. I learnt by reading recipes on the Internet and then experimenting. My sister-in-law S, on the other hand, grew up in a non-vegetarian home.
So, one day, TH and I went browsing in a nearby shop that sells frozen foods and western foods. After much deliberation (what is Seer Fish ? What is King fish ? Would you like to eat prawns or fish ? etc. etc.), we finally bought a packet that read ‘Frozen Pomfret - Cleaned for your convenience’.
The next evening I had no rehearsals while TH had a play reading to attend. So…

My food memories

I was just browsing the prompts on nablopomo for an idea for a post and I caught the word “food” and suddenly it clicked…a lot for food memories came rushing to my mind. So this post is about my food memories.
My earliest memory about a new food that I tried and liked goes back to when I was five. We used to live in Mumbai (Bombay, as it will always be for me). In our building there were two girls, twins actually, who were the same age as me. My family is vegetarian (but did not impose it on my brother and me) and their family was non-vegetarian. So one day when I had gone to their house to play, it was nearly lunch time and their mother asked me whether I’d like to eat with them. I agreed. Then suddenly she remembered that we were vegetarians. So she went upstairs, took permission from my mother (some vegetarians are strict and do not eat at homes of non-vegetarian people). Since in our family, it was left to individual choice, my mother said, let her try it. If she likes it, let her …

A pleasantly busy Sunday

Today we are going to shoot our play that premiered last month, to send it to a very prestigious competition. I love this play a lot and I am quite hopeful that it will be accepted in this competition.
This is why I love this play:
The play is absolutely amazing. Very well-written. The format is novel (circular narrative) and most interesting. The subject is so ‘today’.
It is a challenging play for an actor to perform. Each actor essays different roles in different scenes. To build your character from scratch in each scene, make it work completely for that scene then wipe it off to create the same magic in the next one is a tantalisingly delicious and nerve-wracking at the same time.
In this play I work with many people with whom I have never worked before. All of them are so creative and hard working. There is a great element of very healthy competition and egging each other on. Also, they are all great fun to be with and very diverse. I feel thrilled to share this time of my life with t…

The journey is the destination

A new play will premier in the next week. These days I am enjoying the rehearsals for this play a lot. There is a certain assurance and comfort that comes from performing the entire play once every day. Also, as I become more and more comfortable with the basics such as words and movements, it frees up a lot of mental space to experiment with the rendition. The many different ways in which I render my content helps me combine elements from different renditions and arrive at an optimum way that will be most effective for the play.
I am also enjoying that I am able to help out the others in my team. I am far more experienced than them and sometimes they struggle with the basic things. I like to help them so that they too progress past that stage and begin enjoying theatre as I do.
In the last couple of years, I have come to realise that the process of rehearsing for a play is so much more enjoyable for me…as much as the show itself. I am truly experiencing that ‘the journey is the destina…

My unreal expectations from reportages !

This morning while reading the newspaper I came across reportage of an incident that had occurred in front of my eyes. I know each little detail of this incident.
The reportage however, differed vastly from the incident. I’m not speaking about differing perspectives or opinions about an incident. Such differences are bound to exist. I am speaking about facts of the case...they were grossly misreported. Details were altered to suit the point the reporter wanted to make.
Even today, despite all the controversies and exposés about media-reportage being biased / incorrect / bought etc., there is still a vast majority in this country who takes the written word to be gospel. Any kind of reportage should be done with some semblance of responsibility.
It is appalling how blatantly the reportage was altered to suit the reporter’s point of emphasis.
Firstly, it is downright lying. The reporter could have presented all facts as they are and then expressed an opinion about the incident. I suspect t…

Day 1 of NaBloPoMo :)

I have been an irregular blogger to say the least. I do have so many things in my mind that I could share, but most of the times I don’t allow myself the quiet space or time to be able to formulate a decent piece of writing and then post it on the blog. Sometimes, I come up with something nice, in my mind, and then promptly proceed to analyse, dissect and destroy it. However, I have always wanted to be able to write witty, humorous, thought-provoking or simple daily-life occurrences regularly…the key word being ‘regularly’ :)
I stumbled upon NaBloPoMo and was immediately interested. I read up all the FAQs. Then I read some blogs who were doing it. Yet I feared that I would not be able to keep this commitment. From blogging one day in each month to blogging each day in one month seems quite an ambitious project for me. So I mulled over it for two days and finally today I decided that I would take the plunge. Be it a tiny post or a long one, be it something significant and interesting or…