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Showing posts from August, 2008

Maid-en over

akaOne-Day maid service is here
- Bangalore Mirror, Wed 3 Sept, 2008

At a recent gathering, the topic of conversation, inadvertently, settled upon domestic help. As always, there was a lot of cricket in the background.

Both, subjects that everyone has ample to contribute to. That day was no different. While the men whined about missing crucial cover drives and third eyes, one senior lady went glum just thinking about her predicament at having to endure an in-form-out-of-form-out-of-town kaamwali. Another friend posed smug at the loyalty her mother enjoyed irrespective of malle, jaatre, habba, maava or akka na thangi!

Woes of trauma followed. Few scored and two were caught behind. India, in the meanwhile, was doing well with Dhoni on strike. That’s when a phone rang. Smug friend’s maid needed a week off! Her maava na magaa had been put into aaspatre. Well, well.

While the rest of the crowd looked on half amused , half sympathetic, my mother revealed our unique situation. With apartments spr…

R-oh!-ma

printed asVicarious pleasures
- Deccan Herald. Sun, September 28, 2008.

The stole clung to me in a frantic embrace as the howling wind soared phoenix-like, as if to obscure me from a vision that unfolded numerously in an age of ravenous cats and human game.

Rising heat, the damp of perspiration, raucous jeering of a throng of fifty thousand, mounting rapidly to a crescendo … and a gasp! A deadening quiet ... The air hangs thick with anticipation. Every muscle tense, all eyes are on a distant figure, far, far below. Nothing moves except the wind, wailing its solitary song. An owl screeches past. A deafening clang of heavy iron echoes ominously, way below, somewhere in the incongruous maze of sand and structure.

Man and beast stand face to face – terror rife, in the space between them. Each one, the hunter and the hunted.

Thoughts freeze, fists clench, chests heave and jaws tauten as the audience sits on egde, aroused.

The lion shifts its steady gaze … the gladiator moves, eyes fixed in shr…

Whim-bledon

Turn left, off Wimbledon Broadway, and take the 4th right into Effra Road. Tucked away at # 124, the temple priests piously go about their daily rituals - intermittent jingles of the holy bell soundless, outside double-glazed parameters. For the uninitiated, a Hindu temple in the middle of SW19 is the ultimate paradox. To those home away from home, this is a charming microcosm of a vast envelope that is the Indian subcontinent. A cozy bubble that will not burst. Hands folded and eyes closed in humble resignation to the remover of obstacles, I let the calm radiate through my being, disentangling my thoughts and revealing the way forward. Every once in an infrequent while, when my world closes in around me with conflicting desires and hazy identities, I look to my sanctuary - an oasis that keeps me from wilting. I stand, sound and proud in the knowledge of who I am. And I leave, reconnected to my soul and poised for another day. In the comfort of its quiet dignity, thus, thrive a people…

Beng-allure-u!

printed asAdjust maadi, with a vengeance
- Bangalore Mirror, Fri 22 Aug, 2008.
I drive in this city, out of absolute vengeance. A pleasure I would play any prank to get my foot on, is now short of thrill and purely and utterly a means to an end.

Some time ago I would refrain from any opinion on the simple basis that I have been away and the ‘locals’ (a privileged nomenclature that had applied to me) would tut-tut at my sudden and ‘typical’ foreign scoffs. But now I find that, even in my head, I am more local than most locals I know. Hence I am entitled to every serif, dot and crossed t to follow henceforth.

Roll away smogged eyes and claim greater right on any judgment because- and this is true- I have only seen the result of and not the actual day-by-day and systematic smothering of a city that once breathed pure.

But not one of you can take away from me, my prerogative to mourn. And I mourn my loss of belonging. I mourn my loss at understanding how getting to Cunningham road, the oth…

Write side up

Writing came to me because of my mother. She was always in the limelight, compering events and organising them. Watching her, I started doing the same with my dolls. I would orate to them, teach them alphabets and recite my own four-line poems. I can’t really pin-point when writing became my own hobby. What I do know is that it gives me a release. There is a sense of finality when I put my thoughts down on paper. The moment they are manifest in ink, my thoughts cease to be mere cranial processes. They become my expressions. I like that.

Two years of copywriting taught me, to an extent, the craft of succinct writing. Considering an average ad. space of 40cc where even nine words of copy were nine too many, crisp writing was really a mode of survival. Such training however left me quite inept at writing anything longer than 100 words. Even at this moment, I find myself straining to stretch my sentences, adding more thoughts and at the same time trying to avoid verbosity and putting you o…

Edinbur-ah!

My eyes are closed. I am aware only of a cold autumnal breeze caressing my face. I take a long whiff of the crisp air and open my eyes, rejuvenated. In front of me, far away, I see a curtain of fog slowly revealing in its translucency, the unmistakable outlines of a fortress. As if hypnotised, the cloud of mist sways to the light filtering in from the street lamps in the distance. The moonlight waltzes in, making the ramparts of the fort suddenly shine out in splendour. It is mesmerising, this sensuous dance between the elements. Such a magical welcome sparked my romance with Edinburgh almost immediately. Even the taxi ride felt dramatic. The moon was generous with her light and each cobblestone, smoothened with use, glistened its age. The dark, the empty streets, the narrow lanes, the high walls, higher church spires and those cobbles, all told tales many years old. It was as if I was in the 17th century, riding in my horse drawn carriage, as we rumbled through the city. Hiding every…