Saturday, 30 June 2012

This is Garbage. Hi Garbage!

I once called this suicide helpline just to see how they function. I had a truck load of problems to recite and the guy on the other line totally thought I was going to kill myself. He very calmly told me that life is beautiful and I should not even THINK of dying. I asked him how he would feel if I went ahead and killed myself anyway. He then begged me to not do it, asked for my address and offered to send some volunteers over to help me. I was really pleased with him. He seemed like the sort of person who could genuinely help people who were contemplating on making that final journey to hell. Don't raise your eyebrows. The first lesson I learnt about suicide was that people who commit it, get a sure shot ticket to hell. There was just no other place for them. This suicide talk reminds me of this quirky classmate I had during my first year of Grad school. We were all studying Arts and we had Philosophy in our curriculum. Needless to mention, I didn't take it up and went for Political Science instead. But this dude was totally into it. One fine day I trooped into college looking like I'd lost my mind (which happened almost thrice a week) and I was informed solemnly that said dude had killed himself. I did not know how to react. I was also told that he had written a letter saying that nobody was supposed to be blamed and everyone should take this lightly as he was just passing over to the other side to see how it felt. How the hell did he plan to share his findings with us? I remember feeling extremely stupid that day. I kept going back to the day I had last seen him. I tried hard to recall his expressions. Had he already made up his mind by then or was it a last moment decision? I wanted to go back in time, slap some sense into him and take him out for a slushie. I was at a place in my life where a slushie could make me forget my sorrows and move on. Was he at a different place? I don't know. I never will.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

'Morbid' could be my middle name...

I'm not sure people enjoy being told that after everything that they have achieved, they will die a painful death. I was met by blank stares when I expounded this theory at work. I was simply stating the obvious. Doesn't everyone die irrespective of what they have or have not achieved in life? And does anyone take any of those achievements with them? One could have spent half of his life trying to own that 2 BHK house in that posh area of town and then after finally buying it and spending a few years basking in its glory, one will ultimately die and leave the house behind. Mind you, I am not just thinking these things, I am saying it all aloud, in the presence of other people. These people just stared at me like I'd lost my mind or something, till someone piped up and said that achievements don't necessarily mean materialistic ones alone. Said piper wanted to know how can one forget kindness, love and other sappy stuff that people leave behind? That stuff is way more important than a house, a car or a booming business. I looked at said piper with an expression of utmost pity and told him to remember the last act of kindness done unto him. I can talk in biblical language on demand. It is one of my special talents. Anyway, piper couldn't recall anything and I told him that irrespective of whatever sappy crap he was talking about, out of sight is out of mind and there is just no other way to it. People were going to forget him soon enough and get along with their lives and therefore, one should always remember to not stress about losing out on something in life as no one else would get it either. We are all going to die. At this moment, another smart fellow pointed out that we were all going to die this year and we should all quit our jobs and do other interesting stuff while we still had the time. I totally agree.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

The GM Diet. Day 2.

After a largely unsuccessful attempt on Day 1, I decide to be a little more focussed on Day 2.
Today is a fruits only day. You can eat all the fruits that you want. It isn't really an incentive. One can only eat a couple of fruits in a day. But I have to try.

HM leaves at his usual time. I've given him a lunch box full of pineapple, sweet limes and some radish. Radish is probably not a fruit. Okay, its definitely not a fruit. But the mangoes I bought turned out to be sour, so I had to give him radish instead.

I get down to my daily workout (if you can call a couple of push ups and squats a 'workout'). I've learnt some new exercises on this YouTube video. I try them and start sweating and panting. That just means it works! I am quite happy. I do the exercise for 15 minutes.

Hunger kicks in as usual. 8-9 am is when I feel most hungry. I open the fridge to get some fruits but I spot the dosa batter and leftover prawn curry again. I curse myself for repeating yesterday's pattern but eat the dosa and prawn curry anyway.

I head to work with 3 cucumbers (not fruits, I know) and 2 sweet limes. I eat the cucumbers around 12:00 pm and send the peon down to get me a chicken burger from Baker's Basket. I stuff my face with it and peace is restored inside.

I finish work and head home. I pick up a watermelon, some kiwi fruits and pears on the way. At home, HM is sneezing and coughing and dripping phlegm all over the place (I'm exaggerating. I just happen to hate phlegm).

I am a tad bit worried about HM who is blowing his nose loudly and looking really sick. I head out to buy him some medicines and remember that my doctor had prescribed me some capsules that I never bought. I buy those as well. They turn out be capsules of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. I look bewildered. I don't know why she would prescribe me 'fatty' acids. My very limited scientific knowledge does not help. I shrug and come back home with all the medicines.

HM is looking like a mess. He demands real food. He doesn't want rice or rotis or vegetables. Prawn curry and dosa batter to the rescue. He finishes the prawn curry with the dosas and I can see some colour return to his cheeks. Poor guy. I eat the dosas with raw mango chutney. Dessert is a piece of malai sandwich each.

We hit the sack and I am now worried about Day 3. HM is mumbling something incoherently. I ask him if he needs anything. He wants to know if we can just postpone this diet till he gets over the cold. I am happy to oblige.

Thus ends my diet. Kilos lost: None. Kilos gained: None.

The GM diet. Day 1

I couldn't go on a diet even if I really wanted to. I love food way too much and when you're blessed with a great metabolism like mine, there's no reason not to. But lately, I've put on a few kilos and old clothes don't fit me. I struggle to button up the jeans that I wore in college and my T-shirts have an unsightly little bulge as they're way too tight to accommodate my ballooning tummy. Still, I can never think of giving up food to lose weight. But HM decided to do the GM diet this week to detox his system and I joined in. Here's an account of Day 1.

Day 1 is supposed to be a day of fruits and fruits alone. But I forgot the exact diet plan and we did a day of vegetables instead.

Our day starts with a cup of black lemon grass tea.

HM leaves around 7:45 with a lunch box full of salad. I made the salad with purple cabbage, corn, yellow bell pepper, cucumber, tomato and some boiled potato. I've given him a separate little box of seasoning, just in case.

I do some push-ups. 3 to be precise. My stomach then starts growling with hunger and instead of eating the salad, I dive into the fridge, fish out the dosa batter and prawn curry, make myself two dosas and eat them with the prawn curry. There. I've already cheated on my diet before it could begin.

I feel guilty, pack the salad in a tiffin and head to work. I feel hungry around 1:00 and I devour the salad like a famished person from Somalia. It is simply not enough. I need some carbs like crazy. I send the peon down to the Baker's Basket outlet and he brings me a Devilled Chicken Ciabatta. I eat it and feel better.

I am feeling stupid because I can't follow a simple diet. I look up on the internet and try to find the number of calories in a Ciabatta. I cannot find a suitable answer so I forget it and carry on with work.

In the evening, I go back home and try to convince HM to eat some normal food like paranthas and sabji. He stubbornly turns down my suggestion. I feel depressed. I cut some asparagus spears, some zucchini and rub them with oil, garlic paste, salt, chilli flakes and pepper. I grill them on the pan while I make an avocado salad with greens. HM wants mashed potatoes with peas and onions and he wants it to be hot. I do the needful and serve him dinner.

I feel like an idiot as I dig into all those veggies. I want to hurl my plate at the wall and wail into my pillow. HM eats like a good kid. He doesn't look annoyed like me. We finish our dinner and I'm craving Tandoori Chicken. There is a restaurant upstairs and wonderful smells are wafting through my kitchen window. I want to rip out my hair and scream.

I open the fridge to get some lemon grass and happen to open the freezer by chance. Okay, not by chance. I am looking for some Ice-cream. I find a tub of Almond ice cream and a brick of butterscotch ice cream that hasn't even been opened yet. I scoop large amounts of both into a big bowl and dig into it. HM eats half of it. Can you blame him? His wife is a glutton.

We both climb into bed. I am already dreading Day 2. Fruits and only fruits.

Oh God. This is not happening to me. Help!

Thursday, 21 June 2012

You're mad or what?

"What you doing like a mad person haan? Don't do like this, I'm telling you".
"You don't have other work to do kya? Simply wasting time doing nonsense".
"I will tell your name to my miss".
"Arrey why are you troubling me always? I will beat you okay?"
"Your mother taught you this only na? Stupid".
"Don't come on this side of the bench okay? You are dirty".
"Shhiii! You didn't have a bath na? Yellow yellow dirty fellow".
"What your mother gave you for tiffin? You want to eat my dosa?"
"My father will beat your father na, then you'll understand".
"That miss is always giving remarks. She is mad".
"Why you did not do your maths homework? Now toh you will pakka get punished".
"Chheee! What dirty handkerchief you are using? You will get sick na!"
"You shut up, stupid. No you stupid. Same to you. Mirror. God in middle full stop."

The above sentences were overheard at a lunch break in school. Kids are awesome.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Ergo, I'm not a horse...

I am a fan of 'Hinglish' or whatever they're calling it nowadays. I like talking to people who are experts in the said 'language' if you can call it that. Now for the record, Hindi is my matrubhasha and English is my language of choice, so I prefer to keep them both at their respective places and ensure that I don't mix them up like a poorly made Pinacolada. But people of the Hinglish persuasion beg to differ. They think Hindi and English go together. These are the same people who are most likely to douse their vanilla ice creams with imli ki chutney and exclaim that it is a mind blowing combo. I respect them for being so open to stuff. I like 'open' people, if I dare say so. I am not that open to desecrating the sanctity of two beautiful languages, so I really am in awe of people who are gutsy enough to do it. Sample this conversation:

Me: Hi ABC! How are you?

ABC: Bas, totally fine! You tell me, kya haal chaal hai?

Me: I'm doing good too! How's work?

ABC: What to say? Chal raha hai somehow. That promotion yaar! I want it so badly ke main kuch bhi karunga. Desperate hun yaar!

Me: I understand. You need to work harder. Try and get your work noticed.

ABC: Arrey what you're saying? I've been ghisoing myself daily das das baje tak. Now you tell me, aur kya karun main?

By this time, the Hinglish is beginning to annoy and amaze me at the same time. This mixing has got to require talent because I cannot do it no matter how hard I try. Too bad.

The coffee machine in my office dispenses a laxative that smells and tastes like coffee but is actually a very effective solution for constipation. I am currently trying to do some research and find out how it works, because it works without fail every single time. You drink a cup of it and in fifteen minutes, you'll find yourself on the pot with a magazine in your hand.
I don't know where the 'reading in the loo' habit originated. It must have been a 'Eureka' moment.

I'm very sure that I only have moments of sanity. I'm also positive that these moments don't last long and I'm thankful that they don't. I'm not very fond of sane people. And it would be a terrible thing to dislike yourself.

Sheher nahi Shanghai hai...

There's a reason Shanghai is different. And the storyline is not that reason. If you really want to watch a movie with riveting political drama as its subject, watch RGV's Sarkar and Sarkar Raj. But all you will feel at the end is the satisfaction of being entertained. Shanghai takes political drama to a new level and this level is not for those who only want to be entertained. Shanghai will make you think and that is exactly where the movie scores points with me. I take films very seriously. Which is why I can never be satisfied with movies like Housefull, Desi Boys or  Rowdy Rathore. I need a Parzania or Black Friday to make me happy and Shanghai just got added to that list. The movie has stellar performances by the most unique star cast and each character is built wonderfully. I have always secretly liked Emraan Hashmi even when he was busy snogging random actresses, but now I can openly admit to being a fan. His rendition of Jogi is spot on and does not look like a poor caricature. The character is gullible yet strong and Emraan makes it all the more believable. Abhay Deol is brilliant as IAS officer Krishnan and it is one of his best performances till date. His acting is natural and his character's disarming honesty is a refreshing change from the usual in your face 'deshbhakti' acts that we normally see portrayed on screen. Kalki doesn't look like she has much to do and I've seen her play such kind of angst filled roles earlier. I adored her in Dev D and in the recent ZNMD. It is safe to say that Emraan and Abhay have shadowed her in this one. Prosenjit Chatterjee and Tillotama Shome manage to get noticed inspite of their miniscule parts. Their characters are important and hold the movie together beautifully. Supriya Pathak Kapoor and Farooque Sheikh are a delight to watch and the entire ensemble comes together to give a power packed performance. All in all, Dibakar Banerjee has done a superb job and his attention to detail is praiseworthy. I came out of the theatre feeling elated, satiated and happy. I guess good movies do this to you. Shanghai deserves awards and accolades and I'd definitely buy the DVD and watch the film again and again.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

H's story

I have three dogs. I have no idea what drove me to do this unimaginable feat. Maybe the repressed childhood dream of owning a dog had to be realised some day and since it was such an old and nurtured dream, I had to do it thrice. Hence the three dogs. Soon after I got my first dog H, I realised that you do not own the dog. The dog owns you. H was a playful little Labrador pup and sadly enough, she was sick. HM and I didn't have the faintest idea about her illness and we knew nothing about raising a pup. So we went to this quack vet (scum bag) who told us she had developed a slight rash which was common in puppies and it would go away soon. Well, it didn't. A week later it got worse and my poor little H broke out in boils. I rushed her to another vet who announced that we had just brought home a pup that was suffering from a severe case of scabies and that we should return her to the breeder immediately and also file a complaint against him. I was devastated. H had lost all the hair on her tummy and hind side due to the rash. The vet told us that the hair might never grow back and it was best to just return the puppy and get a new one instead. We came back home and H climbed into my lap to sleep. I looked at HM and we both knew at that instance that we were never going to give her back. She was now ours and we loved her. Thus began a series of expensive and time consuming treatments to cure H's scabies. Other dog owners wouldn't let their healthy dogs play with her when she went out for her walk. Poor H would wag her tail and look at them, longing to play. But the infection was highly contagious and nobody even wanted to touch her. I wanted to tell people to stop treating her like some sort of rabid dog. She was by far the most affectionate dog ever. Scabies or no scabies. But we had to put up with all that and I felt really sad for H who would continue to wag her tail at just about everyone who passed her by. Finally after two whole months of daily treatment at home, H's scabs fell off. These two months were very difficult. H was subjected to an hour of cleaning and medication administered by us on a daily basis. She also went through a rather scary and painful dehydration bout in the midst of it all. She had thrown up all over the house and when I took her to the vet in an auto, she threw up on me around 5 times. I'd always imagined I'd be extremely grossed out by stuff like that. But that day, I didn't mind a bit. I even cried when the vet jammed a needle into H's paw to administer saline. I never knew I could feel these things for a dog. But there I was, patting her and telling her that it would all be okay. And she opened her drowsy, tired eyes and looked at me like she understood every word. Another month later, we spotted very mild hair growth on her tummy and  hind side. HM and I almost cried with joy that day. Our baby was finally okay. Another two months later, H stepped out for her walk with the most luxuriant, shiny fur. Not a single bald spot. The other dog owners asked us if we'd gotten rid of  'that sick dog' and refused to believe us when we said that 'this beautiful dog' is the same one. H soon became one of the most loved dogs in the neighbourhood with a really long list of friends (dogs and humans both) and continues to hold the title of 'Most Adorable Dog' till date. And I know that H can't read this blog but I bet she knows that I love her tremendously and this one is for her. I love you, H. You're precious.
As for the other two, I will write about them soon enough. Each one deserves her own post. Till then,
Toodles, y'all!

Monday, 11 June 2012

How to be nonchalant...

No I am not trying to be a 'self help' guru or something. Ironical, since I still need to help myself a lot before I can actually start helping others. Still, I can pride myself on being able to guide people to do stuff that I can do pretty well myself. Being nonchalant is one of them. I am a pro at it. Now for the record, I wasn't always so good at it. I spent quite some time playing the paranoid maniac until it dawned on me that worrying or obsessing about anything does not help at all. It only makes matters worse. That is when I decided to kick the habit. I haven't looked back ever since and I've been clean for a whole year now. Look at me talking about this like I've kicked a drug habit or something. But believe me, it is just as worse. So now I am the queen of nonchalance. Nothing bothers me and even if it does, I get over it in a span of 15 minutes and all is well with my world again. I will now share my secrets with you so you can be just as chilled out as I am.
So here goes:

Do not get vexed about anything at all. It is easier said than done but it can actually be as easy as it sounds if you know how to do it right. Whenever a problem or worrisome situation presents itself, our first instinct is to panic about it. This triggers off the anxiousness and what follows is days of ceaseless worrying. Do you know how much time we waste doing this rather than being calm and finding a better solution to the problem? The only way to not worry is to just stop worrying. It is that simple. Tell yourself that it isn't a big deal and it has a pretty good solution to it that you will find in some time. Organise your mind to start working in the right direction. You will be surprised at how soon your problems will be resolved.

Not all problems have a solution. Understand that as well. Annoying in-laws, colleagues that plot against you, pet dogs that simply fail to obey or a difficult boss, are all very good examples of problems that don't really have a solution. The only thing you can do in such a case is detach yourself altogether. When you do this successfully, you will literally become immune to all the negative words and actions coming your way. No matter how insulting, annoying or infuriating it is, you will just stop getting bothered. The trick is to ignore it all. What cannot be changed has to be accepted and this acceptance should not be a resigned one. It has to be one where words just bounce off you and actions are simply overlooked. This sort of behaviour on your part will slowly start annoying your tormentor and that is almost as sweet as revenge can get. What more do you want?

There are also the 'mundane worries' as I call them, that present themselves to us on a daily basis. Will my maid show up today, will I miss my bus/train, will I get a pay raise this year, are all good examples of things we worry about on a daily basis. Understand that this is just like a daily fix of drugs for your paranoid mind and just like drugs or alcohol, this habit will hamper your life in the long run. The only way to stop doing this is to simply stop doing it. It is actually quite easy to practice. Think about other pleasant things when one of these mundane worries come around to plague you for the day. Just try and be positive about them. Tell yourself that your maid will come on time, you will catch that bus/train and you will definitely get that pay raise this year and even if all that doesn't happen, it will not mean the end of this world. You will deal with it and move on. Easy peasy!

Now that I've shared some wonderful tactics, you can go ahead and fight that war against your worries and emerge unscathed and victorious. Also, you will have the added advantage of being peaceful and calm and with time, you will have achieved a 'Zen' like quality which will not just bring you that much elusive inner peace and harmony, but also longevity and happiness. Your thoughts will be more organised and the clarity will be enviable. This will obviously mean progress. Not just on a personal level but professionally as well. Need I say more?