Archive for December, 2005

December 30, 2005

The year in pictures

2005 was a good year.
There was much discussion with Shikha and Sayak, involving movies and music and books and sports and silver nail polish and other profound things.

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There were gramophones.

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There was a night spent singing/roaring “You’ll never walk alone” with my dad – over the phone, because he’d been called to work. It was the 25th of May and we were the champions of Europe.

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There were parts of Turkey and Greece with the parents.

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And Dave helped me rediscover my city.

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And then there was college…of which few photos have been taken. Most of the good ones are on my phone. I wanted to put one of Shloka here, but I only had one pic of her on my computer and she forced me to delete it. Grr.

Oh and books. I think I bought more than a hundred this year.

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I did the year end survey thingie on LJ and one of the questions was “who’s the best person you met this year?”. I finally picked Shloka, but I was spoilt for choice. That is the sign of a good year.

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I hope you have a wonderful time tomorrow night. Happy 2006, everybody.

December 29, 2005

So are you suicidal?

Find out. Take the test.

(The last page is priceless.)

December 28, 2005

The onset of senility

On my nineteenth birthday (oh, aeons ago!) my friends decided I was getting too old, so five of us decided to go to McDonalds, order one Happy Meal, and argue over who would get the toy. Except Bhuvi and I decided that we didn’t want to make a spectacle of ourselves. So picture, if you will, three large, hairy males battling it out over a small green dinosaur. It is important to do silly things to combat old age.

My cousin gave birth to a baby (of the female persuasion) a few weeks ago. Since then, I think the entire family has entered a state of denial and is acting a lot younger. My newly grandmotherified aunt (Aunt 1, shall we say) has had her hair cut a lot shorter, for example. And I think mum has a crush on Abhishek Bachchan.

Today I came home (after a joyful stroll through the childrens section of a bookshop) to a lot of shouting. I assumed this had something to do with the cousins who are visiting us for a few days. There’re two of them, aged six and twelve, and between them they manage quite a bit of noise. The older one likes cricket, the younger likes pokemon. Their only shared interest is in Beyblades. Till the advent of these two, I don’t think anyone in my immediate family knew what beyblades were. I had a vague idea. My aunt ( Aunt 2, who is unlikely to be a grandmother for at least another ten years. We hope.) must have known, since she’s the one who has to buy them. The rest of the family have had beyblades forced on them by the almost hourly arguments over who gets the bigger one in their mini-tournaments.

It was not my cousins who were making the noise. They had taken the dog out for a walk. My father and aunts 1 and 2 were on the dining room floor, crouched around the red plastic disk (bigger than a frisbee, do kids still use frisbees?) that serves as the beyblading arena. Aunt 1 was winning. My grandmother was cheering them on.

My cousin had put her daughter (temporarily) to sleep and wanted to join in, but it was getting a little too crowded. So we finished a jigsaw puzzle one of the kids had left halfway. It was quite a detailed map of the world, and we were terribly proud of ourselves when we finished. Except that there were a few pieces missing…we sem to have lost Central America.

The newest member of the family has not yet acquired many skills beyond looking around her with an incredulous expression. I don’t blame her.

December 28, 2005

Delhi Blogger’s Meet

Details here. As I understand it, the purpose is to gawk at Amit Varma while he’s in town. ;)

Not sure if I’m free that day, but I’m going to try to be there.

You should too.

December 28, 2005

From yesterday’s Hindustan Times

Jharkhand says no to Viagra. The problem seems to be the fear that it will cause young men to go berserk.

It is stories like these which make me truly patriotic. What other country would devote so much time and newsprint to the purpose of amusing me?

December 26, 2005

A year later

Something really funny happened today.
But the Tsunami was a year ago and thousands of people died. And I’m not sure why, but I feel like I have some kind of moral obligation to write something serious and meaningful about it all. That makes no sense, everyone who has been reading this for a while knows me well enough that I have no need of proving my *sensitivity*. I don’t know.

I wasn’t directly affected by the tsunami. I might easily have been – I have plenty of relatives and (more importantly) one very close friend in the affected areas, and so a lot of the time I what I was feeling verged on relief. I remember being numbed by the sheer magnitude of the numbers, though, begging people to do what they could – donate, volunteer, anything. I don’t know if they did.

I didn’t do enough. I contributed, but it was (like everything else) the parents’ money, and not so much that our regular lifestyles were affected. Mum and Dad did something, they worked extra so that their colleagues could go and help out. Doctors are able to make a real difference. I feel impotent, things like ‘spreading awareness’ are such vague terms. I don’t know. I need something palpable. Not just the knowledge that I donated, or that I caused someone else to donate. More.

I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know. Maybe taking up literature as a future was as useless as people told me it was.

These guys will probably link you to something more substantial than anything I can say.

December 23, 2005

Christmas spirit

All year I look forward to the winter. Because it’s such a relief not to sweat, to be able to walk distances of a few kilometres, to smell popcorn and peanuts, not to feel guilty about long hot baths. My best friend comes back to Delhi at the beginning of every december, and there are nice long afternoons spent in her room with the heater on watching silly movies, drinking tea and being generally ridiculous. Parties are outdoor ones which involve crowds of people gathering around the two people grilling kebabs for the tiny amount of heat. Sweaters make you look bulky, but it’s okay because everyone knows sweaters make you look bulky, and you can use it as an excuse. “Did you put on weight?” “Nah, it’s the sweater.”
Winter smells of cinnamon and spices, I’ll try to cook more regularly this year.

That’s the ‘romanticised’ version. The reality of it is that December in Delhi is cold. And I have a cold. My voice, when hoarse, doesn’t get deep and sexy, it merely alternates between squeaks and croaks. My nose isn’t that big, and it seems impossible that such volumes of matter should be able to emerge from it. Maybe it’s because of the lighting in my room, but my skin seems to have turned an unusual shade of yellowgreen. My lips are chapped. My lips. There’s something wrong with the geyser in the bathroom that has a tub. So it’s showers for now…in Delhi, a bath is probably a criminal waste of water anyway.

Christmas is sort of a big deal to me. Not because I’m religious but because some of my best childhood memories have been on Christmas. Plus, presents. My dad has asked me “what was that author’s name again?” at least five times now. He’s trying to be subtle. I wrote the name down for him on a piece of paper, along with the shop he’s likely to find it at.When I was three and they asked me what I wanted,all I could think of was balloons.
This year we’re having a quick, early lunch so dad can go and organise a charity event. That’s what Christmas is about, right, charity and goodwill, not humouring one’s papmered daughter. If I were a good person I’d go with him to help out.

Winter’s about the worst time of the year to ask that people preach peace and goodwill. I don’t feel warm, inside or out. It gets dark outside by six, and I can’t help but wonder if that effects my mind. I know my depression related issues are at their worst at this time of year. Add to this the pressure of being cheerful, of caring about peace on earth and goodwill to all. Sending out Christmas cards on time (well it’s too late now, they’re stacked on my bed, half of them unwritten) I got cards from two people who barely know me today. They were lovely cards. They didn’t have to do that, I wasn’t expecting it. Now I feel like shit. I can’t send cards to the few people I love on time, and they manage to send them to people they barely know? I must be pathetic.

Give me some Christmas spirit, please?

December 21, 2005

Operation Majnu and general silliness

We rarely watch Headlines today, but dad was quite impressed with them yesterday (yes, the doctor you saw being interviewed about Viagra? My dad.) and so for these evening’s dose of news we turned to them.

They had this report on yesterday’s “Operation Majnu” incident in Meerut. Now, anything called Operation Majnu is already fraught with comic possibilities. We were already terribly amused by the whole thing when the most brilliant thing occurred. While reporting on Sushma Swaraj’s condemnation of the incident in parliament today, we were told that “leading the charge against moral policing was the BJP’s Sushma Swaraj.” I hope it was intentional. If it was, it was absolutely delicious. I think I’m going to switch to them for a while and see if I continue to like them.

Almost as amusing were the reactions of the ‘ordinary’ people approached for soundbytes. Apparently what the police did was wrong because they didn’t check whether the young people they hit were ‘lovers’. They might have been married, brothers and sisters, or just friends. I’m sure it’s not intended, but the general implication seems to be that randomly beating up unmarried couples is somehow more justifiable than doing the same to married ones, friends or siblings. i.e. “the police are free to use violence to enforce their moral views if theirs are the same as mine.” Or the police were wrong because the victims were studying…had they been indulging in lewd or indecent behaviour (I would actually have been interested in hearing what different people’s definitions of lewd and indecent were) the police would have been justified.

The world is a tremendous source of entertainment.:)

December 18, 2005

Reunion

In about twenty six years it is possible that I will be invited to a silver jubilee type college reunion. I say possible because I never get invited to things (whinewhinepitymeetc). Anyway, I will not go.
My mother went to an all girls college, like me. Now, while I like my college and the people in it, I feel compelled to point out that girls can be loud and shrill. I always thought this was a phenomenon that occurred exclusively in young people.

On saturday night, I was compelled to attend my mother’s 25th year reunion party. My mother’s a sensible sort of person, not very exciteable or emotional. Which is why I was a little concerned when we got there and the screaming and giggling and gossip and “ohmygodyouhaven’tchanged!” began. Rather unnerving.

The problem with medical people(besides, you know, all the other problems with medical people – I’m an expert on this) is that so many of them marry other medical people. And medical people all know each other. So my dad, who I’d counted on to feel out of place with me, was surrounded by people who he hadn’t seen for years. There was backslapping and flirting and general ickiness that parents should have no part in.

Speaking of flirting, the only vaguely attractive man there was married.

Also, I do not look that much like my mother. It has been well established by my family that I do at least have my (paternal) grandmother’s nose, and am far taller than mum. That being the case, it was a little unfair of everyone to insist on pointing out the likeness all evening. “Wow, she really is your daughter!“. Er…yes?

I’d also like to point out that it’s really okay not to do medicine or engineering (or architecture or economics). Believe it or not, some of us actually choose to do other things. And my parents are more likely to be amused than soothed by the commiserating looks you give them when you find out that I am doing something so lowly. Don’t worry. I will go to phoren and get a degree there.

And if I do go to a college reunion and if I do have children, I will not inflict it on them. I probably won’t ever go, though. I’d be terrified of finding that none of us had actually changed.

December 11, 2005

Letters to the Editor

From today’s Hindustan Times editorial page.

Let’s keep it in the closet
This is with reference to Ashok Row Kavi’s “Old Wine in very old bottles” (Guest column, 4 December). If Section 377 is repealed, won’t Indian society be motivated to perverse behavior? Perversity is alright as long as it is within four walls and consensual, but why legalise it?
Sanjay Bhawsar, Bhopal.

He is absolutely right *nods*. The only thing preventing most men in this country from indulging in ‘perverse behaviour’ is the illegality of it. Take away this one restriction and they’ll be out there, publically buggering everything in sight. for the sake of public morality we ust keep these dirty things illegal. Think of the children!