Friday, October 26, 2007


Having recently moved house (yes, again)I had to undergo the rather painful job of packing, cleaning, unpacking and cleaning some more. As I ripped apart the many, many boxes we lugged with us I wondered how I would answer the standard question asked of celebrities in inane magazines "What is the one thing you would take with you if your home burned down?" Not exactly the most cheerful thought I agree, but hey, it was raining and cloudy and I tend to get like that when the weather is on a downward spiral.

So what would I take? Most of you are thinking 'Her shoes'. No, not really. I mean I really love them but most of my shoes are replaceable. Not my clothes, no wardrobe means new wardrobe. My notebooks perhaps with my many scribblings and doodlings? Probably. But what about all the irreplaceable seemingly meaningless bric-a-brac that crowds my existance? The little post it notes my sister wrote me years and years ago that I have saved? Those black and white photographs of my mother when she was about six? That letter. What about my sambhar stained copy of The Best of Cook and See? My stuffed mouse (not a 'real' stuffed mouse) who has been by my bed side since I was 9? The more I thought about it, the more I worried. I'd need another moving truck to get everything I wanted to save in a fire out of there. Traumatised by this notion I went and checked that the fire alarm was on.

So I ask you, what would you save in a fire?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

smells like kate moss

I kind of get the whole 'buy Stella McCartney/Karl Lagerfeld/Victor & Rolf for less' thing. Some women want to feel like they're wearing designer clothes without having to fork out the down payment for a small house. I find it a lot harder to understand 'let's queue outside H&M/TopShop from 5:00am to buy aforementioned clothing lines' but then maybe some people think it's a fun thing to do. Or maybe they're addicted to recreational drugs. I also understand using a celebrity for endorsing your brand, though I personally have never wanted to go out and buy Himalaya Herbal Oil because Govinda tells me to.

But what I really don't understand is celebrity 'designed' clothing and perfumes. The idea that by wearing an outfit Kate Moss 'designed' you will somehow be magically transformed in to Kate Moss is a preposterous one, yet so many people buy in to it. Are women that unhappy with the way they look and smell? I want to meet the people who are buying Heidi Klum inspired bags from Accessorize, Penelope Cruz's favourite jacket from Mango and Shilpa Shetty's perfume (imaginatively called S squared) and ask them WHY? Desist! Stop trying to look like these women, you never will. Even with reconstructive plastic surgery. And stop buying their perfumes. They all smell terrible, I know this as I am constantly sprayed with Love Kylie and Covet every time I walk by the perfume counter of a department store. Whatever happened to classic scents? The ones our mothers wore and that we sneakily spritzed on to ourselves when she was out. Anais Anais, Chanel No 5... even the overpowering 80s power trip smell of Opium is better than smelling like Britney Spears(eww btw). And are these women's lives really so much better than ours that we aspire to them? Let's see, a supermodel in an on again off again destructive relationship with a cokehead musician, a ex pop princess who shaved her head off and frequently walks in to public urinals barefoot... why do we think they have it better than we do?

Me, I'm sticking to the Opium. The shoulder pads I assure you have been relinquished.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

rani muthu

Every birthday her father would tear the small grey square of paper from the daily sheet calendar and hand it to her. She would stare at the line drawing of Lord Muruga, beatific smile and Vel in place. Nalla neram, rahu kaalam, raasi palan. She would fold it and place it in her diary. She is too far away from home this year. There is no sheet. Only a memory.

(ps. I googled for rani muthu, and found this post by neha mami!)

Monday, October 15, 2007


It had been holding him back all his life. He was sure of it. It was the reason why he never had any friends in school, it was why his college applications were rejected – each and every one of them, it was the reason why he couldn’t find a bride. His name, he decided, was the reason why he was an unhappy, unsuccessful, single, balding, wedding caterer. 35 years old and all he had to show for it was a long list of complaints from families whose weddings he catered. Why were they all so sure it was his badamkheer and akkaravadisal that had caused the food poising? And it wasn’t his fault that he had misplaced the list of food allergies the groom suffered from; the swelling didn’t show that much in the reception pictures. He sat up suddenly, a difficulty given his stomach (but what was one to do with so much leftover food?). He would change his name. Yes, that was it. All the other successful caterers had powerful, impressive names. Mountbatten Mani. Arusuvai Natarajan, Nalabhagan Narayanan. He would take on a new name. No more of this change I to Y and add another S he’d been trying all these years. He would get a brand new name. One that made people stand up in respect when they heard and read it. One that would make stupid fathers think twice before rejecting his offer of marriage to their bucktoothed daughters. Oh yes. A new name. One that had no connections with his old life. Stalin Sundaramoorthy? Haryana Hitler? T. Nagar Tipu? Maybe a combination? Tipu Stalin? He felt powerful just saying the name out loud. He got up and waddled towards the kitchen. Yes, his life would be different. But first, a cup of badamkheer.

Friday, October 12, 2007


So around this time last year I quit my job. Actually around this time last year I was in Madras on an extended vacation celebrating the fact that I had quit my job. Anyway, it’s been a year. I wish I could say that things are just where I thought they would be one year later. That I’m thoroughly convinced I made the right decision. That I write prolifically from morning till late afternoon every day. I can’t think of a third one to make it sound nice. See what a failure of a writer I am? But I think the first two are enough. There are days when I wonder if I did the right thing. Perhaps it was arrogance to assume I was anywhere near good enough to quit a well paying job to write full time. When I see other people surge ahead in their careers I look at my notebook of jottings and think, that’s all I have to show? There are hours, days and weeks when nothing happens. Nothing moves. I am in the midst of such a time. I tell myself it is the winter, that once I’ve adjusted to eternally grey days I shall start again. But what if I don’t? What if all there ever was was 9 stories and nothing more. See I can’t even tell the truth… seven stories and two basic ideas. Maybe it was all a mistake. And maybe it is the first step. After all, these are the first words I have written in two weeks (not counting emails, changing my facebook status and some freelance copywriting I’ve been doing. Sell out!)

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

overheard on the all stations to moorgate last evening

Violet haired girl with many piercings and a Care Bear backpack (you can't make these things up) gets on the train at Hadley Wood. Her phone rings.

"No, I don't want to meet Alex, he's a twat. No offence an all. Just don't like im"

Conversation at other end (CAOE)

"Yeah but... no I don't want to"

More arguing on whether to meet with friend and Alex the twat. Sudden sharp intake of breath.

"What she slapped you?"


"Where? Around the face?"


"I can't believed she slapped you? where?"


"No not that where, as in where? around the face? Did she slap you around the face? No I get that, but where? Around the face."


"God I can't believe she slapped you around the face. Bitch. Who does she think she is? I can't believe that. You don't go slapping people around do you? No it's wrong, that's what it is. You don't slap people period. she's going to get slapped one of these days. I might do it"

Monday, October 08, 2007

It's hard to make me smile at the moment

And it's even harder for an advertisement to make me smile. And since the latest Sony Bravia commercial has accomplished such a feat, I think it only fair I mention it (it's also a good excuse to blog, seeing I have nothing else to blog about). I've enjoyed the previous two winning Sony Bravia commercials, though I preferred the second to the first... some ad pundits waxed lyrical about the coloured balls one, going as far to say as they remember exactly what they were doing when they first saw the spot... really? to me the only thing worth remembering is when I last ate. But that's just me. The second spot I loved, because it reminded me of those 80s film songs where those colour bombs would go off as junior artists danced in the background while the hero and heroine did many costume changes(often to match the colours of the colour bombs)

But this commercial is sweet, goofy and like I said it makes me smile.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Who writes this crap

And no I'm not talking about what appears on this blog, we all know who writes that.
Check out this website for a daily dose of bad writing. My favourite is the description of Tiramisu from some restaurant menu...described as 'the memorable rendezvous is made more comfortable by magic'. Indeed.

Monday, October 01, 2007

at the joo

She stared at the creature, her eyes running over its long graceful neck covered in a jigsaw like pattern, the pieces not quite fitting together. The zoo was almost empty that morning. The wind blowing with a ferocity usually reserved for December, whipping the rain about on an invisible leash.

If only she had evolved from fish and not from monkeys she mused. Then she could have flip flopped about gasping for air when he took her away from home, insisting she be thrown back in her tank. But all she could do was fix accusing eyes upon the rapidly expanding bald patch on the back of his head as she served him dinner every night.

“Why don’t you go out today? Explore the city?” he had said that morning, leaving £30 on the dining table as he took his lunch box. “St. Pauls, Madam Tussauds – they have Shah Rukh and Ash there now you know” She had winced inside. Ash. As though he knew her intimately. More intimately than his own wife who he insisted on calling by her full name. Drawing out each syllable in that unbearable nasal twang of his.

But she had come to see the giraffe instead. When she told him where she had been it would annoy him, and that was reason enough. But she was glad she had come here. The faint smell of animal dung, popcorn and candy floss. The shrill squawks of brightly plumed birds and the grumbling retorts of the other animals. Why, if she closed her eyes she could pretend she was home.

The giraffe stood so still, she was unsure if it was real or not. She did that sometimes too. She would sit motionless on the sofa, convincing herself she wasn’t even there. That she just did not exist in this cold miserable excuse of a country. The giraffe looked sad. How she knew what the giraffe face for sad was she was not sure. But she knew. After all, how could anything be happy in this place? Giraffes. They were from Africa weren’t they? That’s where they were meant to be. Ambling along the … she racks her memory for 7th standard geography… pampas? No… steppes… plains. Something. Ambling along somewhere in Africa. Not fenced in, looking over a street somewhere behind Regent’s Park. Did its skin, intended for sub Saharan heat protect it from the cold? Or like her flimsy Garden sari, did it let the biting wind in? She wondered what would happen if she magically let the animal out, like they showed in the movies. The idea filled her with a sudden rage, why should she let the stupid thing out? It was dumb enough to let itself be caught and brought here. It could help itself. It wasn’t a child anymore. What excuse did it have to look so sad? The rage passed. She sighed and walked on, her legs shivering under her flimsy Garden sari.