Thursday, January 24, 2008

It's entirely possible that I'm going mad

I think I’ve become a harder person now that I’ve moved back. The daily act of crossing the street to wait at the bus stop is marked with lecherous drivers who slow down to get a better look. The auto drivers who ask my breasts if I want a ride. The casual blaring of car horns as people head back from their morning jog to say “Hey, I see you.” The reports I hear in the news of women being molested. Of men being set on fire for trying to help them. The decency and the bravery shown by Keshav is wonderful, especially in a country where even educated men think that a single woman is fair game. “If a girl is drunk and is walking half-dressed down a street, of course she asking to get raped.” But I don't want to be grateful to a man for standing up to other men molesting a woman, a mother of two children. I feel guilty, churlish, petty, limited and mean for thinking like this about the one supremely decent thing that I've seen or heard of in a long while.

I know the only thing I can change is my behavior and deciding to be careful about what I wear, keeping my eyes close to the ground, not making eye contact, ignoring the voices around me. Does it make a difference? It doesn’t for me. The Tourrette-esque litany of curse words in my head continues unabated. And then the violation. Someone brushes past, pinches me, elbows me. It happens too fast and all I can shout is “naamard chutiye.” The shocked glances around me. Did a girl actually use these words? And the coward has sped off with a leery grin on his face. I almost wish that he turned back so I can confront him. Shout at him, hit him, bloody his face. Vent the bile that is rising. Shout at the people around me saying "this is what you are helping do. I hope you are proud to be Indian."

Would that help? Wouldn’t it make me just like him?

An entirely fictional daily drama

5:20 am. (Wide awake) Wonder why the alarm hasn’t gone off yet.

5:30 am. (Alarm rings) Hmm, so it’ll take a while for the water to heat up, maybe I should just close my eyes for a bit. It’s too cold out anyway. (Hits snooze button)

5:40 am. (Alarm rings again) (Now groggy) Maybe just another 10 minutes. Anyway, Naanna’ll make me breakfast. (Hits snooze button)

5:50 am. (Alarm rings again) So the azan’s just started. Maybe another 10 minutes. (Hits snooze button)

6:00 am. (Father enters with tea) Father: Are you going to wake up or not? DO you want to drive to work today AS WELL? It’s just such a waste of your money. Who do you think you are helping by taking the car everyday?
Lazy Ass: Yes, yes. Ok fine. I’m up. I’m up. (Door closes. Lazy Ass plops back in bed.)

6:00 am. (Alarm rings and is switched off reflexively)

6:05 am. I can wake up in five minutes. I’m not really sleeping.

6:30 am: Father (through closed door): WILL YOU WAKE UP??
Lazy Ass: (Looks at the clock and bolts out of bed in a panic) Yes, yes I’m up. I woke up a long time ago. I’m nearly done.

Much activity ensues. Sounds of water splashing. Lazy Ass hastily (to her anyway) completes her toilet. Wastes five minutes shrieking at a lizard that has taken up residence in a crevice between the bathroom door and the wall. The gecko flicks its tongue and pays no attention to her. Summoning up all her courage, Lazy Ass girds her loins and runs out, holding the towel over her head. She hurries out of her room and gulps down the freshly squeezed orange juice (yes, I know, she’s horribly spoilt) and runs out the door.The time is now 6:45 am.
Father: Have you taken your cell phone?

Lazy Ass has not, so she hurries back to her room. Can’t find the phone. Father muttering in the background: “Why can’t you just be more organized? Would it kill you to get everything ready the night before?” Lazy Ass is trying to figure out from which pile of clothes the phone’s ring is coming from and ignoring her father at the same time. She finally locates it in the clothes cupboard and leaves the house to her father’s gloomily muttered pronouncements: “You’ve missed the bus anyway. You may as well take the car.”

6:52 am. A hurried half jog and half walk to the bus stop down the lane, skirting past dogs sniffing, and then deciding not to eat, the remains of the previous night’s food that Silver Spoon throws out on to the street everyday. Crosses the street, avoiding the lecherous drivers who slow down to get a good look (Lazy Ass: No I won’t sleep with you just because you blew your horn, your worthless bastard.) and auto drivers who slow down and then look irritated when Lazy Ass says: Nahin, mujhe auto nahin chahiye. Where the fuck are you when I do need an auto?

6:55 am. (At the bus stop, out of breath and cursing the male populace in the world in general) Please, don’t let me miss the bus.

6:56 am. I wonder if the bus has been by yet. The Chirec buses have just gone by so any time now.

6:57 am. Maybe the bus came early today. Maybe I should call someone.
Strange old guy in dhoti and monkey cap passes by on his morning walk. Lazy Ass smiles at him but gets no response.

6:58 am: (Bus hurtles by, slows down and Lazy Ass jumps on.)
Lazy Ass: Good morning. Fellow passenger: You made it! How come you’ve been coming pretty regularly these days?
Lazy Ass (smiles benignly): Yes. The key I’ve discovered is to push the snooze button only four times rather than six.
I’ve caught myself talking to myself rather frequently; maybe I should write on my blog…

Thursday, January 10, 2008

It's alive! It's alive!

New Year’s resolutions seem to be doomed from the beginning. The framing of the list on the spur of the moment that you would have to adhere to for the rest of the year and suffer from guilt at abandoning it in February seemed too narrow. So this year I decided to start early with the planning process. I began thinking about the think things that I wanted to accomplish sometime during the course of the year around Christmas and came up with a few things that I think ought to be realistic targets to set for myself. This is the list.
1. Go swimming everyday.
2. Practice writing Urdu on the bus.
3. Re-acquaint my self with French and Telugu.
4. Update my blog at least once in two days.
5. Read the newspaper everyday, despite the preponderance of non-news stories like Saif Ali Khan dating Kareena Kapoor.
6. Learn more about photography.
7. Mail in my PhD applications by November.
8. Finish “My name is Red” and “Snow” by Orhan Pamuk (it’s been 5 years and 3 years respectively since I started these books).
9. Be more social and stop avoiding messages.
10. Be more prompt in replying to e-mails and texts.
11. Pay my cell phone bills and pick up the dry cleaning on time.
12. Paint my room.
It’s been two weeks since the new year started and how many of these have I begun? Well, I’ve posted on my blog…

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The irony kills me

Blog-Word! for shraavya


You're an individual - nobody was found with the same word as you!

Haiku2 for shraavya

it would be that's
the problem with feelings the
body's reactions are

Monday, October 23, 2006


In a fit of narcissism, I googled my name to see what would show up. The first page was my blog! Yahoo! There weren't too many people with the same name as me around. I hope that the reason that the name is not popular has nothing to do with me.
Aside: At this point, most of those who know me and others who may have stumbled here by mistake, would be wondering why I thought it was a 'fit of narcissism'. Really, who am I kidding? The only reason that I'm not wasting away in front of my reflection is that I can be easily distracted by bright lights.
the others who shared my name were a one year old baby and a young lady who seems quite different than me. For example, she doesn't mind being asked questions about whether she prefers to laugh or to cry. My response to such questions would be a derogatory laughter and possible speculation about the questioners ancestry. Apart from the obligatory meanings of names databases, everything else pertained to me. To ME! Yay!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

I'm sure there's a point in this somewhere

I feel like I should have more to say on my very neglected blog. Waxing eloquent on things that are in the grand scheme of things not that important has always been far too easy, again to the chagrin of the people around me. However, on things that "matter", like life, love and the universe, I find that I can never be more than laconic. Worse I use cliches. The horror...
but the thing is that for whatever reason, anything that is of any import bubbles up to the surface in fragmented sentences, usually at inopportune times. To lend voice to thought will be, and has been, more bother than it is worth. It seems a bit silly to drop in lines of an emotional crisis or some such thing without any context or any hope for a future discussion which I know that I couldn't sustain. Not that I am going through an emotional crisis I hasten to add.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Advertently alliterative (in parts)

I am most upset that there aren't more comments on my blog. After rational reflection (please stop laughing, dear family and friends) I realized that this absence of interest in my blog may be because it hasn't been the active-est. Further rumination revealed that essence of communication with the world, and this is amplified a billion times when one is using the Internet as a channel of communication, is reciprocatory (yes, I made up that structure) responses to other people's sometimes rants, sometimes soul searchings. I have, therefore, resolved to drop in reminders of my existence on other people's blogs. I think it should shock them nicely, they won't need a vacation this year. Ha!